Superfood Berry and Banana Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan)

This post features free samples of Grandy Oats' new paleo granola, Coconola.

I'll admit it: no matter how much I enjoy healthy eating, I've never been a "fruit for dessert" kind of girl. Fruit is delicious. Fruit can be super sweet. But, in this chocoholic's book, even the tastiest banana does not belong in the same category as chocolate cake. Until I created this banana-packed healthy dessert recipe, anyway.

Superfood Berry and Banana Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Just picture biting into a sweet slice of frozen banana, made slightly crunchy by a homemade cacao magic shell and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. Craving a slightly tarter treat? Reach for a strawberry slice instead, coated in a frozen spirulina sauce and topped with Grandy Oats' new grain-free, vegan granola! Since these healthy snacks are made with ingredients like coconut oil (shown to increase eater's good cholesterol levels), bananas and strawberries (respectively high in potassium and vitamin C), and various superfoods (ranging from vegan-protein-packed spirulina to hemp and chia seeds, which are full of fiber and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), you can satisfy your sweet tooth while getting a nutrient boost at the same time!

The idea for this healthy snack recipe hit me shortly after Grandy Oats offered to send me samples of their new grain-free granola, Coconola. Coconola uses shredded coconut instead of oats to create a paleo, organic and non-GMO healthy snack. This gluten free granola also comes in three varieties - Original, Chocolate Chunk and Super Hemp Blend - and the latter two flavors (which I chose to use in this recipe) are vegan as well. If all of that isn't impressive enough, Grandy Oats make all of their granolas in small batches at their own solar-powered (mind = blown) bakery in Maine.

Superfood Berry and Banana Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan)

As for how their granola tastes (the real important question, obviously!), all I can say is that if you're a fan of crunchy, slightly sweet, somewhat chunky granola, you'll be just addicted to Coconola addict as I am. I particularly love how Coconola takes simple ingredients like unsweetened coconut, nuts, seeds, maple syrup and vanilla and transforms them into a delicious gluten free snack. So, I decided to see how I could transform simple bananas and berries into a healthy vegan dessert that people would actually crave...which is when these superfood berry and banana bites were born!

What You Need to Make Your Superfood Banana Bites:

Ready to dive into making your own secretly healthy dessert? Then gather the following ingredients.

(One note: I know that superfood powders and toppings like the ones I used in this recipe are not staples in the average American kitchen. However, you can definitely use whatever spices or toppings you happen to have on hand, whether its cocoa powder and crushed nuts or cinnamon and seeds. "Superfoods" are defined as any foods that are considered beneficial to one's health, so don't be afraid to get creative with whatever ingredients you have on hand!)

Superfood Banana Bite Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, sliced to around half an inch thick and frozen for at least 2 hours
1-2 large strawberries, thinly sliced and frozen
~ 1/4 cup of coconut oil
Various superfood powders of choice, such as cacao powder, spirulina, camu camu, maca, turmeric, etc. You could also try spices like cinnamon, pumpkin spice, etc.
Various superfood crunchy toppings, including chia seeds, hemp seeds and Grandy Oats' paleo granola, Coconola (using the hemp or chocolate flavor to make these snacks vegan)

Superfood Berry and Banana Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan)

How to Make Your Superfood Banana Bites

Besides the delicious taste and healthy ingredients, another awesome thing about this healthy snack idea is how easy they are to make. Begin by cutting up one to two ripe bananas (depending on how many banana bites you want to make) and strawberries. As you can tell by the pictures, I experimented with different shapes and sizes, so how you want to cut your bananas is up to you! Typically, though, I cut my fruit slices to be around half an inch thick. Place your fruit slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, a plate or in a bag, and freeze them for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
Right before you want to start decorating your banana bites, melt around 1/4 cup of coconut oil (the amount you need may vary depending on how many bites you make/how thick you spread the sauce). If you just want to use one coating flavor (like cacao for instance), you can mix around one tablespoon of the powder into the liquid coconut oil. Then, put your banana and berry bites on a piece of parchment paper and start coating the fruit in your sauce. I dipped half of my bites and poured the sauce over the other half of the batch, so how you coat your fruit is up to you. Because coconut oil will freeze in cold temperatures, the sauce should start to solidify when it touches the fruit. To make sure your crunchy toppings stick to your bites, sprinkle your choice of toppings over the fruit right after you've added the coating. 


Superfood Berry and Banana Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan)

If you want to create a rainbow of superfood-packed healthy snacks like I did, put roughly one tablespoon of the coconut oil in various containers (I used small, glass bowls) and add around one teaspoon of your choice of superfood powders to each. For my berry and banana bites, I used cacao powder, spirulina, turmeric and camu camu powder. I also decided to up the superfood status of this gluten free recipe even more by sprinkling on toppings like hemp seeds (which you'll probably be seeing a lot more of now that I'm an ambassador for Manitoba Harvest!), chia seeds and, of course, some crumbled up Coconola. Whatever powders and toppings you use, though, you'll follow the same protocol: dip and sprinkle.

You'll want to dip and sprinkle the toppings on your banana bites relatively quickly since they will start to defrost and the coconut oil won't freeze as well. However, that's nothing that 15-minutes in the freezer can't fix, and you can always make your banana bites in batches as well. 

Superfood Berry and Banana Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Once you're done decorating your healthy desserts, give them a few hours to completely set before transferring them from the parchment paper to a plastic container or bag in your freezer. Personally, I love having these berry and banana bites in my freezer for a quick treat or snack on the go. If you're feeling extra creative, you can also use these vegan snacks as toppings for smoothie bowls, yogurt parfaits, chia seed puddings or whatever else your heart (and stomach) desires! 

Everyone's definition of a "dessert" is different, and while a naked banana might be the exact treat you need, sometimes, a girl needs extra chocolate. When those dessert cravings hit, why not give your regular fruity snacks an upgrade by combining some delicious fruit with more equally delicious toppings?


And if a bag of Coconola just happens to disappear while you're snacking on these berry and banana bites, well, I certainly won't judge!


*I received samples of Coconola from Grandy Oats for no charge in return for an honest review. However, all thoughts, recipes, photographs and opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac.*



What would you use as toppings for these berry and banana bites? Tell me in the comments!


Comments

  1. I love this idea! True story, if I had to pick between ice cream or a frozen chocolate covered banana, I'd pick the banana every time. I don't know what it is about them - I just freaking adore them! Love the added superfood boost to these as well!

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