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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I didn't really plan to blog these, as they were part recipe experimentation and part "operation use up the 11 ripe bananas in my freezer". My family was in town the weekend they were sitting in our fridge and I didn't have time to make them breakfast before they had an early morning college visit, so I mentioned that they could grab some on their way out the door.

Later, they both mentioned how much they liked them and my mom asked me where I got the recipe...turns out they went over better than I anticipated! Thus, I've decided to share the recipe with you, in case you too have some overripe bananas.

These are a healthier adaption of granola bars, with no oil and minimum mix-ins. Of course, I couldn't resist the chocolate chips, sometimes you need a little dose of chocolate first thing! I also used PB&Co's dark chocolate peanut butter in these, which is why they're so dark in color, but you could swap in any kind of nut butter. These do need to be kept chilled and you'll find that they're a little stickier than the other variation. The 9 x 13 pan didn't make it through a weekend and I'll be whipping these up frequently for an easy breakfast/snack!

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Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

-2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-3 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 1 cup worth)
-1/4 cup peanut butter, melted in the microwave
-1 egg, beaten
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Mix together oats, flour, chocolate chips, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in bananas, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
3. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Allow to cool, cut into bars, and store in refrigerator.