Yes, these are called “Baby Bars.” But while these are great for kids, adults love them too!
I spend a lot of time with my best friend Mel’s triplets. They are just so adorably loveable and oh so much fun! I can’t believe how fast they are growing. They are officially toddlers now, and it’s exciting to watch them try new things. Especially new foods.
If you regularly follow this blog (or, more likely, if you know me in real life) you may have realized I love to bake and create new recipes. I thought it would be fun to come up with something that Mel’s fifteen-month-old nuggets could enjoy.
But I couldn’t just whip up any old thing. Since they were going to be a snack for the little ones, this recipe had to be:
- Healthy, with real ingredients like fruit.
- Easy to make since their mom doesn’t have a ton of time for complicated baking. Heck, I’m surprised when she finds time to change her clothes.
- Free of added sugar, but still be tasty.
With all that in mind, I created these yummy, healthy treats for the whole family: Baby Bars!
A COUPLE THINGS BEFORE YOU START
- These are naturally sweetened with applesauce and banana but they’re not super sweet since there’s no added sugar.
- I use whole wheat pastry flour but you can use whatever flour you like. Regular whole wheat flour would be nice, too. You could probably even make the whole thing gluten free with gf oats and gf flour if you wanted. (If you do, let me know how they turn out!)
- They’re really easy to make. And you can make them in one bowl – there’s no need to mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. So they come together in minutes and there’s not a huge mess to clean up.
- Kids love them. At least Mel’s kids do (see her review below). Just make sure if you’re serving them to toddlers that you break them up into teeny tiny pieces for their little hands and mouths.
- They’re really good for grown ups, too. I’ve been enjoying these for breakfast topped with a little almond butter. Mmm…
- Experiment with mix-ins. For my next batch, I may add a handful of frozen blueberries. Other fresh or frozen fruit might work, too. And if you’re making these for adults, you could also try throwing in some nuts or dried fruit. Have fun. Go crazy.
Makes 9-12 bars*
– 1 really ripe banana
– 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
– 1 cup oats
– sprinkle of cinnamon (about 1/2 tsp.)
– 3/4 cup flour
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the banana with a fork until there are no chunks left. Stir in the applesauce and mix until smooth. Add the oats and cinnamon, and stir well.
Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and stir until just combined (don’t over mix it).
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined baking dish, and smooth it out so it’s distributed evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Let it cool completely before removing, slicing and serving.
*Variation: You can also use this recipe to make 12 small muffins. I made it both ways (bars and muffins) and they’re really good however you choose to bake them up. For muffins, just make the batter as instructed, then pour it into muffin cups instead of the baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
SO, WHAT DOES MEL HAVE TO SAY?
“My kids devoured them. It was all their favorites in one bar. They kept wanting more!”
So I’d say this recipe’s a success.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
Did you try this recipe? Do your kids approve? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.