I have raved about coated banana chips before. They don't really exist in Australia, but I discovered them on a UK holiday when I was 14 and have been a huge fan ever since. You can buy them here in yogurt coated and chocolate coated varieties, and as highlighted in my July In My Kitchen post, a dairy free chocolate option also exists. I haven't seen vegan yogurt coated pieces, but did make my own vegan version of those to commemorate 100 posts on Bite-Sized Thoughts. They tasted fantastic, although the coating was a little soft and required refrigeration to avoid melting.
Whilst I can buy dairy free chocolate coated banana chips, nutritionally they aren't too great. For a start, the banana chips themselves are fried in palm oil and sweetened with sugar. The chocolate coating has more palm oil and more sugar. They are dangerously easy to eat, but a long way from fresh bananas and straightforward cocoa!
Given the nutritional shortfalls of commercial banana chips, I wanted to try a homemade option. When I made my yogurt coated banana pieces, I bought crispy banana chips and only made the yogurt coating myself. This time, I went back to basics and made the banana chips too. I opted to bake them instead of frying, which means the banana pieces were chewy rather than crispy. Happily, though, I enjoyed them just as much in that form.
I also made my chocolate coating dark and semi-sweet. It worked perfectly with the sweet banana pieces and while the overall product was quite different to what you can buy in stores, it was just as moreish. So much so, in fact, that I am a firm convert from the commercial version to this homemade one. Between frozen bananas for smoothies and soft serve, and bananas for this recipe, and bananas for Mr B to eat fresh...well, we are now a banana heavy household!
Chocolate coated banana chips
A delicious, vegan twist on commercial banana chips, with baked banana instead of fried, and dark chocolate instead of the sugar-heavy variety
Vegan and gluten free
Author: Bite-Sized Thoughts, with the baked banana chips adapted from Momables
For the banana chips -
4 bananas, sliced approximately 2cm thick
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the chocolate coating -
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, in liquid form
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 120'C (250'F) and line two baking trays with non-stick paper.
Arrange the sliced banana pieces in a single layer across the baking trays (keep the slices reasonably thick, about 2cm or nearly 1 inch, as they will shrink with baking). Combine the oil, lemon juice and salt and brush over the banana pieces. Bake for approximately 2 hours, until dried and crispy at the edges, and then turn off the oven and leave the chips to cool completely (at least another 1-2 hours; I left mine overnight).
To make the chocolate coating, combine the cocoa, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt in a heatproof bowl. Heat on very low power in the microwave or over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring regularly, until the ingredients are smooth and well combined.
Line new baking trays or a large plate with non-stick paper and then coat each banana piece by dipping it in the chocolate mixture with a teaspoon. Place on the non-stick paper and when all banana pieces have been coated in chocolate, transfer to the fridge to set (at least 2 hours).
Previous 2014 Vegan MoFo posts:
#1 - Vegan French toast
#2 - Apple and strawberry muesli
#3 - Mango coconut buckwheat breakfast pudding
#4 - Tips for a vegan breakfast on the go
#5 - Chickpea pancakes with spicy kale and mango
Have you tried commercial chocolate coated banana chips? Or are there products you have put a homemade spin on recently?