Since 2012, Jon and I have a tradition of attending “SunFest” – a local music festival in West Palm Beach. SunFest lasts five days, and we’re always sure to make it there at least one or two nights. It ends with a big fireworks display that is a lot of fun to watch.
SunFest isn’t just a festival to us – it’s what allowed us to discover one of the most life-changing ideas for our diet and fitness program: The Frozen Banana Dessert.
Before I met Jon five years ago, I had never eaten a frozen banana. I never even thought to freeze them. But on trips to Florida, I noticed that when he made Vitamix-blended shakes for us, he would always pull out a Frozen Banana and throw it in (which made the drink cold, sweet, and refreshing). Jon would often buy a couple cartons of bananas, allow them to ripen until they were almost brown, peel them, and freeze them all. (It was convenient in the sense of us having a frozen banana ready when we needed it, but problematic if we ever needed any extra freezer space.)
This went on for several months as Jon continued preparing his smoothies.
Then, we attended our first SunFest in May of 2012, and everything changed.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw I girl walking by with a frozen banana on a stick, covered in fudge and walnuts. At that moment, a lightbulb went off.
I tugged at Jon’s shirt, “Look what she’s eating! We can EAT the frozen bananas at home and have them for dessert!” Sure enough, another 20 yards down the strip, we came across the Frozen Banana vendor that was selling these treats.
At this point, we had only just begun our journey towards a healthy lifestyle, and a typical dessert was still frozen yogurt, sorbet, or “mochi” ice cream.
Once we incorporated the Frozen Banana, the landscape changed forever.
Our first version of the frozen banana dessert involved melting some dark chocolate in a pan and pouring it on top. We continued to vary up our topping with nuts, dried fruit, cacao nibs, and coconut shavings. We also went to Costco and bought some frozen berries, which we added.
For a while we experimented with adding various sweeteners – honey and agave nectar – although now we find the Frozen Banana to be sweet enough by itself.
Over time, there were many versions of the Frozen Banana dessert, but we have come to trust one particular concoction nowadays. Frozen banana, with pieces of dark chocolate form our favorite bar (Green and Black’s 85%), plenty of walnuts or brazil nuts (sometimes almonds or hazelnuts as well), and dried fruit (figs, dates, or raisins).
When you freeze your bananas, make sure they’re ripe to the point of being almost brown -- then peel and store them in a glass container. When you take out your banana for your dessert, allow it to sit for 5 minutes so it thaws out a bit. This way, it will be cold but not rock solid, and you’ll enjoy it all the more.
This year at Sunfest, we didn’t have any life-changing epiphanies. But we still had a blast.