During the past few months I’ve mentioned eating healthier a time or two, and today actually have a recipe that helps prove it. Lest anyone think I talk a big game while having my head stuck in a supersized bag of Cheetos. (Not that that’s never happened, but we won’t mention it today.)
I saw a recipe for 4 ingredient oat bars the other day and pinned it to my Food Love board on Pinterest. The overly-ripe bananas slowly rotting on my kitchen counter necessitated making the recipe (or my version of it) right away. A few years ago I would have made banana bread (with a crunchy raw sugar topping, mind you) but these days I aim for the healthier side of the spectrum.
The whole “4 ingredient” thing was tempting, but who am I kidding here? Of course I futzed with it. And of course I added chocolate, because what? Have we just met? Why would there not be chocolate in there?
But the premise is simple. You mash bananas and add stuff to it. Good stuff like oats, almonds, and flax seed. There’s no added fat, and the bars are sweetened with just a touch of honey. The bananas bind everything together and then it’s off to the oven for a quick bake.
I subtracted quite a bit off the total baking time. Just a quick 15 minutes sets the bananas and keeps the bars moist and crumbly.
The bars are thin and fally-aparty. The above picture is actually 3 bars stacked on top of one another.
These have the Husband Seal of Approval (™) and are a great breakfast (with requisite cup of coffee) or as a snack or dessert.
Bake on, people. Bake on.
Oat and Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
(Adapted from this recipe from The Kitchn)
2 large ripe bananas
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch pan.
Peel the bananas and mash in a large mixing bowl until nearly liquified. Whisk in the honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the almonds, sunflower seeds, and flax seed. When everything is well mixed, add the oats and chocolate chips. Mix well, then turn mixture out into prepared pan. Smooth it into an even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes, then cool completely before serving – if you cut them while still warm, they’ll fall apart. The bars will remain soft and crumbly. For firmer bars, increase the baking time by 10-15 minutes.