Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dark Chocolate Banana Bites

I've loved the dole dark chocolate banana bites they usually have at Sam's club but they are pretty pricey. For freezer meal workshops we make a dessert or side to go with our meals each time and I thought I'd give making them myself a try. I found this recipe on smilesandwich.com and thought they looked pretty good! While these still have plenty of sweetness they use bananas, dark chocolate and peanut butter to cut down a little on the refined sugar.  For cost effectiveness I used regular old peanut butter in these for the workshop but if I was making them for myself I would use an all natural unsweetened peanut butter.  There is plenty of sweetness in the banana and dark chocolate so you don't need the added sugar of regular peanut butters.  Give them a try!

Dark Chocolate Banana Bites

2 medium bananas
¼ cup creamy nut butter
¾ cup dark baking chocolate (or semi-sweet)
1 ½ T. coconut oil

Freezer Prep Instructions:
Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper. Slice each banana into ¼ in. slices and arrange half the pieces on the baking sheet.

Spread each slice with peanut butter and cover with another slice.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until frozen.

Place the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted.  Stir in the chocolate and continue to microwave until smooth.  Use a fork or spoon to cover each banana bite in chocolate and place back on the sheet.  Freeze for at least 1 hour and enjoy. 

Storage Instructions:

When banana bites are frozen solid.  Transfer them to a gallon sized freezer bag.  Store in freezer for up to 2 months.  To eat- Thaw for 3-5 minutes and enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore (Crock Pot and Freezer Meal Options!)

I got this recipe several years ago from my sister Annah!  It's super quick to put together and it cooks in the crock pot! I recently adapted it for a freezer meal night and my family loved it.  It was so nice to pull this out on a snowy day and just throw it in a crockpot and let it do it's thing.  It's pictured over rice but it's equally good with pasta.  

Chicken Cacciatore

3 chicken breasts
½ sweet onion (sliced)
1 green bell pepper (seeded and sliced)
3 lg. carrots (chopped)
1 tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2-3 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup shredded parmesan

Regular Prep Instructions:
Combine all ingredients (except for cheese) in a large crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is easily shredded and veggies are tender.  Top with cheese and serve over rice or pasta of your choice.

Freezer Meal Prep Instructions:
Combine all ingredients (other than cheeses) together in a gallon sized freezer bag. Massage gently to combine all ingredients.  Place shredded cheeses together inside a small freezer bag.  Place chicken bag and cheese bag inside of another gallon sized freezer bag.  Label and freeze.

Freezer Meal Cooking Instructions:
When ready to serve- place contents of chicken/sauce bag in a large crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours if frozen or 6-8 hours if thawed. Top with cheese and allow to melt for 10 minutes.  Serve over noodles or rice.