Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Banana Cream Pie Bars

One can only eat so much banana bread before realizing that there must be a more inventive way to use up overly ripen bananas. Bring in the banana cream pie! But in trying to watch calories and still enjoying treats, I wanted to find a way to make the banana cream pie healthier. This recipe originated from kraft, but tweaked to be healthier (and in my opinion, tastier). 


Ingredients:
  • 3 overly ripe bananas (frozen or thawed)
  • 20 vanilla cream cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 boxes of vanilla pudding (use SF if you're looking to cut calories)
  • 3 cups cold, skim milk
  • 1 container light cool whip

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, grease 9x13 pan
  • Mix together crushed cookies and bananas to create the crust (I used my kitchenaid mixer for this, which helped to make the process much easier)
  • Press into bottom of dish until evenly distributed
  • Bake for 8 minutes, let cool for 10
  • Beat pudding mix and milk with wire whisk for 2 minutes
  • Pour roughly 2 cups of pudding mix onto cooled crust and spread evenly across crust
  • Combine cool whip into remaining pudding, spread over top of pudding
  • I left mine in the fridge overnight, but the recipe says it should be ready after 3 hours. 

To create the perfect squares I used my perfect brownie pan insert to outline where the cuts should go. I tried to push down into it to cut it, but since the dish is curved it didn't work as well as I would have liked. But I did get perfectly sized bars, which I was very pleased about! 

Calories: 182 per bar (18 bars)

If you use sugar free pudding and vanilla wafers like the original recipe recommends (I didn't have vanilla wafers, so I worked with what I had) you'll be saving about 40 calories per bar! 

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