Saturday, February 20, 2016

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Bars

You guys!! These were so good and such a special treat for me and my kids one morning!! I have been having fun finding new recipes that are healthy and tasty! I used to bake all the time, but since my daughter started having to eat gluten free, I really don't bake much anymore. I know I could! But I try to eat healthy, and I usually don't feel like making 2 batches of something, one regular and one gluten free, and plus, not all gluten free baked goods taste the best!!

But, I am finding that a lot of recipes that don't have gluten in them are really tasty!! For awhile, I would look for "gluten free" recipes, and I would find lots of complicated, expensive recipes that didn't always taste good or "normal".

But you guys, there are so many recipes out there that are much healthier than the regular baking recipes, without all the added white flour, white sugar, butter, and oil, and they taste amazing!! I wish we could make even more of these kind of snacks and breakfasts, so that my kids had less processed junk for snacks!! Make sure you give these a try, they are seriously delicious and my kids and I LOVED them!!

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Bars

2 1/4 cups gluten free oats (or regular oats)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 medium ripe bananas
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I didn't have this on hand, so I used coconut oil)
1/4 cup honey (agave nectar if vegan)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
For Chocolate Drizzle:
2 tablespoons chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. To make oat flour: Place oats in a blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended. Pour the oat flour into a medium bowl; whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
3. Place bananas, vanilla, applesauce (or oil), and honey into blender; blend 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add to oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
4. Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with rubber spatula. Bake for 15 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool 10-15 minutes on wire rack.
5. Prepare drizzle by adding 2 Tablespoons of chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir well to combine, then drizzle over the top of bars. Cut bars into 16 squares and enjoy!!

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