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Use up Ripe Bananas with this Homemade Banana Bars Recipe

Instead of throwing out those bananas that are past their prime – turn them into these homemade Banana Bars. Your kids (and the landfill) will love you!

banana bars

Use up Ripe Bananas with this Homemade Banana Bars Recipe

I have a confession to make: I actually love having extra ripe bananas on hand! I even buy them when they are past prime. Large bags of bananas with spots on them cost 99 cents at my local grocery store and whenever I see them, I almost always buy one. I personally don’t like to eat bananas with spots on the peel because I’m weird and prefer most of my fruit to be slightly green. My kids like them though, and when they are too bad even for them, we make yummy baked goods from them.

Dessert doesn’t usually happen at my house, but this year I am trying to make a dessert once a week. It gives my kids incentive to eat their dinner and it’s fun.

I made these banana bars last week and they were a huge hit. They were easy and I used up the last of the nasty bananas in my fridge instead of throwing them out. Score!

Baking Tips

As with most of the recipes I share on the blog, these are easy to make and the kids love them. To make these homemade banana bars, just mix of dry and wet ingredients and bake them on a half sheet pan. After they have cooled, add a quick powdered sugar icing, if you really want to make your sugar devils happy. 

Yield: 36

Homemade Banana Bars

Homemade Banana Bars

A great way to use up ripe bananas and make a treat your kids will love!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 TBS milk

Instructions

  1. Banana Bars
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lighting grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powered, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Beat in egg, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until combined.
  4. Beat or stir in the flour.
  5. Stir in pecans.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.
  7. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing {see below}. Cut into bars. Enjoy!
  9. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 TBS milk. Stir in additional milk, i tsp at a time until icing reaches drizzling consistency.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 78mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 11g Protein: 1g

Besides these banana bars, what’s your favorite way to use up bananas?

If you like this recipe, you might like these posts too:

Apple Fritter Cookie Bites

Easy Summer Fruit Snack

From Scratch Strawberry Shortcake

Top 10 Posts of 2012

It’s hard for me to believe that 2013 will mark three years since I started blogging here at Simplify, Live, Love. My style has changed a lot these last couple of years and I am really excited for 2013. I’m working hard to improve my posts and I hope it shows!

It’s that time of year again to reflect on the most popular posts on my blog. Knowing what you you all enjoy most helps me focus my efforts better! So I was really interested to look up this information a couple days ago.

And here are the top viewed posts on Simplify, Live, Love in 2012, starting with the 10th most viewed post and working down to the post that’s been read the most! Did you read all of these?

#10. Homemade 9 Grain Bread

One of my most favorite breads of all time to make – it’s crunchy, delicious, and nutritious! 

#9. Overnight French Toast Breakfast Casserole

This is a relatively recent post of mine, and it’s gone crazy the last few months with the many holidays! It’s the perfect breakfast to make for company!!

#8. What to Eat When the Pantry’s Empty

I wrote this post, partly in jest, when I saw someone found my blog by googling “What to eat when the pantry’s empty.” What I know about my own pantry is that it’s never really empty – it just contains the less popular items… Apparently, a lot of people face the same thing.


#7. Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips in Toddlers

This post contains a lot of links and information about dealing with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips. I’m always sad when when people find this page because I hate the thought of other families going through what we went through. But I’m glad they found it, too, because I know it’s helpful!

#6. The Lazy Person’s Guide to Canning Crushed Tomatoes

If you can tomatoes, this is a how-to for a really easy way to get the most out of your bounty!


#5. Top 10 Tips to Save $$ ~ At the Grocery Store

Even if you don’t coupon, there are a lot of tricks to saving money on groceries. Here are my top 10 tips.

#4. My Gutter Salad Garden

My husband built me this gutter salad garden last year! It didn’t yield anything for me…but I haven’t given up! I’ll be planting lettuce and spinach in a couple of months.

#3. Keeping a Low Grocery Budget by Shopping from Amish

We’re lucky to have Amish Bulk food stores not too far away, and I find lots of goodies there!

#2. Happy Birthday Fruit Cake ~ A Tutorial

One of my all time favorite posts – a tutorial for making a fruit cake!

#1. How to Freeze Avocados

And my most popular post of 2012 – how to freeze avocados!

Is your favorite post among the top viewed posts on my blog? If not, I’d love to hear if you have an all time favorite post on Simplify, Live, Love!

Yogurt Parfaits & 3 More Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas

Looking for breakfast inspiration for the holidays? Look no further! Here is a recipe for Yogurt Parfaits with Berries & Better Oats and links for three more make-ahead breakfasts to simplify Christmas morning!

Better Oatsrecently sent me a sampler package of their Instant oatmeal. We’re not huge warm oatmeal fans at my house {and I call myself a crunchy mama…}, but I was very intrigued by their Organic RAW products. Highlights of the Raw Pomegranate Oatmeal include:


  • Real Pomegranate
  • Made with 5 Organic, Whole Rolled Grains for a Thick & Hearty Texture
  • Good source of Protein and Fiber
  • Good source of ALA-Omega 3
  • 32 grams of Whole Grain per serving

Better Oats offers 23 delicious flavors in several lines, including RAW Pure & Simple?, Oat Revolution?, and MMM…Muffins?.

RAW Pure & Simple: RAW Pure & Simple is a better way to eat. We start with the finest quality 100% organic, whole grain oats blended with organic whole grains and seeds, like flax, barley and quinoa, for a wonderfully wholesome and nutritious breakfast. You’ll love all four thick, hearty multigrain texture and natural, robust flavors. RAW Pure & Simple is naturally good, straight from Mother Earth.

Oat Revolution: Raise your spoon and join us for an Oat Revolution! It starts with all natural 100% whole grain oats. We then add antioxidants and flax, a good source of Omega-3, and top it all off with a bold shot of flavor. All combine to create delicious oatmeal that keeps its rich, robust flavor all the way to your bowl. Take one bite and start your Oat Revolution!

MMM…Muffins: Everyone loves waking up to hot, fresh muffins for breakfast.
MMM…Muffins gives you that same delicious muffin taste you crave in healthy and nutritious 100% whole grain oatmeal. Our thick and hearty oatmeal is also a good source of fiber and omega-3, so it’s better than good, it’s good for you. Start your day off right with the indulgent taste of real muffin flavor in every bite…mmm.


Since I have a problem with mushy oatmeal texture, but love the health benefits oatmeal offers, I decided to see how else we could eat this wonderful sounding concoction. So, I got out my cute parfait glasses, bought some really nice Greek Yogurt and berries, and came up with these wonderful Yogurt Parfaits! The kids ate them up! My husband was a little concerned about “uncooked” oatmeal, but I grew up in Germany eating Muesli and that’s essentially what this is. I thought they were fantastic!

To make your own Yogurt Parfaits – all you have to do is layer yogurt, berries, and uncooked oatmeal. We gobbled ours right up as soon as I made them, but if you would like to soften up the oats a bit, refrigerate over night and eat in the morning!

We used this nice Pomegranate flavor, Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt, blackberries, and raspberries. DE-LISH!

If you’d like more information about Better Oats, connect with them on Facebook and Youtube.

If Yogurt Parfaits aren’t your thing, here are three more make-ahead breakfast ideas to help simplify your Christmas morning!!

1. Egg Casserole that’s Not Mushy

2. Overnight French Toast Casserole

3. Homemade Monkey Bread

What do you plan to eat on Christmas morning?

Chewy Granola Bars

I’m always on the prowl for easy, semi-healthy ideas for snacks and breakfasts. A couple weeks ago, when cleaning off my bookshelf, I found an old Christmas Cookies 2007 magazine from Better Homes and Gardens that I forgot I had. I found so many delicious ideas in it. This recipe for Chewy Granola Bars caught my attention immediately, and they were as good as expected. And pretty easy to make, too!

Chewy Granola Balls

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups wheat and rice cereal flakes {I used non- GMO Kashi Strawberry Fields}
  • 2 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit bits {I used pineapple, mango, apricots - craisins would also be great!}
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-color corn syrup {Wholesome Sweetners Organic Light Corn Syrup is supposed to be GMO free}
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter {I used creamy, but I think crunchy would be better}
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. Line 2 large cookie sheets with waxed paper.
  2. Toast nuts by spreading them in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until they are slightly golden brown. Stir once or twice during baking.
  3. Mix cereal, oats, dried fruit, and almonds in a large bowl.
  4. Combine brown sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and almond extract. Mix until combined. Then add to cereal mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Shape cereal mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. {You may need to mix the cereal mixture with your hands to get it nicely coated}. Place balls on cookie sheet and let them stand at room temperature for an hour or for as long as you can stand it.
  6. Yields about 3 dozen granola balls.

Chewy Granola Balls

These yummy little balls were a huge hit – perfect for a quick snack or breakfast, and I think they will be a great addition to the Christmas Cookie Platter.