Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

It turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks! I had the pleasure of turning 50 years old last month, and although I’m no longer a spring chicken, I discovered that I’m still capable of learning new things from my Mom.

Up until just recently, I didn’t know that you could freeze bananas whole, still in the banana peel, and use them in recipes later. My mother informed me of this nifty trick, and I had to give it a try. I decided to use my previously frozen, and then thawed, bananas in these Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars, and I must say, they turned out great!

Although the bananas didn’t look very pretty after they had been removed from the freezer and thawed…

Bananas - frozen and then thawed

Bananas – frozen and then thawed

…they worked beautifully in this recipe. I’ve had these bananas in the freezer for at least two months, and the banana flavor did not diminish one bit while they were in there.

I was hoping to take these bars with me on a short hiking trip this weekend, but since it’s currently snowing out and only 27 degrees, I guess I’ll just have to feast on them here at home.

~Enjoy~

AK Mom


Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 packets Cinnamon & Spice Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal (can substitute 3/4 cup instant or quick oats – regular flavor, or any flavor you desire)
2 packets Apples & Cinnamon Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal (can substitute 3/4 cup instant or quick oats – regular flavor, or any flavor you desire)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 (10 ounce) package Simple Truth Organic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or any semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch square baking pans.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter together. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

Add the oatmeal, flour, and bananas; mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide and spread batter evenly in prepared baking pans.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool. Cut into squares.

Makes 32 bars.

(To print this recipe, click on the ‘Print & PDF’ button below)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

I had an unexpected day off from work today due to warm weekend temperatures and rain. I know some of you are probably scratching your heads wondering why that is. Well, the temperatures warmed up into the 40′s and we had pouring rain pretty much all weekend. All that water combined with cool evening temperatures turned many of the streets into skating rinks today, which made driving conditions pretty hazardous. For safety’s sake, they decided to close schools and college campuses for the day, which gave me the day off.

I spent most of the day catching up on household chores, but since the last of the Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake that I made right before the weekend had been gobbled up last night, I also took some time to whip up a batch of these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars.

You could say that our current weather conditions inspired me to make these bars. As I look up at the nearby mountain range, I can see that a lot of the snow has melted as a result of our 40+ degree weather. The lack of snow makes the mountains look rather inviting, and I think these bars would be the perfect snack to squirrel away in my backpack to take on a afternoon hike. If it wasn’t so rainy and windy outside, I’d probably be up there right now.

~Enjoy~
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the four, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time and blend until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix well.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bars are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place pan on wire rack to cool. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Chip Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars

With the daytime temperatures nearing 50 degrees and the snow rapidly melting, I’m starting to get excited for the first day that I head out for my favorite Spring & Summer activity – hiking! We have a lot of beautiful hiking country here, and nothing reduces my stress level more than being out in a remote area, where all you can hear is the wind blowing through the trees and the water flowing in the streams.

To help get me in shape for my first hiking excursion, I decided to make a somewhat healthier treat today – Chocolate Chip Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars. I love this recipe because, not only is it easy to put together and makes a very moist and delicious cookie bar, but you use applesauce in place of butter, and that just sounds healthier to me. 🙂
The apple and chocolate flavors pair very well together, and the oatmeal adds nutritional benefits like fiber and protein.

You can be sure I’ll be packing some of these treats with me when I head out into the back-country on my first hiking trip of the season.

~Enjoy~




Chocolate Chip Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup apples & cinnamon instant oatmeal
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, applesauce, and brown sugar together until well blended. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract; whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Fold in the oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Makes 16 cookie bars.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

Wish you could sneak a few more veggies into your children’s, or even your own, diet? Well these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot cookies just might help.

Not only are these cookies packed with 100% whole grain oats, but there’s also a full cup of carrots mixed in.

This recipe makes big, soft cookies that are moist and delicious. And who knows… kids might not even notice the carrots. 😉

~Enjoy~




Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (3 pouches) BetterOats Apples & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
1 cup shredded carrots

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and oil until blended. Beat in eggs and milk. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips, oatmeal and carrots.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to wire rack to cool.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

I fear that the Autumn season is very close to ending here in Alaska. For the past few days, it has looked like it could start snowing out at any minute, and almost every tree has lost its leaves.

Even though it looks like we’re about to head into the Winter season, I’m still hoping that Autumn hangs on a little longer, because I still have a bunch of Fall recipes I’d like to whip up.

Speaking of Fall recipes, here’s a tasty muffin that is perfect for this time of year – Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins!

The pumpkin and cranberries pair beautifully together in this muffin, and the oats add great texture. And, what’s not to love about streusel topping. It’s the “icing on the cake” – or muffin, in this case. 😉

~Enjoy~




Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 envelopes Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal
1/2 cup Craisins dried cranberries

Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon butter, cold

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 12 muffin tins, or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, pumpkin puree, milk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Stir in oatmeal and craisins.

Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.

For topping: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice. Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle one rounded teaspoon of topping over each muffin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

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