What kind of recipe would you put together if you had to include bananas, pears, and cinnamon? That was my challenge a couple of months ago when Chiquita® Banana had an awesome 8 week contest going on. I was slightly late to the party since I didn't even think about entering until week 7, but I gave it my all that week and entered at least 4 recipes. Can you even begin to imagine how excited I was when I won the grand prize for week 7?! Yup...here they are and they are healthy to boot: Banana-Pear Chewy Granola Bars!
These are so easy to make and really quite versatile. The mashed bananas, a little honey, and some dried fruit are all of the sweetness the recipe needs. I added some dried cranberries and blueberries, but any dried fruit would work. The flaxseed offers some awesome Omega-3's, but make sure you refrigerate the rest of the bag...those little seeds can spoil if they aren't stored correctly.
Chiquita® Banana-Pear Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups large flake rolled oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
3 medium, very ripe Chiquita® bananas
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup flaxseed
1 Bartlett pear, peeled and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both long sides of the pan. Set aside.
Spread the oats and the almonds on a large baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the oats are just starting to brown. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Fold in the flaxseed, pear, cranberries, blueberries, oats and almonds.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan, packing it down with a spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until firm and set. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Lift out of pan and continue to cool completely.
Cut into 12 bars.
I finally found a use for the baker's twine!
I've made these several times already, and keep them wrapped in parchment, in the fridge, and at the ready to grab for a quick breakfast or to bring to work as a snack. Not a bad start to some healthier eating, eh?
Be sure to visit the Chiquita® Banana recipe page for some more awesome and healthy banana recipes....everything from smoothies, to banana bread, to...granola bars!
What is your favorite Banana recipe?