Dark Chocolate Banana Panini

This divine treat isn’t as sinful as it tastes! Can you imagine?! If you don’t have a panini maker, a George Forman grill will do the trick. If you don’t have one of those either, cook the sandwich in a skillet, using a second heavy pan to flatten them as they cook. Experiment with flavored dark chocolate for some extra yumminess!

1 ripe banana, sliced in half (or mashed if you prefer)
2 slices of your favorite bread (I love Ezekiel)
4-6 squares of dark (70% or higher) chocolate
1 tsp all natural peanut butter
drizzle of honey

1. Gently coat outsides of bread with some butter. I swear by Kerrygold Butter!

2. Arrange banana slices (or mashed banana) on piece of bread, then spread peanut butter and honey. Place chocolate squares over banana and top with other piece of bread.

3. Preheat panini maker or plug in your George Forman grill (this is what I prefer). Cook panini 3-4 minutes per side. A George Forman grill takes less time, so keep an eye on the chocolate to see how it’s doing, it will start to ooze. Cool just for a minute or two and ENJOY!!!

Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
True dark chocolate is usually anything at or above 70% cacao. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more benefits and better nutritional value the chocolate contains. Studies have shown that dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL). It contains serotonin, a natural mood-boosting anti-depressant. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants.

Even with all these great benefits, be sure to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation.

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times.

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