I'm a morning person. To me, that means I get up and have energy, even on nights when I get less than 6 hours of sleep. Stressful mornings drive me up a wall. But realistically, there are so many moving parts in a house with three kids in two different schools and while I understand how hard it is to get everyone up and at 'em, I keep wondering what we can do to make the mornings a little easier on everyone. Breakfast is the one meal that my family has where we are all reliably together. As a gal who grew up on family dinners but can't yet get it together to make that happen with my family of five, I rely on breakfast as our time to connect. The food needs to be ready quickly so that we maximize our time at the table.
Experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It needs to be healthy and balanced so that kids make it to lunch. I've said it before: to make life easier on busy parents, breakfast likely needs to be assembled at least in part, the night before (and of course, chosen in advance). Voila! These Banana Oatmeal bars fit the bill. In a nutshell, it’s like making oatmeal with bananas. Only you do it in advance. And there’s no messy pot to clean. And it’s super easy, with just four ingredients, absolutely yummy, and a very healthy meal.
I have seen various iterations for bars like these. Many have seeds or nuts or raisins or dried fruit and those are certainly great options or additions. I’ve tinkered with several recipes to create this one that my family devours - and it's a straightforward recipe to make with kids. I love that it doesn’t require elaborate steps or ingredients or even things like flour, eggs or milk. There are four ingredients! This is nut free, dairy free and vegan and has great fiber, potassium and protein. There is zero added sugar. And for those mornings when we’re literally running out the door with part of breakfast tucked into a paper towel, these really come in handy. They also double as a fantastic mid-day snack for parents and kids alike.
Will these eliminate your morning stress? No. But they may lighten the load, and that can make all the difference.
Banana Oatmeal Bars
3 super ripe (aka brown) bananas
2 cups of rolled oats (not instant)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas until they are smooth.
3. Add the oats and mix to combine.
4. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
5. Pour into baking dish. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.