Thursday, July 31, 2014

Snack for School :: Whole Wheat Banana Bars

One of the things I enjoy about moving is having an empty pantry.  This time around I'm trying to be choosy about what we let into our home.  I'll admit, there have been Oreos, potato chips, and right now we have two different kinds of Cap'n Crunch.  While I'm trying to allow my kids to be kids, I'm also working to help them make healthy choices.  Sometimes they're oblivious, and that's even better!  Then, there's less grumbling and complaining about what they have to eat {why, yes, we do have these issues}.  

I've mentioned that Isabella will be starting Kindergarten in just a few weeks!  While I'm still a bit in shock over this sudden life change for her, I'm also trying to get my 'ducks in a row' so that we're all ready for her to begin.  She'll be attending a half-day Kindergarten, so no lunch packing needed, but they do have a snack time.  Processed foods, while tasty, are not my favorite thing to have around, so I've been trying to find quick homemade and healthy snacks that will be easy to pack and fill her up.  I'll be sharing some of these snacks over the next few weeks, so be sure to follow along.

First up are these delicious banana bars.  Banana bread is always a favorite around here, and that would work fine for a snack too.  What I like about these bars is that they cut up nicely which works great in little baggies and is a little easier for small hands to eat in a cafeteria while trying to talk and not make too much of a mess.

By using half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour in this recipe, I was able to sneak in some healthy benefits without the kids knowing.  {Although I haven't tried it, you could probably substitute coconut oil for the butter}. They loved these bars and with just a handful of dark chocolate chips {aka healthy chocolate} on top, they became a treat.  

Whole Wheat Banana Bars

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons milk
6 oz. dark chocolate chips

In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  Stir in bananas.  With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients until well combined.  Mix in the milk.  

Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  

Slice into bars and store in an airtight container.  

source:  slightly adapted from Annapolis & Company

Linking to:  Tatertots and Jello

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