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!
- 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)
- 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.
- Meanwhile, remove the bananas from the freezer and let stand to slightly soften, about 8 minutes.
- 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.
- 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
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
- 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.