Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

Imagine if banana bread and a breakfast bar had a baby. These wholesome bars are moist, sweet and rich from bananas, scented with a bit of cinnamon, dotted with dark chocolate, and ready in just minutes. They're full of love, not calories or fat.

Can you believe there are just 3 tablespoons of butter in this entire batch? That's just 2 grams of fat per bar (if you make 16 bars; 2.75 grams if you make 12). The bananas add richness and moisture, so there's no need for gluttonous amounts of butter or oil. Hallelujah.
These bars are a welcome addition to any daybreak, but they're also great for midday snacking and dessert. Not that they will last, but you can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 day (or 5 days in the fridge). Y0u can also freeze them for up to 3 months! So, if you have a surplus of the ingredients called for, perhaps double the recipe and stash some for later!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bars 

Cooking spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas, about 3 medium bananas
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling over top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over two opposite sides (to create handles). Spray the paper with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a mixing bowl or food processor, combine the bananas, sugar, butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Mix or process until blended.
Add the flour mixture and mix or process until just blended (don't over-mix). Fold in the chocolate chips.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean or with little moist crumbs clinging to it.
Cool the bars, in the pan, on a wire rack. Use the parchment paper "handles" to transfer the bars to a cutting board. Slice into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container (3 days at room temperature; 5 days in the fridge; 3 months in the freezer).
Makes 12-16 bars