Soft Banana Peanut Butter Granola Bars

 

Everyone is being so healthy lately. Stop it!

A couple of friends are on Weight Watchers but they look perfectly fit. C’mon, you could be drinking whole milk!
Well I can be healthy too. I was recently gifted with an abundance of overripe bananas. (It was a wonderful gift; seriously what other fruit would you take that is completely brown and mushy?) Banana bread was too easy of an option and more importantly, not really healthy. I wanted to do something that would be a good snack since I realized I am guilty of mindless snacking. These Banana Peanut Butter Granola bars are not only filling but tasty too.

These bars are really quick and easy to make. I threw together what I had on hand but really any nut-fruit-seed combination could work. I also didn’t use any refined sugar and instead opted for molasses which although is made from sugar cane, has calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. That’s one way to get your daily minerals!

The bars have a nice nutty flavor and crunch from the pumpkin seeds and walnuts. The raisins and molasses help make it slightly sweet. Would it be bad if I threw it some chocolate next time? No? How about serving it on top of ice cream? OK, I’ll stop.

Soft Banana Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Makes 8 4-inch bars

Get

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Bake
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 8″ x 8″ pan and line with parchment paper so it hangs off the sides a little. This will make it easier to take the bars out of the pan! Set aside. 
*In large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cinnamon and salt. 
*In a small microwave-safe bowl, place mashed bananas and peanut butter. Microwave in 10-15 second increments, stirring in between, until bananas and peanut butter are well combined. Add in molasses and vanilla and stir to combine. 
*Add the banana mixture to the oat mixture until combined. 
*Pour mixture into greased pan and with a spatula (or your hands) press down firmly to flatten. 
*Bake for 30 minutes or until bars have set. 
*Let cool before slicing. Store in an airtight container for up to three days. 
Enjoy!
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