Today’s slow-cooker-friendly recipe is brought to you by the fact that I am sick and tired of turning on the oven and roasting myself out of the kitchen. It’s almost September for crying out loud, and as a kid, September meant it was time for the weather to cool the eff down.
I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in the midwest and I’m now in the middle of the western desert or if it’s just another cold hard case of global warming. But yeah, I feel like we are still so very far away from cooler temps.
Heck, it was almost 100 degrees just yesterday!
But you know what – I’m ready to get in baking mode, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen, despite the blazin’ temps.
I was actually inspired by my dear friend Taylor, of Food Faith Fitness, when she started creating dessert and protein bars right in the slow-cooker. I mean, of course I had seen desserts made in the slow-cooker before, but they were more along the lines of cobblers or dump cakes that just came out looking like a pile of mush (although delicious mush, I’m sure).
So when I saw it was possible to make something with a little more structure, I was blown away. Where had this been all my life? Oh yeah, in Taylor’s head… thank you Taylor for releasing your brilliance!
So I got my little brainstorming session on and came up with a big ol’ hybrid of a treat for you today.
Think banana bread meets oatmeal.
Think cinnamon rolls meet chocolate chip cookies.
Think super healthy and EASY hands-off treat meets your MOUTH!
I literally mixed everything together, threw it in the slow-cooker and walked away. Like, I left the house for over an hour.
When was the last time you were able to do that with your baking?
No longer do you have to feel confined to your house while baking. You can now run outside for a minute and not freak out that your entire house is going to burn down. Instead, everything’s safe and sound inside the magical machine that I love so much.
The best part?
These are perfect for all times of day. Breakfast when there’s just no time. Mid-morning snack when you’re starting to get the hangries. After-school when the kids start rampaging the pantry looking for something sweet and delicious and not at all healthy (you’ll totally fool them with these).
I hope I’ve convinced you to start getting all the ingredients out of the cupboards and start whipping it all up in the 5-10 minutes it takes. I bet you have everything you need, don’t you?
So really, you have no excuse.
Make it. Eat it. Love it. You’re welcome.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon milk of choice
In a large bowl, mash bananas with the back of a fork until mostly smooth. Add applesauce, vanilla, and almond milk (or other milk of choice). Combine completely.
Add flour, oats, baking powder, and salt, stirring until just combined.
To prep your slow-cooker, spray with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, or use slow-cooker liners to prevent the bars from sticking to your slow-cooker.
Pour batter into slow cooker and top with chocolate chips. Cover, and cook on low for 2 hours, or until edges are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Turn slow-cooker off and let cool. Once it's mostly cooled, if you've used parchment paper or a liner, you can easily pull the bars out and carefully onto a cooling rack.
When the loaf is completely cooled, you can cut them into bars.
If you want to add the cinnamon drizzle, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stir to combine, and drizzle right on top of the bars.
When you make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and upload it to Instagram, tagging me @happyfoodholly
Other healthy dessert favs: