Momma Told Me: Bananguins and Penanas, Oh, My! A Simple Snack Solution

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Bananguins and Penanas, Oh, My! A Simple Snack Solution

Bananguins or Penanas? These Banana Penguins are delicious either way!
Momma Told Me: All you need is a little imagination.

As a kid I wasn't a particularly difficult eater. Getting child to try something new is really the majority of the battle, and my father had the "try a bite and I'll give you a piece of chocolate," bribe down well. With palettes that are still developing, childhood is widely regarded as an individual's most open time for flavor exploration. And, so long as you don't 'classify' what is being put in a child's mouth, you can typically convince them to sample foods they would otherwise have mental roadblocks to as an adult. One is much more likely to enjoy calamari when told it's chicken, than being handed a sushi menu 20 years later and presented with the information it is, in fact squid.
Bananguins or Penanas? These Banana Penguins are delicious either way!
In any case, one of the toughest roadblocks to childhood nutrition is the identification of a food as a fruit or vegetable. Most children will prefer one food group heavily over the other. For me, I always loved the flavor of bananas, but was a highly texturally aware child. I did not like the feel of the actual raw banana mushing in my mouth; it always reminded me of Momma's hospital tapioca pudding. Momma's answer, with nearly any fruit, was to freeze it. Freezing things not only prolong the time it takes to consume them (when frozen,) but also seem to make foods instantly magical. Like a living fruit Popcicle, without all the added processing an flavors!
Bananguins or Penanas? These Banana Penguins are delicious either way!
As an adult I still prefer to freeze my fruit today- only know I also have the added incentive of fruit being plain expensive to buy fresh, and the knowledge that fresh fruit spoils quickly if uneaten. One of my favorite ways to enjoy bananas are, naturally, dipped in chocolate and frozen. Of course I always have that twinge of guilt in the pit of my stomach as I munch through an entire banana encased in semi-sweet chocolate. So, when I saw these Chocolate Dipped Banana Penguins on Pinterest I knew I had to make them. Finally, the perfect compromise of sweet and healthy, whilst being perfectly adorable.
Bananguins or Penanas? These Banana Penguins are delicious either way!
I could give you a recipe, but you really don't need one on these, do you? It's as easy as taking just ripened bananas (I prefer to freeze mine just as the peels begin to form brown spots,) cutting them in half, and freezing them. Leave the peels on, they will help preserve the color of your bananas; and be sure to seal them in a freezer safe bag. When you are ready to make your Pengnanas simply pull out a half cup of semi-sweet melting morsels, some candy eyes (from the local grocer's baking aisle), and some orange chocolate candy pieces. With the banana halves frozen, peel them and gently dunk the to half in the melted chocolate, rolling softly side by side to create the 'tuxedo' effect. Place your eyes and 'beak' on the soft melted chocolate, then drizzle a little dollop at the base and place your 'feet.' Make sure to keep your Penguins frozen until you're ready to serve them, and keep in mind that the moisture from thawing will eventually make the candy eyes ink 'bleed,' so eat them as fresh as possible from the freezer!

How do you re-imagine foods to make them more fun?

What Daughter Says: A little imagination goes a long way to make the daily fruits and veggies more appealing.


Bananguins or Penanas? These Banana Penguins are delicious either way!

18 comments:

  1. OH my goodness, these are adorable! I love the eyes (and that you can buy them ready-made). What a fun, but healthy, treat!

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  2. I don't think I do necessarily re-imagine food as I don't have children. I do like to make ice cream cakes though....

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  3. This is such a cute idea! How fun!!

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  4. That is so delicious looking and I bet my kids would love it

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  5. Those are so cute. I would love to make these for a potluck sometime.

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  6. These are the cutest darn things i have seen and you can bet I pinned it too. ADORABLE. I'll bet kids would have fun making them too!

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  7. Bananguins!! That's so cute. Pinned, as well.

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  8. Adorable!! I'm making these for the boys today! I have the eyes, I have the chocolate, and I have the bananas! I don't have the orange candies, but I do have some jelly beans I can turn on their side and use! Thank you for another wonderful idea!!

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  9. Oh those are the cutest darn things. I will absolutely be trying this.

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  10. What an adorable snack treat. I showed my daughter and she wants to make them with me.

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  11. These are too cute! They would be perfect for a children's party; the kids could even help make them.

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  12. These are too cute and I'm going to try these out on my grand kids when they come for their summer vacation with me. We just may have a penguin day!

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  13. My philosophy: eat an apple and a chocolate bar and they cancel each other out. I think that applies with this as well ;)

    BTW those are awwww-worthy adorable!

    When my sister and I were younger my mom always told us we had to be apart of the 'tasty club'.

    When you're a kid you don't want to be excluded from any club!

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  14. Well that is just the cutest thing. I never would have thought of that.

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  15. Hi, are the semi sweet melting morsels plain 'ol chocolate chips, or are they specialty melting chips? Thanks!

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  16. OK, we did these with the grand babies and it was difficult to peal the bananas. Anyone else have a problem. We had them in the freezer for 1 week with the peels on. Suggestions please??

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  17. This recipe lead to a complete disaster with many bananas : 1st we could not peel then after freezing (confirming Linda's comment above).
    So I froze them without the peels.Next problem was how to hold them to dip them in the chocolate. Then, They started thawing and the chocolate came off the banana.
    I wish I'd found the way to make them as they look, as he idea is great, but the result with the given recipe isn't.

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