Banana Oatmeal Bars - Breakfast on the go...

We normally go through a lot of bananas in our house, but sometimes I end up with these black things on my counter that need a home.  Banana bread is the obvious choice.  A few weeks ago, I threw some into a Hummingbird Cake.  Good, but let's face it, how much cake can a small family eat??? 

So....  I was thumbing through and issue of KAF's The Baking Sheet, which happened to have just the option for crazy ole' me.  And as far as snack foods go, this one upped the ante with whole wheat, oatmeal and dried fruit & nuts.  Now that summer (hiking) season is on the horizon, I think I have found what is going to become a backpack staple.  Just looking at these makes me think "energy for the mountain"!

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour's The Baking Sheet  (Early Spring 2010)

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
3/4 cup plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple flavor
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
3/4 cups dried fruit (cranberries were my fruit of choice)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I didn't have any, so I upped the pecans to one cup)
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (my addition -- butterscotch chips would also have gone well here). 

Mix ingredients in order listed.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour. 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spread batter into bars (2 1/2 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick, ~10 inches long).  Bake 20-22 minutes until golden at the edges. 

Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Slice into bars (2-3 inches wide) and transfer to cooling rack.  Cool completely before storing. 

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