There hasn't been much action in the baking department here, all thanks to my diet and my avoidance of sweets. But with two overripe bananas lying around, it was time to turn my oven back on and to work out my mixer.
If the granola bar were to become a cake, this would be it. Moist and chewy, it's packed with a lot of flavour, lots of texture, and a lot of good stuff for you. I couldn't resist when I saw Sugar Plum's Skinny Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal Bars, and made a few changes to the recipe. They're wonderfully hearty and make a great school time snack for kids. Best of all, you won't feel as guilty when you sneak a taste of one of these bars!
Hearty Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Bars
Adapted from Sugar Plum
Makes 9 large or 12 small bars
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup rice krispies
1/4 cup sliced almonds, or finely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 large egg whites
2 tbsp chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together whole wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, oast, coconut, rice krispies and nuts. Stir and set aside.
In another large bowl, combine bananas, sugar, vanilla, honey, peanut butter and egg whites. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, being sure to press the chips down into the batter a little. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a rack for at least another 15 minutes before cutting.