Peanut Butter Banana Cups

    Sometimes, inspiration strikes at the oddest moments.  I have bananas on my counter for my family, and I was stirring up a new jar of peanut butter when I got hit with the intense craving for peanut butter and bananas.  Prior to going low-carb, I didn't eat a lot of bananas, but when I did, it was usually with peanut butter, or in a grilled peanut butter sandwich with honey.  I have bananas on my counter all the time and they don't phase me one bit, but something about them being right next to my precious peanut butter (yes, I seriously love that stuff) triggered a pretty wild craving.

    So what's a low-carb girl to do?  I started to panic!  I had a bit of the peanut butter off the spoon hoping it would stifle my craving, but it only seemed to make it worse.  It was as if some unseen force was pushing me to have a good idea.  In just a few minutes, I had a nice big batch of these ready for the freezer, and crossed my fingers that this would turn out the way I hoped.  It did, and I couldn't be happier!

    Peanut Butter Banana Cups
    makes about 20


    1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
    1/2 cup Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter 
    1 tsp Watkins Banana Extract
    6 drops EZ-Sweetz

    Put the coconut oil in a microwavable glass measuring cup to keep things neat, and warm it in the microwave until warm and completely melted.  If your peanut butter is cold, put it in the cup with the coconut oil and warm it again.  My peanut butter was at room temperature, so I was able to just mix it into the warm coconut oil.  Stir well until completely combined.  It's very important to stir it thoroughly to prevent separation of the oil and peanut butter when they're setting.  The mixture should be completely liquid, if not warm it up a little more.  Add the banana extract, stir well again, and then add the EZ-Sweetz.  If sucralose is not your thing, you could also use this stevia extract powder.  There are no fillers in there and a teeny bit goes a really long way. 

    Stir again and taste for sweetness.  Don't make it too sweet - just a warning - until these have had a chance to freeze, the mixture might not taste the greatest, and the extract will taste pretty overpowering.  Place paper mini baking cups like these on a tray, and pour the mixture, filling a little more than half-way.  Work quickly, and put them into the freezer.  After about an hour, check them, and if they're frozen through, place them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer.  They're great right out of the freezer!


    A good tip about working with natural peanut butter, is when you have a new jar, stir it really well getting all of the oil worked back into the butter, and get all of the thick butter stuck at the bottom pulled up and worked through as well.  I usually stick to buying the smaller jars since the bigger jar is a lot harder to work with.  Once you have it well mixed, store your jar of peanut butter in the fridge so you don't have to stir it like crazy every time you want to use it.  When it's cold, it'll stay pretty well combined.

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