Meet My New Friend, Mr. Banana

I think something is wrong with my brain. I love to report funny things my kids say (which others probably don't think are quite as funny as this mama does), but no matter how hard I try lately, my brain won't remember them for more than thirty seconds. Today, I choose to blame my lack of brain function on the fact that two little boys at my house seem to think that, since the sun is up, it is acceptable for them to wake up at 5:15am. I will go ahead and say that I go by the name Oscar, as in The Grouch, until at least 6:30, which is when I made Luke wait until before I would get him breakfast. At least I am not hiding or denying the fact that I am mean at that hour of the morning. And what's worse is that I don't even feel the need to apologize for it. I feel pretty sure that when one is woken up before 6am, that person is not responsible for being nice. I'm not sure why I told you all of that except that I do feel entitled to some sympathy for being woken up so early.

Though I can't remember anything cute or adorable my kids have said lately, I can remember all the foods we've been enjoying around here. I am not a fan of plain, straight out of the peel bananas, but I sure have grown fond of lots of desserts you can make with them. I've been a fan of the good ole classic homemade banana pudding for years, of course. But lately, I've also grown quite fond of frozen chocolate-covered bananas. We've been buying Diana's Bananas when they're BOGO at my beloved Publix. There may have been a time that, for the protection of our marriage, we kept separate boxes on each side of the freezer to ensure that we each got an equal share of bananas. Hey, we don't lead a newlywed Sunday School class for no reason. We've got this marriage thing figured out. A great thing about this little treat is that it's only 130 calories, unlike the (small) bag of Chex Mix I just downed.

I love to bake and am not so fond of cooking real food, and desserts are something I'm usually pretty good at making. (Other then the occassional bundt cake that just will not let go of the pan.) I felt very domesticated when I used some of our quickly ripening bananas a couple of weeks ago to make this chocolate chip banana bread.

Obviously, adding chocolate to bananas has become a trend in my life. Can you blame me? I'm of the firm opinion that chocolate should be added to most things. And if it can't be added to certain foods because it would just be disgusting, like lima beans, you should consume chocolate right after you get done eating the other food. I will say that I have become a chocolate snob. I greatly prefer dark as well as a higher class of chocolate than Hershey's. Dove is good. Godiva is amazing. But it's still not good on lima beans.

Last, but certainly not least, my love of frugality, my dislike of excess fat, and lactose's dislike of me collided with Chris' fondness for Chick-fil-A's banana pudding milkshakes. We have come up with our home recipe that, while it's certainly more than 130 calories, is not as bad as the 700+ calories in the Chick's shake and can be made in a lactose-free variety. It's simple.

1.Peel and freeze a banana.
2. Once it's frozen, combine 1/2 cup of milk (skim or soy would be great), 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream (light or frozen yogurt is a good idea), a little bit of vanilla extract and the banana in a blender.
3. Liquefy it.
4. Then add six (or more) vanilla wafers. (This is where a low calorie substitute would be great, but unfortunately does not exist.)
5. Blend them just enough to chop them into small pieces.
6. Drink your little slice of banana heaven and thank me later.

I hope this has helped the banana's reputation with those of you who, like me, have always thought it really shouldn't be considered a fruit because it has a weird texture and just isn't yummy enough to be categorized with strawberries, watermelon, and apples. Sometimes we all need a little help to be attractive to others. I feel the bananas pain, so I had to do my duty and give it the help it needs. You're welcome, Mr. Banana.


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