Banana Oat Blondies

Because there's only one (maybe two?) things to do when you see a bunch of overripe bananas on your counter: turn them into a delicious baked good! Freezing them is the second option, in case baking with them doesn't excite you. Well, I guess there is a third, most obvious option: eat them.
Banana bread seemed too mainstream. If you've been following me for a while now, you'll know that I mean this in the best of sentiments. My family and I are banana bread fanatics, and I've already made so many variations. It only seemed fair to give other treats a chance. Hence, these oat banana blondies were born. Quick confession time. These aren't your classic blondies, so don't expect them to be as such. They're more like a chewier, denser version of banana bread in blondie form. Not sure who wouldn't want that though! They're also easily made gluten free as long as you make sure to use gluten-free certified oats.

From my experience baking with oat flour, I've found it to be one of the most reliable flours - it always yields such delicious results. The texture is just right - crumbly, nutty and has a bite to it, yet is smooth, rich and oh-so-wonderfully wholesome.

These blondies are no different. They're soft, slightly chewy, filled with just the right amount of chocolate chips, moderately sweet and healthy to boot! You could even slice a large square in half and slather on some peanut or almond butter (or a cocoa hazelnut spread that's made from real ingredients - i.e. not Nutella).

1 1/2 cups baby oats, ground into a flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a square baking dish (8 to 9 inches in side length) with parchment paper and set aside.  

Sift the dry ingredients, except sugar, together in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the Greek yogurt, almond butter and coconut oil. Add the eggs one at a time and beat again until light and frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat well again.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed banana, then the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Let the blondies cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy anytime with drink of choice (milk, tea, coffee.... I guess wine works too?)!

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