I'll never forget the first time I convinced my dad I was big enough to eat a banana split. The concoction turned out to be every bit as luscious as I had expected, but considerably more filling. This split is smaller but no less luscious. We guarantee you'll like the warm-from-the-microwave banana and chocolate with ice cream.

Hot Banana Splits

2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate pieces

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel (optional)

4 small firm bananas

Orange juice

4 small scoops vanilla ice cream

1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Fresh strawberries (optional)

In a small bowl toss together chocolate pieces and orange peel, if desired; set aside. Peel bananas; brush with a little orange juice. Arrange bananas in an 8- by 8- by 2-inch microwave-safe baking dish. With the tip of a spoon, hollow out a very shallow lengthwise groove in each banana. Divide the chocolate mixture among the bananas, spooning mixture into the grooves. Cover with vented microwave-safe plastic wrap. Cook on 100 percent power (high) about 2 minutes or until bananas are warm and chocolate is soft.

To serve, halve bananas crosswise and place two halves on each dessert plate. Top each serving with a scoop of ice cream and some nuts. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 223 cal., 3 g pro., 38 g carb., 8 g fat, 20 mg chol., 50 mg sodium. U.S. RDA: 19 percent vit. C, 18 percent riboflavin.