Banana bread is one of my favorite stand-by desserts (snacks?) and I often find myself buying too many bananas at the beginning of each week just so that I have enough at the end to make some type of banana-themed baked good. And I love adding things like chocolate chips, cinnamon chips or peanut butter because they compliment the banana flavor so well. But my most recent obsession is coconut, so I decided to add some coconut oil AND shredded coconut to a solid banana base and the outcome was fantastic.
I added some protein powder to these bars so that I could enjoy them after dinner without feeling so guilty. You can totally omit the protein and the taste will be exactly the same, so don’t let that scare you. BUT if you want to up your protein consumption, baking it is a great way to do it. I use Plant Fusion Vanilla Bean and it’s completely tasteless in baked goods-I highly recommend it. These bars also have no added sugar either-they get all their sweetness from the bananas, coconut and chocolate chips.
Start off by mashing a few bananas with some vanilla and coconut oil. Make sure the coconut oil is soft but not melted. If yours is too hard straight from the jar, just put the whole jar in the microwave for about 15 seconds and it should be soft enough on top to scoop out with a spoon.
Next, you want to add the dry ingredients which include oats, whole wheat pastry flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and shredded coconut.
Stir in the chocolate chips…(the most important part!)
Lightly spray a 9×11 baking dish and press the dough down evenly into it.
Then just bake the bars at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until they begin to turn lightly golden.
These are chewy, soft, chocolatey, sweet and…wait for it…healthy. They taste amazing with peanut butter smeared on top. But really, what doesn’t?
They can be easily made gluten-free by using GF oats and your favorite GF flour. So next time you have some brown bananas laying around, consider yourself lucky and make these bars!
- 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder-optional (I used Plant Fusion)
- 1 Teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon of nutmeg
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of softened coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x11 baking dish
- Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, protein powder, shredded coconut and baking powder in a bowl and mix to combine
- In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, vanilla extract and coconut oil
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined
- Stir in the chocolate chips
- Spread the mixture in the baking dish evenly and bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes
- Let cool before cutting into squares
- Serve with peanut butter on top for an amazing and healthy snack :)