What is it about peanut butter that makes you start out with a spoonful on toast and end up with spoon in your hand and half the jar gone in a blink?! ? I know I’m not the only one guilty here… ?
Somehow I can pace myself better if I incorporate the peanut butter *into* things… like these bars. Plus, peanut butter + banana in a highly customizable, grab-n-go ice cream bar situation is a combo that’s hard to beat.
This recipe is basically like a glorified slice of nice cream (banana ice cream), but the added the peanut butter and other goodies worked in make it extra creamy. It’s totally a make-ahead-of-time treat to have ready for after school snacks, or something to grab when you need a snack in a hurry… that kind of thing.
You can store and portion it easily thanks to the handy crust. And the toasted peanut topping + any other toppings you’d like to throw on there add a satisfying variety and texture.
Depending on how you’re feeling, you can vary things as you like. I made several versions. The one pictured has dried mulberries in the crust as opposed to peanuts. Both ways were ?. Mulberries make a softer chewier crust. Peanuts… well, it’s hard to argue against peanuts and their toasty deliciousness. You can also use a different nut or seed of your choice (whatever’s on hand…).
For the topping, I left them blank in the photos (there’s just a tinge of chocolate drizzle visible). I was undecided how to top them, and so decided to leave it a clean canvas for your imagination to step in. Throw in some chocolate chips or chunks, drizzle with some dulce de leche or a caramel sauce, this condensed milk, melted chocolate or a diy chocolate or carob sauce… Swirl in some jam before freezing…
Oh, one last note. I got raw peanuts and toasted them myself (just easier than trying to find oil-free, wheat-free, unsalted roasted peanuts). If you wanted to do the same, just pre-heat the oven to 350, spread the peanuts out on a cookie tray lined with a piece of parchment and toast briefly until they begin to golden up. Be sure to watch them like a hawk because they go from zero to burned in seconds sometimes! Usually takes less than 10 mins total. Then let them cool off on a rack before using in the recipe.
- 1 cup toasted unsalted peanuts (or dried white mulberries)
- 4 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 frozen bananas (or fresh, though it'll take longer to set)
- 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup toasted unsalted peanuts
- optional: melted chocolate for drizzling, chocolate chips, or dulce de leche
- Line a small tupperware container with some parchment paper and set aside (I used one that is roughly 6"x4.5").
- Process all base ingredients into a sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer into the prepared lined container and press down into an even flat crust. Freeze while working on the next layer.
- Blend all ice cream ingredients into a smooth consistency in a high power blender (use the tamper if using a vitamix to help you along). Pour this mixture over the prepared base. Sprinkle with peanuts (and any other toppings you like). Freeze for 4-5 hours to set. Remove from the container, cut into squares and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.