Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Bars

I seem to have ended up with more brown, ripe bananas and needed a recipe to utilize them (couldn't stand to throw them all out).  I could have made Banana Bread or Banana Walnut Muffins, but wanted to try something else.  I decided on yummy chocolate banana oatmeal bars.  This recipe incorporates a number of healthy ingredients (reminder: be sure to use organic if you can!), including heart-healthy oatmeal, potassium-rich bananas, and whole-wheat flour.  The chocolate chips (ok, and sugar and butter) add a little decadence, for a sweet treat you can enjoy knowing it's also sort of good for you.  :)  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Quick Oats
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Butter, Softened (1 1/2 Sticks)
1/2 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1 1/4 Cup Ripe Bananas, Mashed (about 3 Large Bananas)
1 1/4 Cup Semi-Sweet or Milk Chocolate Chips

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 (or 9" square for thicker bars) baking dish with cooking spray (I use butter flavored).
2.  Stir together the first six ingredients (whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon) in a large bowl.  Set aside.

3.  Using a blender, or in your Kitchenaid, mix together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.  Add in the vanilla and eggs, and continue mixing.  Mix in the bananas until well combined.
4.  Slowly mix in (about a cup at a time) the dry ingredients, just until combined.  Don't overmix.
5.  Stir in by hand the chocolate chips.  Spread mixture into baking dish.
6.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7.  Cool and cut into bars.


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