What could be better on a hot summer day than a huge banana split?  A huge, low oxalate banana split with a health make-over—one so healthy it can double as a fruit salad!

Low oxalate banana splits!

Cameron loves banana splits!

It’s been so hot lately I haven’t felt like cooking.  Three nights ago I pulled out assorted cheeses, lunch meats, and whole grain rolls (for the non-low oxalate dieters in the house.  My sandwich is a slice of cheese and tomato rolled up in a piece of turkey or ham.).  After a quick sandwich, I set out the cutting boards and the boys and I went to work making our banana splits.  Because dessert was also part of dinner, I doubled the fruit and went light on the sauce.  An unexpected bonus: this dinner was definitely fun!  My boys and I laughed and talked about dinner and their day at the pool as we ate and “cooked” together.

Yum!  These banana splits were so good we ate them again the next night (and the next . . . but hey, we couldn’t leave Grandma and Papa out of the action, could we? ).

Banana Splits:

2 small bananas (or 1 large)
4-8 ounces strawberries, sliced
1 cup pineapple tidbits (about half of a 20 ounce can, drained)
4 scoops low oxalate yogurt, sorbet, or ice cream* (1-2 pints depending on your scoop size)
Torani’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup* or White Chocolate Sauce (see recipe below)

If you have a toddler, slice the banana in bite-size pieces.  Otherwise, slice the banana length-wise (“split” the banana), then cut each split piece in half.  Put two pieces of the split banana on either side of a bowl.  Put a scoop of yogurt or ice cream between the banana pieces then add sliced strawberries and pineapple tidbits to the top.  Drizzle a bit of chocolate syrup or white chocolate sauce over the top and serve.

Yeild:  Makes 4 big banana splits or 8 smaller ones (Oxalate content will range from low to medium depending on how big you make your banana split).

*Oxalate Note:  Although most chocolates and chocolate sauces are high oxalate and should be avoided by low oxalate dieters, Torani’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup has only 0.5 mg. oxalate per 1/4 cup serving.  White Chocolate is also low in oxalate.  White chocolate has 2.3 mg. oxalate per ounce while Nestle’s premiere white morsels have only 1.7 mg. oxalate per 1/2 cup.

Please check the ingredients in your ice cream carefully.  All natural ice creams that include only milk, cream, sugar, eggs and small amounts of vanilla or a low or “lower medium” oxalate fruit should be okay. ( Check out Haagen-Dazs Five Strawberry Ice Cream).  Guar gum is also commonly added to ice cream and is okay.  All natural fruit sorbets commonly include only fruit and sugar, so these are also okay as long as it’s a low oxalate fruit (I love coconut sorbet!).  These are also appropriate for a dairy-free diet.  Of course you could always add to the fun of the evening by making your own ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet in the ice cream maker if you want even greater control of your oxalate levels.

White Chocolate Sauce: Put 1/2 cup heavy cream and 4 ounces white chocolate, broken into chunks, (recommended) or 4 ounces Nestle’s white morsels (okay) into a microwavable bowl.  Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds.  Stir and microwave again for another 10-15 seconds.  Repeat this process until the sauce is smooth (takes about 3 “cooking episodes” in my microwave).  Makes about 1 cup of sauce.  This is a really yummy sauce, but it’s not quite satisfying to put a white sauce on vanilla ice cream.  A little food coloring is fun, as is using strawberry or mango ice cream instead of vanilla.

Get the kids to help: Kids can cut the bananas and strawberries (use a plastic spreading knife, a butter knife or a lettuce knife with young children).  They also enjoy assembling the banana splits and drizzling the white chocolate sauce over the top.  You may want to pour a little sauce in a measuring cup and let them drizzle it from there to prevent chocolate floods!

Picky Eater Pleaser:  If your kids don’t like “mixed foods,” put a small pile of each fruit and a scoop of ice cream on a plate (not touching of course) and drizzle each pile with a little sauce.

Other Dieters: Banana Splits may also be appropriate for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian or controlled carbohydrate dieters as long as you chose the ice cream, yogurt, or sorbet that is most appropriate for your diet.