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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

How about some good old-fashioned chocolate chips? And bananas, of course.

Today is a celebration of two of the best paired foods. To give you a taste, I will give you the sweet, scrumptious recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Squares.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 6 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 chopped walnuts (optional, but recommended)

Step one: Grease a square or rectangular baking pan and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine, along with the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined.

Step two: Add egg, bananas, and vanilla until combined. Then add the flour. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. You can do all this with an electric mixer or by hand. Either one will work.

Step three: Spread in baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares. Makes 36 squares.

The last time I made these little bite sized wonders, everyone had them eaten in about 10 minutes! They’re a huge hit for small get-togethers and family gatherings. And it’s a sweet treat to cure any chocolate craving.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s my favorite time of the day. Blog time. Today I’m feeling rather hungry, so I want to give you this great recipe if you need a snack in your life right now like I do. This nice little snack mix from Hungry Girl will certainly lift your spirits and your taste buds!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (that’s 1pack), Peanut Butter flavor
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa Puffs cereal…yum
  • about 1 cup Gerber Finger Foods Fruit Puffs, Banana flavor
  • 1 ounce (about 1 cup) freeze dried strawberries
Oh gosh, this stuff is good. Photo from hungrygirl.com.

Oh gosh, this stuff is good. Photo from hungrygirl.com.

Step 1: Using a sharp knife, cut the granola bars into small bite sized pieces.

Step 2: Place granola pieces along with the other ingredients into a sealable plastic bag or in an airtight container with a lid.

Step 3: Shake it up!

How easy is that? You’ve got yourself such a delicious snack to take to work, take on a hike, or just munch on whenever.

Some people might get a little weirded out at the mention of the Gerber Fruit Puffs just because they’re considered to be baby food. Believe me, I was a little apprehensive at first. But then when I tried them, I absolutely loved their flavor (and their low calories). You could really just eat those for a snack if you wanted to.

And what’s the calorie count? 110 calories per 3/4 cup. Not bad for a snack with such big flavor.

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Hungry Girl's Top Banana Bread. Photo from hungrygirl.com.

Hungry Girl's Top Banana Bread. Photo from hungrygirl.com.

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

This is by far the sweetest, most succulent, delicious banana bread recipe I have stumbled upon. (And that’s saying a lot because I LOVE banana bread.)

Of course, it’s from the Hungry Girl cookbook, 200 Under 200. If you don’t have the book, don’t worry! You can get more information on this recipe and other great eats from the Hungry Girl website.

Another thing I really like about this bread is that the servings are HUGE. So not only is it healthy and tasty, but it’s also satisfying. You can have it for a snack, an appetizer, a side dish,  a dessert or even for breakfast on-the-go. It’s so versatile!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated) — or 1/2 cup works, too
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 whole bananas)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 no sugar added applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix ’em well.

Step 3: In a medium mixing bowl, combine bananas, egg substitute, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Mix ’em well. Add these ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend them together.

Step 4: Spoon batter into a large loaf pan (9 inches by 5 inches) that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Step 5: Allow the loaf to cool slightly, then cut into 8 slices. (Each slice has only 140 calories and about 4 grams of fiber.)

You can add some Cool Whip if you want. It adds a little something extra-delicious. Also, this bread will turn out very moist because of the applesauce and egg substitute. Because of it’s moisture, it has a tendency to go bad quicker than other breads. It is my suggestion that you eat it immediately after baking. And anyway, it tastes better warm.

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