Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana "Monkey' Bars

This kid-friendly vegan recipe is packed with nutrition but doesn't skimp on flavor.  Whole wheat flour and black beans bring extra protein and fiber.   Ripe bananas and dried dates provide natural moisture and sweetness.  This is unrefined, plant-based snacking you can "Go Ape!" over

HARD          Servings: 24       Ready In: 1 Hour

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Monkey Bars - Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Dessert, Kid-Friendly, Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Monkey Bars - Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Dessert, Kid-Friendly, Frosting

Chef's Healthy Tip  - Black Beans are the secret ingredient in these vegan brownies, packing extra fiber and plant-based protein

Chef's Healthy Tip  - Black Beans are the secret ingredient in these vegan brownies, packing extra fiber and plant-based protein

Chef's Tip - Thinly slice healthy bananas on a sharp diagonal for an easy, yet elegant presentation

Chef's Tip - Thinly slice healthy bananas on a sharp diagonal for an easy, yet elegant presentation

Ingredients

2 cups pitted dates (400g)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (90g)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (60g)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (15-ounce can) black beans (no salt), drained and rinsed (255g)
1 tbsp flax meal (6.5g)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (114g)
3/4 cup mashed banana (about 1-2 medium, 180g)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (75g)
1 batch of Peanut Butter Banana Frosting, Chopped Roasted Peanuts, and Banana Sliced (for serving)


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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Monkey Bars - Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Dessert, Kid-Friendly, Frosting

Gather ingredients. Preheat oven to 350. 
Prep: Soak dates in warm water at least 10 minutes, to soften.
For Dry Ingredients: Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Set aside.
For Wet Ingredients: Squeeze dates from soaking liquid. Check for any pits and remove.  Drain and rinse black beans. Combine dates, black beans, flax meal, applesauce, mashed banana, and vanilla in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Roughly chop the peanuts. Reserve 2 tbsp. for garnishing later.
Combine: Add the pureed wet mixture to the sifted dry ingredients. Add the chopped roasted peanuts. Stir together just until combined. Be sure not to overmix. Line a 9x12 baking pan with foil. Spread brownie mixture evenly in the pan. 
Bake: Bake at 350, 50-60 min. Bars are ready when a toothpick can cleanly be inserted and removed. The top will also start to crack. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing. 
Topping: For topping, thinly slice a couple of bananas. Spread on Peanut Butter Banana Frosting (see separate recipe).  Top with sliced bananas and reserved chopped peanuts. 
Serve: Cut into 24 bars and serve.

Chef's Tips: Save over-ripe bananas in the freezer: Simply peel, break into pieces, and store in a plastic bag.  When ready to make this recipe, thaw out in your refrigerator overnight.


Servings: 24
Yield: 24 bars (9x12 pan)


Step-by-Step Photos:

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe (1.8 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 107.19
Calories From Fat (17%) 17.97
% Daily Value
Total Fat 2.15g 3%
Saturated Fat 0.42g 2%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 102.24mg 4%
Potassium 242.93mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 21.35g 7%
Fiber 4.25g 17%
Sugar 10.5g
Protein 3.59g 7%
Calcium 1.57mg <1%
Iron 17.93mg 100%
Vitamin A 7.79IU <1%
Vitamin C 0.02mg <1%
 


Healthy, delicious gluten-free, vegan cookies? Yes, they do exist. This easy recipe avoids refined sugar or syrup with the natural sweetness of bananas. Applesauce keeps them oil-free. Whole grain oats are great source of vegetarian protein and plant-based fiber. These treats are delicious enough for dessert...and nutritious enough for breakfast.