I’m always on the look out for baked goods that I can feel good about letting my kids snack on. Who are we kidding? I want tasty snacks, too! It’s lovely to bake for a special occasion, but by baking everyday treats myself I can really affect my family’s nutrition for the better.
What do I look for in a recipe? Whole grains, fruit, not too much sugar or fat. These moist banana bars got a big thumbs up in my house. They’re a little bit like a cake, but they’re sturdy enough to go into a lunchbox without falling apart, and you can eat one right out of hand. There’s a pleasing little crunch in each bite from the polenta and the poppy seeds. We’ve been eating these as breakfast, snack and dessert. It’s about time to bake another batch!
Banana Poppy Seed Bars
6 Tbsp. butter
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup polenta or cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Heat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees if using a dark baking pan). Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and egg together until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and bananas. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together and then stir into the banana mixture until just combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are golden. Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack before cutting into bars. They keep well in an airtight container for several days.
Melissa Jerves writes about food, family and 21st century home economics on her blog, Home Baked.