Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Banana Cream

I love the occasional calorie splurge for ice cream, but most often I prefer more nutritious and lighter desserts. My Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Banana Cream meets my regular sweet tooth criteria, while also delivering a decadent taste. A frozen treat that is reminiscent of peanut butter and vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate and bits of pretzels. This kid-friendly recipe is easy and fun to make, but plan in advance because the child in all of us may not want to wait an hour for freezing.

Ingredients:
3 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup peanut butter
⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
⅓ cup chopped pretzels
coconut flakes for serving

Directions:

  1. Combine bananas and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. The creamy mixture will resemble the texture of soft-serve ice cream. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue processing to reach this consistency.
  2. Add peanut butter and pulse gently to combine. Remove peanut butter banana cream and place in a freezer safe container. Stir in chocolate chips and pretzels.
  3. Cover and freeze for an hour. Serve in bowls or in a cone and top with coconut flakes.

Servings: 4

Bourbon Baked Apples with Creamy Peanut Butter

Are you craving dessert, but you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy? Dessert does not have to be off limits. Instead of depriving yourself, select recipes made with nutritious ingredients like this dish with fresh apples, protein-packed peanut butter and non-fat Greek yogurt. Cheers to a healthy year filled with delicious and nutritious sweet treats.

Ingredients:
3 apples, such as Braeburn
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon skim milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a baking dish.
  2. Core and slice apples, leaving the skin on, and place in prepared baking dish. Drizzle apples with maple syrup and bourbon, and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with a spatula to evenly coat and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until apples are tender.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium bowl with a handheld mixer, combine peanut butter, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and milk. Mix until creamy and smooth.
  4. Serve apples with a dollop of creamy peanut butter.

Servings: 6

Bacon and Apple Peanut Butter Dip

The inspiration for this dish came from a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky that serves a honey bourbon and sugar glazed bacon appetizer with peanut butter. My version is lighter, but still captures the wonderful combination of bacon and peanut butter. I know it sounds a little odd, but once you have tasted it you will forget all about peanut butter’s famous sidekick — jelly. Peanut butter and bacon is the new duo in town.

This appetizer is a perfect pairing with your favorite Kentucky bourbon. It brings out the whiskey’s sweet notes of vanilla, caramel and honey. Cheers to good bourbon, an appetizer your friends will love and adventurous food combinations.

Ingredients:
1 pound center cut bacon, cooked
1 large apple, sliced
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon skim milk

Directions:
1. In a blender or food process, combine peanut butter, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and milk. Blend or process until smooth.
2. Serve immediately with bacon and apple slices or refrigerating until ready to serve.

Servings: 6 ~ Serving size: 2 bacon slices, 4 apple slices and  1½ tablespoons dip