Strawberry Banana Bread Bars with Sneaky Vegetables

My idea for this recipe was that it would be a striped green and red banana bread loaf, as I wanted to make something festive - before putting it in the oven, it seemed like my idea would work great! The batter was bright green from zucchini and spinach and the top looked like a Christmas tree with little red strawberries as ornaments! However, after baking, when I removed the bars from the oven, they were no longer green and it just appeared to be a regular banana bread. It also was much more dense and gooey on the inside than I expected, so they turned out to be bars instead of bread.



So, these bars have “sneaky vegetables” in them because you wouldn’t know by looking at or tasting them that there is zucchini and spinach (1 cup of each!) inside! Even though my original idea didn’t quite turn out as I anticipated, I still think these are quite tasty and fun! You never quite know what you will get when you experiment with recipe creation, but this counts as a win in my book. Try it and let me know what you think!


Ingredients

(fills two 9 in x 5 in loaf pans)


Wet:

4 ripe bananas (the riper the better)

1 cup grated/chopped zucchini

1 cup spinach

1/4 cup honey (can add more to sweeten if desired)

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp flax meal

¾ cup water

¼ cup milk of choice (I used oat milk)

Dry:

2 cups wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

Dash of salt

1-2 tsp cinnamon


Add in:

1 lb (16 oz) strawberries, sliced


Steps

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Press the excess water out of the zucchini. Make the flax eggs by mixing the flax meal with the water, and refrigerating for at least 5 minutes until thickened.


2. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and lightly oil it.


3. Add wet ingredients (except flax eggs) to a blender and blend until smooth.


4. Pour into a large mixing bowl and fold in the eggs.


5. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.


6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.


7. Pour some batter into the bread pan, add a layer of strawberries, and repeat.


8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the edges look golden brown and a toothpick in the

middle comes out clean. Let cool.


9. If you want the bars to be less gooey, cut slices once the bread has cooled, then spread the slices on a baking sheet and toast them or pop them in the oven for 3-5 minutes on each side.



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