It seems like I am always left with more over ripe bananas then the amount of perfectly ripe ones I ever got to eat before they turned. I have done banana bread and banana muffins to death. Honestly, I am just burnt out. The last several batches of over ripe bananas have honestly just gotten trashed. Sad, I know. Today, I decided to muster up some ambition, search for inspiration, and make something I could enjoy with bananas. Inspiration led me once again to Sweet Pea's Kitchen, and her Banana Bars with Cream cheese frosting. Man I wish I wasn't on a diet....I love cream cheese frosting, but I couldn't in good conscience add that much sinfulness onto something I was hoping could be a breakfast food. Instead, I opted to throw in a bunch of plump, frozen blueberries, to give a little life and pep to it in a healthier fashion (it will never be as good as cream cheese frosting, but at least I can eat it for breakfast without feeling guilty.) The results, a delicious, moist, not overly sweet banana bar, with blueberries bursting in every bite. I must say, I am happy with the results.
I had so many bananas I actually doubled the recipe, and put probably (I didn't measure, boo me) 2/3's of the batter in an 13x18 sheet pan lined with parchment (the bars that are pictured) and the rest into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment. These came out twice as thick, and were more of "blueberry bottomed" banana bars, but they tasted just as good. So, there are pan options, just depends on how thick you want them. I would not fill any pan more than 2/3's to 3/4 of the way full though, otherwise you may have a big mess on your hands. Last note, the blueberries make this take longer to bake since they are frozen and make the batter cold. If you use fresh or canned blueberries, reduce the baking time, or start checking it about 5 minutes earlier.
Blueberry Banana BarsYield: 24 bars
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place a piece of parchment in a 9x13 pan, letting the parchment extend up the sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Spray with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the yogurt and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed banana and then carefully fold in the frozen blueberries.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 25-30 minutes. or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut in to bars and enjoy.