Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Frugal Snack: Monkey Bars

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I found this healthy, tasty snack in this month's edition of Woman's Day magazine. They're super easy to make, my kids think they're treats and I can swap out a few ingredients to make them pretty dang healthy- all pluses in my opinion!

The name Monkey Bars comes from the fact that these have 5 bananas in them. However, when I made these and took the pictures, I didn't have any bananas, so I swapped in pureed pumpkin instead! They were delicious and we really enjoyed them both ways! In a couple months most of us will have lovely jack-o-lanterns on our porches...which we can them COOK afterwards!

Here is the original recipe. I've swapped out many of the ingredients and each time they turn out delicious! Also, if you plan ahead of time to make these, keep an eye out at the grocery store for really ripe bananas that are marked down. I've gotten some for as little as .15/lb before!

Monkey Bars
  • 1 2/3 cups mashed, ripe bananas {about 5 bananas}
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil {can use applesauce instead!}
  • 1/4 cup milk {can use powdered milk}
  • 2 large eggs {can use powdered eggs}
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips {I reduce this by half, I know, I'm mean!}
  • 1-2 TBSP ground flax {my addition}
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10.5" pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.


Whisk all ingredients except for the flour and chocolate chips. Gradually add in flour until just blended. Mix in half the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Cool completely. I've even stuck the entire pan into the freezer so that they'd cut cleaner! Once cool, cut into squares.

If you're preparing these for school lunches, I suggest bagging them individually and freezing them like that. If you freeze prior to cutting, the chocolate on top doesn't make a mess in the baggie.

6 comments:

Debbie said...

Yummy! Did you use the same measurement for pumpkin puree as you would for the mashed bananas?

Claire said...

Would love to see some zucchini recipes :) :) We are coming out of our ears with zucchini! I made some zucchini cookies tonight and they were blah...:( I have a great zucchini bread recipe that's healthy too, and a chocolate zucchini cake, and zucchini brownies, but other than that and steaming it, we're not sure what else to do with all of this!

Sak said...

We use a little Julienne tool for our zucchini and make "noodles" with it. Then we serve as a side dish with our favorite pasta sauce! In the summer we blend tomatoes, garlic, basil, spices and some onion together, heat in a pot until the consistency is what you like then serve over the zucchini!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

You could also use canned bananas in these! A pint of canned bananas would leave you with a 1/3 cup leftover that you could throw in smoothies.

Heather D. said...

Claire - we saute zucchini strips in butter and soy sauce. So good!

Anonymous said...

Made these today & they were great! And I didn't even feel bad indulging since they're such a healthy snack!

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