One of the items I enjoy making the most are homemade granola bars. With way too many ripe bananas kicking around I needed a way to use at least one. Hmm, that still leaves me with another ten, but we’ll get back to that later. Granola bars are fairly simple to make and once you find a base recipe you like it is very easy to modify.
The one problem I do have when making granola bars is that you have to be patient before you get a chance to chow down your sweet ol’goodness. Between bake time, cooling, everyone else wanting theirs first, you may have to wait an hour. In the end, the wait for these Dairy Free Chocolate Banana Chewy Granola Bars is well worth it. An added bonus kids usually love granola bars and these particular ones are no exception.
For those who do have a dairy issue there are many places to get dairy free chocolate chips as most bulk stores and many super markets now carry them. Of course if you want milk chocolate, go ahead and toss them in. Also these can easily be switched to a dry fruit and become Chewy Raison Banana Granola Bars. The nuts in this recipe also can be substituted with seeds if you want to pack these in your kids lunch box.
1 ¾ cups of Quick Oats
¼ cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup of dairy free chocolate chips (sub with carob, milk chocolate, raisons, etc)
1/3 cup of nut pieces of your choice (I used almonds but cashews, peanuts, seeds would still be excellent)
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup of honey
1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
1 overripe banana mashed
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
While you are getting everything together be sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Also line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. You’ll be cursing if not as the bars will stick to the pan. No parchment try foil, it does work but is a little harder to get off.
Make sure you have two bowls big enough to hold your wet and dry ingredients. Mix the dry together, have your kids stir up the wet, then after mix the wet into the dry. Spread it all out in your pan and gently press it down. Toss it in the oven for 35 minutes and wait….While waiting be sure to lick off that spatula or have the kids as no need to let anything go to waste.
Once they are done bring them out of the oven let them cool. Once cooled remove the parchment paper and cut them up. For storage be sure you use an air tight container. Now you can eat them!