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June Recipe

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CHOCOLATE COVERED BANANA “POPS”

With the hot days of summer upon us, kids need snacks to cool down.  So often, that means ice cream; after all, it is summer.  As a much healthier alternative to ice cream, why not treat your kids to chocolate covered frozen bananas!  They taste just like ice cream, and are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and potassium – and kids just love them!  They are so simple to make too!  (An Added Bonus:  if you add some orange or orange zest to the chocolate (in our recipe below) you are also increasing iron in your child's or teen's diet!)
Directions:
• Peel bananas [Do not skip this step!]
• Insert a skewer or ice cream stick into each banana
• Put bananas in Ziploc bags and freeze overnight
• Melt dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa, to get antioxidant benefits!)
• Dip each frozen banana in melted dark chocolate* (covering just 1/3 of banana)
• Add fun healthy toppings, like nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut, or granola [you may need to re-freeze for some of these]
*To infuse the dark chocolate with flavor, try this recipe for orange flavored chocolate:
Orange Flavored Chocolate*:
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa)
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • ½ cup rice, almond, or cow’s milk
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • Orange zest (optional)

To prepare:
• Melt the chocolate in a pan just until starting to melt then remove and stir until fully liquid.
• Add in sugar to taste and then milk and stir in thoroughly.
• Stir in yogurt and orange juice until thoroughly mixed.
• For extra orange taste, add 1 tbsp. zest (buy organic, if possible, and thoroughly wash orange before zesting)
 

*By combing orange and dark chocolate you are adding a significant amount of iron to your child's diet!  That's because chocolate is a great source of non-heme iron; but, it must be eaten with foods that are rich in Vitamin C, like oranges, for the body to absorb the iron! 



What are Some of the Benefits of Eating Bananas?
• Bananas are especially good to eat when you exercise or play sports, because bananas have a lot of complex, slow-acting carbohydrates in them (which gives you energy for a long time when you exercise) and especially, because they have potassium in them.
• Athletes lose potassium when they exercise and when they sweat, which can cause muscle cramping (especially very painful leg cramping) and an irregular heart beat.
• Eating bananas before and after exercise can help prevent you from getting muscle cramps.
• When you exercise, your body also loses a lot of water:  eating bananas also helps regulate the amount of water in your body (and can help prevent dehydration).
• Foods with sodium (or salt) also helps your body retain water, but high levels of salt can raise your blood pressure, leading to stroke and heart disease, SO . . .
• Bananas are such a great alternative because they contain no sodium and still help control the fluids (water levels) in your body!
Here is a list of some of the great benefits of bananas:

•  Good Brain Function:  potassium in bananas helps deliver oxygen to the brain – so it’s a great BRAIN-BOOSTING food:  (ex. there was a clinical study involving 200 students who ate bananas 3x/day:  found potassium boosted these students brain power and made students more alert in class)
•  Helps Your Heart:  potassium helps regulate the heartbeat and can prevent heart disease
• Protects against kidney cancer
• Builds Stronger Bones:  helps the body absorb calcium
• Protects Eyesight (as good as eating carrots!)
• Reduces Anxiety and Stress (such as before a test!):  has something called “tryptophan” which makes people feel calm, happy
• Mosquito Bites:  you can put the inside part of the peel on a mosquito bite and it will reduce itching and any swelling
• Garden Fertilizer:  banana peels are a great organic fertilizer for plants and flowers, especially roses.  Put banana peels at the base of a rose bush and notice how it helps your rose bush grow!
Creative ways to add more bananas to your diet:
• Put on cereal
• Put in yogurt
• Blend with milk
• Put in a smoothie
• Add to muffins, cakes before baking:  as a banana ripens (the browner & uglier the banana gets, the sweeter it becomes (this is because the sugar content increases when it ripens) – so you can use less sugar in baking if you add a banana to the batter!
• Freeze and eat like an ice cream pop (for an extra special treat, dip in melted dark chocolate and then dip in nuts, seeds, or coconuts!)

 ©2012 Kids Heart Felt Health Inc.

AUGUST RECIPES - GRILLED CHEESE & ROASTED TOMATO, BASIL PESTO, & WATERMELON PEACH SLUSHIES

SEPTEMBER RECIPE - APPLE CINNAMON RAISIN MUFFINS

OCTOBER RECIPES - WHOLE WHEAT PIZZAS, QUICK-FIX VEGGIE TOMATO SAUCE, & CHIA SEED JELLO

DECEMBER RECIPES - MINTY BEAN BROWNIES & DARK CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS