Need an After School (or Work) Snack? Try Peanut Butter and Banana Bars
These bars are a long-time staple in my house because they have two of my favorites, peanut butter and bananas, in them. The bars are great for after school and after work snacks. Reasonably nutritious, the bars are sweet but won't send your kids or you into a high sugar orbit. The bars also are great to make at the end of the week when you have to deal with those bananas that nobody ate and are now turning brown. The bars bake up high, moist, and squishy and with a nice nubby texture from added peanuts. The mini chocolate chips spread the chocolate taste throughout the bars without going overboard (like adding a whole bag of chocolate chips, which actually tastes pretty good, so I won't tell if you do...). The bananas and a little sugar add sweetness to the bars but not in excess, and white whole-wheat flour and oats add fiber and nutrients. One of these bars, warm from the oven, with a glass of milk will make a great nutritious and tasty snack. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter and Banana Bars -- Makes a 9 x 13-inch Pan
4 large bananas
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour
2 cups of oats (Old Fashioned/regular)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of roasted peanuts (chop them if you want)
1/2 cup (or a cup if you're in search of a chocolate fix) of mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with aluminum foil and coat the foil with the spray. In a large bowl, mash the bananas (a potato masher works well). Whisk in the sugar, salt, canola oil, and peanut butter until well blended. Whisk in the eggs. With a wooden spoon, stir in the white whole wheat flour, oats, and baking powder until everything is barely moistened. Stir in the roasted peanuts and mini chips until they are distributed throughout the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake the bars for about 30 minutes until just firm to the touch and lightly browned. Let the bars cool a little before cutting them into squares.