Macaroni Salad with Two Dressings

Nothing beats a traditional macaroni salad for your summer picnic or barbecue. Customize it with your favourite veggies and dressing to please all appetites.

macaroni salad with oil and vinegar dressing macaroni salad with mayonnaise dressing

I won! I won! I won!

Well, I didn’t really win, but I did win second place and that feels like a win to me!

I’m talking about my Pizza-ghetti Pie recipe that I entered into the Catelli Gluten Free Pastabilitites Challenge (check out the link for all 5 wonderful winning dishes). I had such fun developing that recipe (and so did my family and guests who got to eat all the variations until I came up with the perfect final rendition). I feel thrilled and honoured that Chef John Higgins (of Chopped Canada fame) chose my recipe for the second place win.

Catelli’s gluten-free pasta has changed the pasta meals in our pasta-lovin’ household. No more mushy pasta needing to be camouflaged with sauce. No more pasta that turns hard and breaks apart when chilled in a salad. Just lovely, chewy, flavourful, gluten-free pasta that behaves like pasta should. Simple and good. Simply great.

closeup of macaroni salad with vinaigrette

I grew up eating macaroni salad. Every church social and 4-H potluck dinner sported several bowls of different types of this creamy noodle salad – each version specific to the family that made it. Some people always put pickles in – some wouldn’t hear of it – some added ham – some added shredded cheese – some made their dressing quite sweet – some made it runny – some cut veggies in big chunks – some had hardly any veggies . . .

closeup of macaroni salad with creamy dressing

Well, here are our two favourite ways to make a good ol’ macaroni salad (pasta salad sounds too posh for this humble family favourite).

 

*Please forgive me for tooting my own horn about winning in this contest – you see, I haven’t won anything since I won a tall chocolate cake covered in gooey pink icing at my Girl Guide fundraising bingo when I was about 12 years old. My winning number was G-60. The fact that I still remember that tells you what a big deal it was for me (being it was a few decades ago and all)!

* * * * *

 

Kitchen Frau Notes: Use any combination of fresh diced vegetables you like. I like crunchy vegetables like celery, radish, pepper, and carrot, but you could use cucumber, zucchini, corn, asparagus, thawed frozen peas, sliced snow peas, daikon radish, blanched beans, black olives, etc. Some people like to add diced cooked ham and cheese to their macaroni salad – whatever tickles your pickle!

main ingredients for macaroni salad chopped veggies go into the macaroni salad

And of course, you don’t have to use macaroni – other pasta shapes work fine, too, although I’d stick with smaller-sized ones. It’s just that macaroni is the traditional noodle used for this type of salad, if you want to be all ‘retro’.

run cold water to cool the macaroni

 * * * * *

  macaroni salad two ways

Macaroni Salad with Two Different Dressing Options

For the salad:

  • 2 cups (8 oz/225gms) uncooked macaroni, gluten-free or regular (4 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups (500ml) finely diced fresh vegetables (I like ½ cup each of celery, radish, red pepper, carrot)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) finely sliced green onions (about 2)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) finely diced pickles
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley or dill
  • your choice of one of the following two dressings

 

Creamy Mayonnaise Dressing

  • ¾ cup (180ml) light mayonnaise (or ½ cup/120ml regular mayonnaise + ¼ cup/60ml yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons milk, regular or non-dairy
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

 

Tangy Oil and Vinegar Dressing

  • ½ cup (120ml) oil (I like grapeseed oil)
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (or horseradish)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water until al dente – still with a slight chewiness. Don’t overcook it. (The Catelli gluten-free pasta I use takes 6 minutes.)

Drain the pasta by dumping it into a colander set in the sink. Immediately run cold water over the pasta, stirring it with your hand, until the noodles are cold. Shake the colander a few times, and allow it to drain completely.

Finely dice the vegetables (carrot can be shredded for convenience).

Place the drained pasta in a bowl, and add the diced vegetables, green onion, pickles and herbs.

Prepare your choice of dressing and add it to the salad, tossing well to combine.

Allow the salad to rest for 15 to 30 minutes for the flavours to mellow before serving.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Makes 6½ cups (1.5l) macaroni salad.

Guten Appetit!

 

You might also like:

Deluxe Crustless Pizza-ghetti Pie

Creamy Potato Salad with Asparagus and Shrimp

Bacon, Egg, and Spinach Salad

Broccoli Lentil Salad

 

 

 

Posted in Pasta, Salads & Dressings | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Prairie Mess (‘Eton Mess’ with Saskatoons and Rhubarb)

Luscious prairie fruits turn this version of Eton Mess into a unique and special dessert.

Prairie Mess is like Eton Mess, but with saskatoons and rhubarb

I turned around, blinked a few times, and my saskatoon bushes went crazy.

Our drought this year has been hard on gardens and crops, and I thought for sure I wouldn’t have much of a saskatoon berry harvest, but to my amazement the bushes somehow ripened and produced berries without me noticing. They’re not as abundant as other years, and the berries are smaller and not quite as juicy or flavourful (lack of water will do that to the poor little blighters), but a decent crop nonetheless. There are even a few branches bending under the weight of their sweet load.

a few of the saskatoon branches are loaded with fruit

Have you heard of ‘Eton Mess‘? It’s a light, creamy, dreamy dessert that originated in Eton College, the well-known British boys’ boarding school. The delightful ‘mess’ of broken meringues, whipped cream, and berries – traditionally strawberries – are all smushed and folded together into a wonderful concoction streaked and swirled in pink and white.

In this Alberta prairie version, the sweet saskatoons berries play beautifully with the tart rhubarb. Swirl them together with the fluffy cream and crispy bits of meringue and you’ll think this is a mess made in heaven, for sure. (I’m positive this must be what the angels eat for bedtime snacks.)

Praire version of Eton Mess in a bowl

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Kitchen Frau Notes: Homemade meringues are quick to make, and keep well for weeks in a covered container. However, if you are out of time or inclination, store-bought meringues will work, too. (I won’t tell.)

You’ll have a couple extra meringues with this recipe. Crumble them up and freeze them in a plastic container to whip up a small batch of Eton Mess or Prairie Mess another time.

And if you can’t get a hold of saskatoons, the tradtional strawberries (diced) are, of course, a wonderful replacement and go equally well with rhubarb.

I’ve served a variation of this dessert for a group of about 30 guests and it was a huge hit. The proportions I use in the recipe are merely guidelines; for larger crowds, just make a bunch of meringues, a big bowl of whipped cream, and a big pot of fruit sauce, then mix them together until they look pretty. Any ratio of fruit to cream will work, really.

The trick when making any ‘Eton Mess’ is to stir it all together as close to serving time as possible, so the crumbled meringue bits stay crispy.

For Dairy Free: Replace the whipped cream with the thick top part of two cans of premium full-fat coconut milk (reserve the watery part for another use), whipped up with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Prairie Mess, like Eton Mess with saskatoons and rhubarb

Prairie Mess

Meringues:

  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (100gms) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)

Fruit:

  • 2 cups (310gms) saskatoons (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups (250gms) diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup (100gms) sugar
  • grated zest of ½ a lemon
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water

Cream:

  • 1 cup (240ml) whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) sour cream, Greek yogurt, or regular yogurt (optional, but it adds a lovely tang)
  • couple handfuls of fresh saskatoon berries (optional)

Make the meringues: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Whip the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until the meringue is thick and glossy white. Beat in the lemon or vanilla extract. Plop the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet in six piles. Spread each pile of meringue around with a spoon to form an approximate 3 inch (7.5cm) circle. No need to be too perfect.

the meringues ready to go into the oven

Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool, with the door closed, for an additional 30 minutes. They will be a light ivory colour, and the outsides will be dry and crispy and the insides, still a bit chewy.

baked meringues for Eton Mess

Make the fruit sauce: Place the saskatoons, rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the rhubarb breaks easily when pressed against the side of the pot with a spoon, and the mixture is thickened like a custard. Allow to cool, then chill until cold.

Whip the cream with the 2 teaspoons sugar, until soft peaks form. Add the sour cream or yogurt and whip just a bit more to stir it in.

Assemble the Prairie Mess: Place the whipped cream in a large shallow bowl. Crumble 4 of the meringues into chunks. (Reserve the other 2 meringues for another use). The largest chunks should be no bigger than about 1 inch (2cm) in diameter. Stir the cream and meringues together lightly to partially combine them. Don’t be too meticulous in the stirring – just toss the spoon around a couple times in the mixture.

Plop the fruit over the top of the cream mixture in spoonfuls (reserve a bit to garnish). Toss a handful of fresh berries on top, if using them. Then lightly swoop a spoon through the mixture, folding it all together so there are streaks of fruit throughout the cream. The trick is not to overmix, or you’ll have a muddy pink mess. You want to see glistening swirls of pink running through the white and cream.

Spoon the ‘Prairie Mess’ into stemmed glasses or pretty serving bowls (clear glass ones show off the ruby red streaks). Top with a spoonful of the reserved fruit sauce and a few fresh saskatoons, if desired.

Serves 6.

Guten Appetit!

You might also like:

How to Clean Saskatoons (and How to Make Saskatoon Juice)

Saskatoon Rolls and Cobbler, and How to Freeze Saskatoons

Canning Saskatoons (and Saskatoon-Peach Preserves)

Saskatoon Slump

Saskatoon Ice Cream (made with Homemade Saskatoon Jelly)

picking plump saskatoon berries

or here are some lovely rhubarb recipes . . .

Mom’s Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Rhubarb Crisp

Baked Rhubarb with Swedish Cream

Rhubarb Cordial

 

Posted in Canadian Food Experience Project, Desserts, Puddings & Such, Fruit, Rhubarb, Saskatoons | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mom’s Rhubarb Cake, with a Custardy Center and Crumble Topping

Cut yourself a big slab of tangy rhubarb cake with its creamy center and sweet crumble topping – it’s the heady taste of summer on your fork.

  a forkful of rhubarb crumble cake

I think I have baked this cake well over a hundred times in my adult life – at a conservative estimate. It’s my mom’s recipe and our kids’ favourite rhubarb cake. When I bake rhubarb cake for the first time each year, we know that Spring has officially arrived and summer is hard on its heels.

There’s something exciting about those gnarly green knobs of wrinkled leaves that poke through the soil when all other greenery is still hiding fearfully, deep in the earth. Rhubarb is one tough dude when it comes to handling our cold winters. In fact, it doesn’t even like living in hot climates. Southerners need to coddle their rhubarb plants like we do our tender tropicals, whereas for us northerners rhubarb grows best when left alone and can outlive some humans. It’s often the one plant thriving amidst the tall, tangled grass around long-abandoned pioneer homes on prairie farm sites  – the sign of a once productive and fruitful homestead garden.

Rhubarb’s old-fashioned name is Pie Plant, and although it’s tartness is unparalleled in a pie (except maybe by the sour cherry pie of Billy Boy fame), rhubarb is pretty wonderful in this jewel-studded cake, too.

a forkful of rhubarb crumble cake

After a long hard winter, it’s exciting to be eating the first edible harvest to be reaped here in the north. Rhubarb cake is the loud, pucker-inducing trumpet blast announcing that growing season is officially here. But it is also the hardy workhorse of summer – its stems provide luscious tart fruit for stewing, crisping, juicing, and baking all season long.

I grow two types of rhubarb in our garden – the regular-sized red rhubarb, and this giant version. I don’t know what variety it is, its stalks are mostly green in colour, very juicy, and the plant is almost as tall as I am. But it’s a bit delicate to move. (One plant died inexplicably when I tried separating it.)

Look how tall the rhubarb plant is

the giant rhubarb plant in the back is taller than 8 year old Meredith

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Kitchen Frau Notes: For a gluten free version of my mom’s rhubarb cake I like to use a good proportion of buckwheat flour. I think it goes wonderfully here because buckwheat and rhubarb are part of the same botanical family. I like light buckwheat flour, but if all you have is the dark kind, then use that, or just substitute your favourite gluten-free flour mix in equal proportions for the regular flour.

This recipe makes a 9×13 inch-sized cake. It may seem large, but we never have a problem with this cake lingering more than a couple days on the counter before the pan has nothing but crumbs in it. However if you like, it’s easy to halve the recipe and bake it in an 8×8 inch square pan. Just halve all the ingredients, using half a beaten egg in the base-and-topping portion, and adding the remaining half an egg to the egg for the custard, so that it uses 1½ eggs, and bake for 45 minutes.

Dairy Free: Use coconut oil or dairy-free margarine instead of butter.

Egg Free: Use ¼ cup (60ml) unsweetened applesauce in place of each egg.

Other Fruits: You can also substitute any other fresh or frozen fruits in this cake – raspberries, apricots, plums – yum. Use only 1 cup (200gms) sugar in the filling then.

pan of rhubarb crumble cake

Mom’s Rhubarb Cake

For the base and topping:

  • 2 cups (280gms) flour – {or for gluten free: 1 cup (140gms) light buckwheat flour +
  •                                                                                  ½ cup (70gms) millet flour +
  •                                                                                  ½ cup (70gms) tapioca starch}
  • ½ cup (115gms) salted butter
  • ½ cup natural evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups (300gms) natural evaporated cane sugar
  • ½ cup (120ml) melted butter, slightly cooled
  • ½ cup (70gms) flour – {or for gluten free: ¼ cup light buckwheat flour +
  •                                                                               ¼ cup tapioca starch}
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (1½lbs/680gms) rhubarb, sliced about ½ inch (1cm) thick
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

For the base: Mix all ingredients for the topping in a mixer or with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Scoop out and set aside 1 cup (240ml) of the crumbles. Press the rest into the prepared pan to make a thin, even crust on the bottom.

press the crust in the pan

For the filling: In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the sugar, melted butter, flour and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.

Add the rhubarb slices to the egg mixture and toss until all the rhubarb is coated.

To assemble: Scrape the rhubarb filling onto the prepared base. Use a spatula to spread it out and even it out as best you can.

rhubarb custard filling for the cake

Spread the reserved crumbs evenly over top, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

rhubarb custard layer on the cake base add the crumble and cinnamon sprinkle

Bake for 1 hour. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Makes 12 squares.

Guten Appetit!

You might also like:

Spruce Tip or Basil Baked Rhubarb Compote with Silky Swedish Cream

Apple or Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb Cordial

Apple Buckwheat Crumble Cake

Posted in Cakes, Canadian Food Experience Project, Gardening, Rhubarb | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

We’re Having a Heat Wave – I Need Me Some Creamy Coconut Mango Ice Cream

Beat the heat with a creamy, dairy free, Coconut Mango Ice Cream or Popsicles – no need to pull out the ice cream maker!

2 dishes of coconut mango ice cream

It is HOT outside. We’ve had many days in a row now with temperatures over 30° C. We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave – the words to that song keep playing in my head and I’m feeling all sultry and lazy. Who wants to do anything more than loll around in the shade and sip icy drinks?

Yes, the weather sounds lovely and tropical, but we northerners start to melt in extended heat. Most of our homes don’t have air conditioning (but we do have massive, state-of-the-art, heat-blasting furnace systems) and we don’t know how to deal with the soaring temperatures when they last more than a few days at a time – and neither do our gardens.

it's dry in the garden

this year the lawn hasn’t grown much, so we don’t have grass clippings to mulch between the rows, making the garden even more dry

The poor little plants are wilted and drooping by midday, a lot of the vegetable seeds we planted just baked, and didn’t even show their heads above ground.

wilting calendula wilting collard greens

The grass is getting brown and crunchy to walk on (except for the dandelions and clover – they are THRIVING!)

the lawn is brown and crunchy

in some spots, the only green in the lawn comes from those pesky dandelions

And worst of all, the farmers are starting to seriously suffer. Crops look terrible and will have to be plowed under if we don’t get rain soon. To make matters worse, we’ve had some serious thunderstorms, with hail in certain areas. And though we’ve, luckily, had no hail, we also haven’t had any thundershowers either.

seeds didn't sprout

in many spots in the garden, the seeds never even sprouted, and I had to reseed

The only water I can use for our plants is the stuff we’ve collected in rain barrels from the few cloudbursts we had weeks ago. Our well water is too full of sodium and will be worse for plants and soil than no water, so I ration out the saved rain water.

coconut mango ice cream, peonies blooming

however, the peonies and roses are loving this heat – they’re more beautiful than ever

coconut mango ice cream, peony closeup roses blooming

Inside, I try all the hot weather tricks: open windows at night to collect every bit of cool air. Close windows late morning. Keep drapes closed during the day to keep hot sun out. We’ve got fans going in every room, and I move from one fan to another as I do the minimum amount of work I can. In the kitchen I have two large fans blasting at me from different angles, and I try not to use the oven to add more heat to the house.

I make big stock pots full of iced herbal and green teas to chill in the fridge, and we eat a lot of salads and cold things . . . like this delicious, creamy, frosty, throat-cooling coconut mango ice cream. It’s actually more like a sherbet or gelato, rich with intense fruity flavour, but the main thing is, it’s cold and delicious. (I could slather it all over my body, but I won’t waste the taste!)

coconut mango ice cream, scooped from dish

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Kitchen Frau Notes: The beauty of this ice cream is that you can make it without an ice cream maker. Even though I love my ice cream maker, sometimes I’m not organized to think ahead and freeze the canister for the required 24 hours before I can use it – I want ice cream now! So if you have a food processor or powerful blender, you can make mango ice cream in minutes.

coconut mango ice cream, almost ready

almost ready

coconut mango ice cream, smooth and creamy

now it’s smooth

When mangoes are in season, it’s easy to cut up a bunch (see How to Cut Up a Mango here), freeze the cubes on parchment-lined cookie sheets, then pop them into zip-top bags to have ready in the freezer, or buy bags of frozen cubed mango to have on hand for smoothies and this coconut mango ice cream. (Superstore sells handy 600 gram bags of frozen mango cubes.)

coconut mango ice cream ingredients

You need to use full-fat premium canned coconut milk here – the light version will not do – since you need to use the separated thick creamy part that rises to the top of the can. The Thai Kitchen brand I normally buy is usually already separated, but some other brands need to have the can of coconut milk refrigerated overnight in order for the creamy part to separate from the watery part.

Save the watery part of the coconut milk to use in smoothies, soups or curries. It can be frozen for later use, too.

 

coconut mango ice cream with spoons

Creamy Coconut Mango Ice Cream

gluten free and dairy free

  • 4 cups (600gms) frozen mango chunks
  • 1 can (140z/398ml) full-fat, premium coconut milk
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey (maple syrup or agave nectar for vegan version)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Place the frozen mango chunks in the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. Tip the can of coconut milk upside down, and open the bottom end of the can. The thin liquid should now be on top. Pour it out and save it for another use. Scoop the thick, white coconut cream that is left in the bottom of the can into the food processor. You should have a little less than a cup of coconut cream. Add the lime zest, honey, and lime juice.

Process until smooth, scraping down the sides  a couple times during blending. This could take several minutes. At first it will seem like nothing is blending, then slowly the mass will start to move in the food processor and come together to be smooth and creamy.

You can serve it immediately as Coconut Mango Soft Serve, or freeze it for 2 to 3 hours until it is a firmer texture for scooping. Stir the mixture every hour while it is freezing and it will harden up more evenly. If this ice cream is left to freeze overnight, it gets quite hard – in that case, remove it from the freezer about 30 minutes before serving to allow it to soften enough to scoop.

The mixture can also be frozen in an ice cream maker (follow manufacturer’s directions) for a softer ice cream that won’t freeze as solid if frozen for more than a few hours.

*You can also spoon the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until firm – it makes wonderful popsicles.

Makes 3½ cups.

Guten Appetit!

 

You might also like:

Watermelon Lime Ice with a Tequila Option

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

Saskatoon Ice Cream

Cherry Ice Cream

 Homemade Ice Cream Cake

 

Posted in Dairy-free, Fruit, Gardening, Ice Cream & Cold Things | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cooking with Kids: Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Beat the summer heat with frozen chocolate covered bananas on a stick, rolled in crunchy coatings. A great project to make with kids.

cooking with kids: frozen chocolate banana pops

Cooking with Meredith

Be a kid a gain? Oh, yes. The living is easy when your only decisions are Do I like the banana pop with the peanuts or the one with sprinkles? . . .

I like the frozen banana pop with peanuts

 . . . and Should I share with the dog?

Should I share my frozen banana pop with the dog?

I remember the first time I ever tasted one of these frozen banana pops. It was when I was fifteen and my family traveled to Disneyland with my cousins’ family for Christmas. The grown-ups handed us older kids our passes and let us loose each day while they stayed with the younger kids in the kiddie rides section. We had the whole (Disney) world by the tail! My favourite ride was, and still is, the Pirates of the Caribbean – ooooh, that stomach-tingling dip and those hilarious pirate antics. (But I am a wimp. Pirates is the scariest ride I can handle. Roller coasters – nuh-uh!)

Nibbling on a frosty chocolate covered banana on a stick is one of the memories all tangled together from that first heady Disney visit.

Making these frozen treats with kids is fun and easy. You don’t need a deep vat of chocolate to dip the banana into; just slather the melted chocolate on with a knife and roll it in toppings for an easy homemade version. When I close my eyes and gnaw the sweet treat, I’m back in that magical summer place, riding the roller coaster as if I can, squealing with delight.

You’re never too old to enjoy an icy summertime treat.

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: You can use milk chocolate in these frozen banana pops, or dark chocolate, chocolate chips, chunks, or chopped chocolate. The amount is approximate. Use any kind of nuts or seeds you like – Meredith and I used unsalted roasted peanuts, but I imagine salted ones or honey roasted ones would be delicious as well. If you can’t wait until the chocolate banana pops are fully frozen, serve them after freezing for about an hour, when the banana is frosty cold and the texture is just starting to change. Pretty good that way, too!

Cut the bananas into quarters for snack sized pops, or halves for the traditional kind.

Have fun with these.

a tray of frozen chocolate banana pops

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops

  • 2 large unblemished ripe bananas
  • 1 cup dark or milk chocolate chips or chunks (gluten free, if necessary)
  • coating ingredients of choice: chopped toasted* nuts or seeds, toasted coconut, or sprinkles
  • 4 to 8 wooden popsicle sticks

*To toast nuts, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden and fragrant. Coconut may take less time than that, depending how fine it is shredded. Let cool.

Peel the bananas and cut them into quarters or halves, depending on the size of pops you want. Push a wooden popsicle stick halfway up into the cut end of each banana piece. Lay the banana pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet or small tray.

Prepare your coating ingredients by pouring them into a flat bowl or pie dish.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one. It should only take about 1 to 1½ minutes. The last little bits of unmelted chocolate will melt from the heat of the melted chocolate while stirring.

You can also melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure not to let any moisture get into the chocolate or it can seize up (get grainy and harden).

Using a butter knife or a wooden popsicle stick, spread the chocolate over each banana piece, making sure to coat it completely and spread it right up to the popsicle stick at the bottom end.

spreading the chocolate

Roll the chocolate-covered banana in the coating ingredient, using your fingers to sprinkle bits onto any areas that aren’t covered.

sprinkle on the coating in bald spats

Return the pops onto the lined cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about one hour for chilled pops, and four hours for frozen pops.

Lick any bits of melted chocolate off your hands when you are all finished.

licking fingers, chocolate banana pops

When the pops are frozen, enjoy them right away, or wrap each one in plastic wrap and store in a sealed freezer-safe container for up to a month.

Makes 4 large pops or 8 snack-sized pops.

Guten Appetit!

 

See what else we’ve been having fun with in our ‘Cooking with Kids’ section!

You might also like:

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

Cantaloupe Creamsicle Smoothie

Homemade Marshmallows (no-thermometer method)

Cooling Watermelon-Lime Ice

Posted in Chocolate, Cooking with Kids, Fruit, Ice Cream & Cold Things, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment