Friday, March 9, 2012

Healthy Banana Oat Bars

I find that as my kids get older, the more they want to eat after they get home from school.

Are your kids like that?

I always have to have something in mind for them to snack on or they get a little grumpy.  Our rule is one healthy snack first and then a not so healthy snack, because lets face it people, my kids are like me and love their chocolate and sugar!

Our healthy snacks are usually fruits and veggies but sometimes I try to spice it up a little bit for them.  This was definitely a crowd pleaser and the kids snacked on them all day long, which was just fine with them me since they are so healthy.

I loved the chewiness and texture they have plus you know me, with peanut butter and chocolate you can usually never go wrong!

p.s. sorry Emily it took me so long to get this up for you :)

Healthy Banana Oat Snack Bars

(click here for printable version)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal, like Rice Krispies
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plain yogurt ( I used vanilla and it tasted great!)
1/4 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (like nutella)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment or foil, leaving a slight overhang on each of the long edges. Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, rice cereal, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, stirring well to combine. In a second large bowl, whisk the banana, honey, yogurt, nut butter, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and well incorporated.

3.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and stir until they come together, being careful to not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared pan and flatten down lightly with a spatula or your clean hands. Bake for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. I baked mine for only 18-20 minutes because I wanted them softer, like a cookie. If you want them firm and golden, continue baking until they are starting to brown on the top, more like 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bars cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into squares.  Enjoy!

Makes about 20 small bars

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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