Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Bars

Written by Emily

Hello, creepy-looking bananas. I’ve been waiting for you.

I admit; I get a little disappointed when my family eats the entire bunch of yellow bananas. I much prefer turning the corner to the kitchen and seeing shriveling, brownish banana corpses deflated on the counter. It’s the only way I like to eat bananas really–mashed and baked into something lovely.

I rarely use the same banana recipe twice, so I have a million swirling around in my gourd waiting for a perfect banana situation. This concoction just might be my go-to banana bar for breakfast and snacks and even dessert for the fam. There’s enough good stuff in this recipe that I’m okay tossing them into the diaper bag for an on-the-go snack or letting the kids grab them from the cabinet when the spirit moves them (and the spirit moves them every moment of the day except scheduled feeding times–i.e. dinnertime).

This is a healthy alternative to a sugary banana bread (which certainly has its place!) and was just what I wanted to satiate my little sugar monsters.

Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Bars

bananabars

The recipe:

  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (I never measure chocolate chips. It depends on the day. You know if it’s a whole bag kind of day or a 1/3 of a cup kind of day. trust yourself on this one.)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax prepared with 6 tablespoons of water (or 2 eggs)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (vanilla might be nice instead)
  • 2-3 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

*No. I did not forget the butter or oil. You don’t need it. Really. See, no guilt! Cut them into HUGE pieces!

Here’s how the magic happens:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, prepare the flax, so that it’s ready when you need it (for two eggs add 2 T of ground flax to 6 T of water. When it becomes a gel substance, it’s ready!)
  • Pour the first six ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir with a whisk.

dryingredients

  • In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and to them add the yogurt, vanilla, and the gelled flax.
  • Smoosh them all together with a fork until they’re combined in what looks like a delicious pasty mess.
  • Add to the dry.
  • Mix with a spatula.
  • Don’t waste time over-mixing.
  • Spread the batter into a greased 9×9 pan and bake for 20 minutes.

The batter is very thick. You might think: “This will never work. It’s going to be a dense, dry brick of banana something. What a waste of my perfectly ugly bananas!” Nope. They will be perfect. Not in a sweet, decadent over-the-top way. In a oh-I-need-a-hint-of-delicious-sweet-without-all-the-guilt-guilt,-will-you-leave-me-alone kind of way. Or in a I-need-my-kids-to-eat-something-healthful-that-they-think-is-a-bad-for-them-dessert kind of way (my favorite kind of way: deception).

ChocolateGirl

I hope you give this recipe a try. Make it your own. Add peanut butter or something. Or maybe you like raisins (my children would keel over). Coconut flakes? I say, yes!

Happy baking!

19 comments for “Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Bars

  1. Lisa
    June 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try this, and I’m glad I’m not the only shriveled banana fanatic!!!

    • June 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      They’re my fav! I hope you like it! If you try it, please let me know how it works out for you. I keep experimenting with banana recipes to get ones that are healthy and a bit sweet. I love dessert, but I don’t want to over-indulge all of the time 🙂

  2. Catherine Pasierb
    June 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Sounds great! I’ll trust Sylvie that it tastes great, too!

    • June 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

      This is a good one…and you could probably cut the sugar even more 🙂

  3. June 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m making them now! I’m having a Kooky Cookie party tonight to celebrate math club ending (yes, how dorky can we be?) and these sound like the bomb! I’m so there. If I remember, I’ll report back whether or not they survived the devastation of math boys hyped on sugar.

    • June 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Yay! I hope they like them! Dorky? Sounds awesome! Congrats to the kids! I wish I would have had the skills to be a mathlete. Let me know how the bars turn out! As always, you rock!

      • June 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        I’m worried about the lack of flour. Did I mention I’m a worrier? I just checked them, and they look a bit jiggly. Back in they went…

        • June 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm

          I was worried, too. It will work though…it does for me, and I am not an expert baker for sure. They will be gooey but not underdone. They should feel spongey to the touch when you take them out. I let them cool in the pan on top of the stove for a little while before I cut them. Don’t worry! Good luck!

          • June 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

            My chin is in the air, and I’m serving them with pride. 🙂

          • June 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

            Perfect! Have a great time tonight!

          • June 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

            Praying for sanity!

          • June 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

            My son Kyle could not stop eating them. I sternly told him three was plenty as if they were bad for him. Surely in that quantity they can’t be good! Thanks for the great recipe. 😀

          • June 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm

            Yay! I was hoping you’d share the results! So glad your son liked them!

          • June 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

            Everyone liked them. 🙂 They were a gooey masterpiece of nutrition.

      • June 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

        I’m also making raspberry fruit bars — the theme this year is fruit. Can’t imagine who I could be referring to… 🙂

  4. June 14, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Ok, I tried them also and like you the bananas are never ripe when I need them. So what I did was used a 15oz can of pumpkin instead also added walnuts to half. They are a big hit here, I may try substituting some or all the sugar with agave next time. Thanks for sharing!

    • June 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Wonderful! I am trying your substitutions for sure. I love pumpkin, and I always have it on hand. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Kathleen Gallo
    June 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I just “happen” to have 3 bananas resting in the frig right now – they ripen SO VERY fast, I can’t keep ahead of them – so-o-o-o
    now I have a good excuse to try this recipe! Thanks, Em!!

    • June 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

      I hope they work out for you! Let me know!

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