Once again, I find myself experimenting in the kitchen to create some nutritious and delicious snack options for my toddler. I love creating different muffins and bars because they are perfect for freezing and only take second to defrost in the microwave for snack time. Win, win.
Pair these snack bars with a layer of nut butter, some roasted veggies, or yogurt for a satisfying and healthy snack!
These have no added sugar (no maple syrup or honey, either) and are sweetened only with fruit and sweet potato. You can make these into bars or cookies!
For the big kids, I’ve included the alternate recipe with a bit of brown sugar and a cinnamon icing sugar drizzle.
The texture is soft and cakey. I enjoy these straight out of the freezer and imagine they would be delicious with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries for a sweet dessert-type snack!
TODDLER SWEET POTATO OAT SNACK BARS OR COOKIES
Makes 2 dozen cookies or 24 bars
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (about the amount from 1 medium-large potato) Note: do not add water. Just cook until very soft and mash.
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (the riper, the better!)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (for big kids)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raisins or prunes, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped (chop finely for baby/toddler)
(these would be delicious with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries!)
Optional Cinnamon Drizzle:
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream (can use coconut milk if dairy-free)
Preheat oven to 350F.
For cookies, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
For bars, line 2 8 x 8 square pans with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch overhang for easy removal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the sweet potato, banana, oil, and brown sugar (if using).
Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients except add-ins.
Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix just until combined.
To batter, add desired optional add-ins, being sure to chop nuts or dried fruit if serving to baby or toddler.
To make bars, divide batter into prepared pans and press down to even. Bake for 18-22 minutes until centre is just set and edges are lightly browned. The inside will still very soft but not mushy. Let cool on a cooking rack in pan for 1 hour before removing from pan. To remove, grasp parchment by edges and lift. Ice with drizzle if desired. Cut into bars and store in fridge or freezer.
To make cookies, drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. I used a medium sized scoop. Use your hands to press down slightly. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, until edges are slightly firm. Centre will still be slightly soft but not mushy. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
For drizzle, whisk ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Mixture should form a thick ribbon when lifted with whisk or a spoon. If too thick, add more milk/cream. Drizzle evenly over cooled bars or cookies for big kids.
Store in fridge or freezer!