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spicy dark chocolate “gelato” {recipe redux}

by Jackie Newgent  |  February 22, 2015  |  11 Comments

spicy dark chocolate gelato

What’s your favorite chocolate pairing? Maybe chocolate and strawberries? Or perhaps chocolate and peanut butter? There are so many pairings I adore, it’s difficult to choose. Chocolate and mint is definitely one of them. I’m a lover of chocolate with spice and “crave” chocolate with salt, too.

This month’s Recipe Redux theme was to highlight a chocolate match. Since I couldn’t decide on just one, I picked three: bananas, jalapeño, and sea salt! Yes, it’s a bit unique. But trust me when I say the combination in this inspired “gelato” truly tastes exotic. The banana is the base of this ice cream-like treat instead of rich milk or cream—making it extra calorie-friendly, yet still super creamy and comforting. You’ll grill the jalapeño for extra intrigue. Plus, this chocolaty recipe is surprisingly simple to make. Savor every single sweet, spicy, salty, and ever-so-slightly smoky taste of it!

(Hint: This “gelato” provides only 70 calories a serving. That means you actually can enjoy second helpings!)

Calories saved: 180

Why it’s better for you? It counts as a fruit serving!

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spicy dark chocolate “gelato”

  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper
  • 3 large or 4 medium fully-ripened bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel (sea salt)


  1. Prepare a grill or grill pan. Grill the jalapeño over direct medium-high heat until rich grill marks form, about 8 minutes. Discard (compost) the stem and, if desired, up to half of the seeds.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the bananas from the freezer and let stand to slightly soften, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the jalapeño, bananas, cocoa, extracts, and sea salt to a food processor. Pulse until the bananas are finely chopped. Then puree until the mixture resembles soft-serve ice cream.
  4. Enjoy immediately soft-serve-style. Or freeze and serve scooped.


Per serving: 70 calories, 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 18g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 9g sugars, 1g protein


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup

The “Before” Version

Inspired by Ciao Bella South American Dark Chocolate Gelato

Per serving: 250 calories, 16g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 40mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 18g sugar, 4g protein


Tasteover Tips

  • Consider using fully-ripened bananas in place of part or all of the cream and/or sugar in a dessert; they can provide so much natural sweetness and creaminess.
  • For intrigue in a sweet and healthful recipe, add a hint of spiciness or saltiness for flavor balance.
  • Punch up flavor and the essence of sweetness in healthful dessert recipes with pure extracts, such as pure vanilla and pure almond extracts.


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    1. Thanks, Genevieve! By the way … the Masala Chai Hot Chocolate on your blog looks absolutely amazing!!! 🙂