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The Big 3: Banana, Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

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We are big believers in the sum of an excellent flavor fusion being greater than its parts. And we tend to return over and over again to certain ingredient combinations that just work really well together. That's why we'll be blogging about some of our favorite three-flavor blends that can be used in a variety of dishes.

We love chocolate - who doesn't? It's delicious, versatile, and even good for you if you get some with a high cocoa content. We also love bananas: They're like little travel-ready packs of sweet, potassium-rich energy. And walnuts - yes, we love walnuts, too. They're crunchy, yet moist and delicate, and packed with omega-3s. Each of these stands well enough on its own, but when combined they beckon you to eat and eat. Don't believe us? Try these three super-easy dishes, and you're sure to become a believer.

BCCW (Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut) Pancakes

Begin by heating the griddle to medium-high heat. Mix up your favorite standard pancake batter (Bisquick, fancy mix, homemade - whatever), add one ripe, mashed banana, ¼ cup walnut pieces, and ¼ cup high-quality chocolate chips. Cook as normal, and then top with butter, honey, banana slices and a few more walnut pieces. This is one of the few things that get our lazy butts up on the weekends. So addictive...

BCCW Oatmeal

We turn to this surprisingly hearty and filling breakfast on mornings when we're short on time but won't be having lunch for quite a while. Follow package directions to make a bowl of oatmeal. While still hot, add one banana diced into chunks, 2 tablespoons walnut pieces, and about 10 chocolate chips. Sometimes we count them, other times we cheat and throw in 20 or so. Then mix it all up so the banana and chocolate gets warm and gooey. We love this one so much we've been known to have it for lunch, or even dinner, on occasion.

BCCW Ice Cream

Yes, this one is super-simple, but man, it's good. You can use your favorite flavor of ice cream, but we're big fans of using toasted coconut gelato. Let your ice cream soften up for a few minutes and then pretend you're at Marble Slab and crush in some chocolate chips and walnut pieces. Put it in the bowl and top with the diced banana.

Remember that in addition to adding loads of flavor with the BCCW mixture, you actually are upping the health benefits. Use the chocolate at your discretion, but remember that you only live once, so splurge a little. You're eating fruit with it, so obviously it all equals out, right?

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