Hi, I’ve been stuffing my face with these since last night.
It’s cool though, because we’re calling these chocolatey bars “healthy.”
In truth, they’re only healthy in the sense that they are much healthier than similar alternatives, like a brownie.
They totally aren’t brownies, though. It’s rich chocolatey banana bread, studded with dried cherries and chocolate chips, in bar form! And it’s AWESOME.
So, yes, I may have had 1 (that was a lie…2) for breakfast. Thought process behind that? Banana bread is an acceptable breakfast>this is practically banana bread>I’m going to eat it for breakfast. Plus, these + milk = match made in heaven, just FYI.
These are actually based off of one of my very favorite recipes on the blog, that I feel like never really got very much attention—my Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Bread Fudge Bars. Seriously, try the original, you guys.
These ones are also crazy delicious, but a little less sinful, because I removed an entire cup of sugar. And yet, they’re still sweet and downright decadent thanks to the super ripe bananas. It’s really important to use almost completely black bananas here. Bananas get sweeter as they age. In blacker bananas, the starches have broken down into simpler, sweeter sugars. This means super yumminess in baked goods!
So, the inspiration from these came from two things: the three lone bananas reaching the end of their life in my pantry basket, and the amazing bag of dried cherries from Wood Orchard Market that my friend, Josh, brought back from Wisconsin.
I said I was going to make something delicious with them, and that I did!
Oh, and it’s super easy to make these vegan! Just swap the melted butter out for melted coconut oil, and the Nutella out for a vegan nut butter—I suggest Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter or Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams!
Yield: 9"x16" pan full
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (use coconut oil for vegan option)
- 1/3 cup Nutella (use Justin's Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter for vegan option)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cherries (or try dried cranberries!), + more to scatter on top
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, + more to scatter on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan and line with parchment paper; grease the paper.
- In the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the bananas, melted butter, Nutella, sugar, and vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and cherries, and stir to combine.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish. If desired, scatter more cherries and chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.
adapted from my Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Bread Fudge Bars