Low in sugar (natural and artificial) and without any added oil or fat, these tasty banana bread bars really do fit the bill for a nutritious snack. Of course the chocolate chips aren’t completely guilt-free and could be considered optional, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you where I stand on the “should I add them or not” issue. Come on, live a little.
The bars are simple enough that my boys have been whipping them up to devour after school when their lazy mom has neglected to do the task for them and they run in the house famished. Which is pretty much the story of my life and theirs. Tip: these banana bread bars taste amazing warm right out of the oven with a tall glass of cold milk and are equally as delectable the next day. Another Tip: just because four little boys work together in the kitchen to make an after school snack doesn’t mean they’ll be as eager to do the dishes.
We’ve been popping them in lunch boxes, snacking on them all hours of the day and even offering them as an after-dinner treat. Quite the versatile bar-treat-snack-thingies, I’d say.
Another selling point: they are egg-free, dairy-free (if you leave out the chocolate chips or buy dairy-free chocolate chips), and gluten-free adaptable (look for a gluten-free brand of oats). And mostly, they’re just really yummy.
I used old-fashioned rolled oats for this recipe. I haven't made them using quick oats but I suspect they'll work just fine (if it were me, I'd cut down on the oats just slightly if using quick oats since they will probably measure out a bit more than the rolled oats before blending).
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats, finely ground in a blender or food processor (measure the oats before grinding)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 medium bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8X8- or 9X9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the bananas, vanilla, applesauce, and honey or agave nectar to the blender and process until smooth.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (if using). Bake for 14-18 minutes until set around the edges and just barely moist in the center.
Recipe Source: barely adapted from a recipe sent to me by a virtual friend, Heather (who I’ve never met but she sends me lots of great recipes like this Cream Cheese Banana Bread so I’m pretty sure we’d be BFF’s in real life), similar to a recipe at Ambitious Kitchen