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cuteheads test kitchen: monkey bars


We've recently become acquainted with a wonderful company called Green Plate Kids, which provides healthier food options to little ones. We absolutely loved the chocolate chip zucchini cookies we tasted, and it got us thinking about trying to "healthify" a few of our own recipes. We're surrounded by many, many unhealthy choices, so why not try to sneak in some extra potassium and whole grains when we can? Monkey bars are delicious, and a great way to use the bananas that you inevitably have left over at the end of the week. We found this recipe in Women's Day. It calls for whole wheat, loads of banana, no butter, and no white sugar, so you can feel better about giving them to your cuteheads. They're in essence vegan, if you use dairy-free chocolate chips (which we did); however, we couldn't resist sprinkling a few peanut butter chips over the top of the bars. Those weren't vegan, but you definitely don't need them. They turned out to have the consistency of banana bread... no complaining here. And by the third day, they were still moist & delicious!

Monkey Bars


  • 1 2/3 cup(s) (about 5 bananas) mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) oil
  • 1/4 cup(s) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon(s) each baking soda and cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup(s) mini chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a 15 x 10 x 1⁄2-in. baking pan with nonstick foil (let the foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends).
  2. Whisk mashed bananas, sugar, oil, milk, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until mixed thoroughly. Whisk in flour just until blended; gently stir in 1⁄2 cup of the mini chocolate chips.
  3. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  4. Holding foil by ends, lift from pan onto a cutting board. Carefully cut lengthwise in 4 strips and then cut each strip in 10; remove foil.
Before baking...


Gooey on the inside!

Cuteheads Chief Cuteness Officer Winnie was "helping" by eating stray peanut butter chips that fell on the floor.

Garnished with a little powdered sugar.

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