When you or your family are in the mood to bake something sweet, why not bake a healthier treat? That would mean one with less sugar and butter than traditional dessert recipes, and some added healthy ingredients such as oats, nuts, whole wheat flour, flaxseed or applesauce. Healthy treats are still treats, but less dangerous when you overeat them. Which you know you will!
Many of my clients complain about having desserts in the house. They say “I couldn’t stop eating the leftover desserts! I should’ve given them away!” Or if you’re anything like my husband, he will eat like 10 of my mom’s homemade mandel bread cookies in a day just so they will be gone and he will not be able to eat any more.
It IS hard to have willpower when a plate of grandma’s brownies are staring you in the face. That’s why it’s best when there’s leftover desserts to either give them away, throw them away or save only 1 or 2 to enjoy in the appropriate portion.
There’s definitely a time and place for making fattening desserts—like if it’s your son’s birthday and you want to make his favorite cake for his party, you might want to make it the traditional way. Or if you are hosting a dinner party or holiday and you want to serve a WOW dessert, you may want to go all out.
But if you just feel like making something sweet for your family to enjoy, it’s better to bake a treat that is a little healthier. Simply Google (when did that word become a verb?) “healthy desserts” or “healthier chocolate chip cookies” for example, and an array of recipes will appear.
My friend Maureen brought these “healthy” bars to our house for dessert for a dinner party and they were really good! I changed the recipe a bit to make them even healthier, but I think you will enjoy them nonetheless. They really hit the spot when those sweet cravings creep up!
Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Yum Bars
These yummy cookie bars really hit the spot!
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats not instant or quick-cooking
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2-1 cup ripe or overripe bananas mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the egg, bananas, sugars, butter and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-high until well combined, about 4 minutes. The mixture will have pieces of banana and be slightly runny.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Beat with hand mixer on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
Scrape down sides of bowl. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Place mixture into baking pan and spread into a smooth, flat layer using a spatula.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool for about 30 minutes in pan and then slice into bars.