Hey there readers! I hope you all had a good weekend. I, myself, had a great one. I road-tripped to Syracuse for a friend's wedding and it was awesome. The road trip included but was not limited to lots of beautiful open roads, annoying road construction, sneaky highway patrol vehicles, mother-father-daughter bonding time, a close encounter with the back of someone's SUV, a crazy thunderstorm, coffee, more coffee, and these banana oat snack bars.
While road trips are usually my excuse to eat all the junk food in the world, I wanted to change things up this time around and make something healthy to bring along. Ewww, healthy? I know. That word tends to send people running for the hills. But trust me, you're going to want to stick around for this.
These bars are the epitome of granola bars. Rare is it for something healthy to be delicious, but that stereotype has been broken here. Despite their added oats and whole-wheat flour, and no added processed sugars, these bars are absolutely scrumptious. Soft, chewy, and full of flavor. There is the option of baking them longer and crisping them up if you prefer them that way, but I went the chewy route.
Oh, and how could I forgot to mention--these bars are loaded with soft chocolate chips in every bite. Yes, chocolate lovers, this is the bar for you. Also, chocolate is a good way to lure your unsure picky eater kids in, though I'm sure they would love them regardless because these bars are just that good. My picky eater brother's exact words were "These are actually really good yo". And that should basically be enough to turn anyone into a believer.
Healthy Banana Oat Snack BarsYield: about 20 bars
Ingredients:3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 and 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal, like Rice Krispies
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup peanut butter
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a slight overhang on opposite edges.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, rice cereal, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, stirring well to combine. In another large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, honey, yogurt, peanut butter, and vanilla. Whisk together until the mixture is fairly uniform and smooth.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and stir until they come together. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared pan and flatten down lightly with a spatula or your hands.Bake for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. If you want them soft and chewy, bake for 15-20 minutes. If you want them firmer and slightly crisp, continue baking until they start to brown on top, about 30 minutes.Remove from the oven and let the bars cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into bars.