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
- 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.
- 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).
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!