When my 5 year old son Eli asked if I would buy him a frozen ice cream bar the other day, I said no without any explanation. My kids have learned that when I say no, I really do mean, no. Some kids would consider this mean, instead I was trying to stay on task and get through the grocery store before having to pick my daughters up from school. If I had to stop every time my kids asked for something they saw in the store, my 20 minute shopping trip would painfully become 40, I would lose my peace, and my kids would see me come undone in a really not so fun way – this is when being called mean could be justified. Think Incredible Hulk. If you can relate to this, know that I am virtually high-fiving you this very minute.
Instead, Eli accepts my answer, we check out quickly, and go home with about 15 minutes to spare before pick-up time. Once home I ask my son if he would like to make homemade frozen pops, after all this is the last week of school and it feels like summer outside. His face lights up and he breaks out with his own dance of joy while shouting YES! The truth is, I want my kids to discover the joy and wonder of cooking, baking, and making all sorts of food at home. I want them to feel empowered to get cooking in the kitchen with confidence and ease. I want my kids to be Kitchen Explorers.
You know what else I want to teach my children? I want each of them to understand the concept of delayed gratification and why waiting (sometimes) is better than catering to a now mentality. Of course at 5 years old my son doesnt understand any of this. He is gradually learning that whining and crying will get you nowhere with me and not very far in life.
As Eli pulls drags a stool to the kitchen counter I explain to him how we are going to make these pops. The only thing he requests is that I let him lick the spoon. Done deal.
Using just coconut milk, very ripe bananas, and a little bit of unsweetened cocoa powder, these Chocolate Banana Pops are not only homemade; they are made with ingredients every parent who has ever read a nutrition label will appreciate. These pops are also vegan (my older daughter is very sensitive to dairy), gluten-free, nut, egg, and soy free. The texture is creamy and the natural sweetness from the ripe bananas provides just enough sweetness without the need to add additional sweetener. Of course I would like to add a little disclaimer. Because there are different types of coconut milk and the natural sugars in bananas will vary, feel free to add a touch of sweetener if needed. If you must add anything, keep in mind you want to add just enough to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Feel free to use whatever molds you want to control portion size and quantity. Ice cube trays, Dixie cups, and commercial molds will work just fine. Best of all your kids will feel so proud of themselves for making these treats nearly all by themselves teaching them a valuable lesson that good things do come to those who wait.
3-Ingredient Chocolate Banana Pops
A dairy-free chocolate banana pop. Perfect for the summer, these pops are incredibly easy to make and use only three ingredients.
- 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
- 2 large super ripe bananas
- 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ****additional sweetener such as agave syrup, honey, or sugar may be added depending on your personal taste
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Pour the liquid into pop molds.
- If not using a pop mold, cover your mold with either plastic wrap or foil.
- Place a wood pops stick straight down the center piercing the covering.
- Allow 3 hours or preferable overnight for the pops to be ready.
- When the pops are ready to be served, run warm water over the mold, carefully loosen the mold from the pop.
- Serve immediately.
Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, Forbes.com featured Alice as one of Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.