...Banana Oat Granola Bars

These granola bars are naturally sweetened by banana and are the perfect addition to your breakfast or as an easy portable snack.  This nut-free recipe is adapted from Oh She Glows, pared down to what we had in our pantry.  Feel free to substitute whatever nuts or seeds you have available.  If you choose to use nuts, chop them up into small pieces so the bars don't fall apart as easily.  I like this as an alternative to the hot oatmeal breakfast as we head into the warmer months.  The only regret I have is not finding this popular recipe sooner!

Ingredients (Yields ~12-14 bars depending on the size of your baking dish)
-1.5 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium/large bananas)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 cups quick oats 

-3/4 cup dried cranberries
-1 cup sunflower seeds
-1 cup pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds)
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper.

2.  Mash the bananas in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.

3.  Fill the baking dish and use the back of a spoon to level out and gently compact the mixture.

4.  Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before cutting into bars.  I simply used plastic wrap around each and put them in a ziploc bag in the fridge.


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