Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recipe: Bananarama Bars

Updated 9/15/17:
This was my first recipe post! 4.5 years later, it is time for an update. I actually came across this while looking for ideas for afternoon snacks or pre-workout fuel for my husband. I had been making him Morning Glory muffins, but I think he got a little sick of them. I dug into my archives to find this post, and realized it desperately needed an update! I altered some of the ingredients and directions so it is more accessible to whatever you have on hand. These bars/cookies are awesome, and you should try them! Added benefit - if you use certified gluten-free oats, these are 100% gluten free!

I have a hard time eating much right before a workout. I've been relying on GU Chomps for energy, but sometimes I'm just STARVING and a few gummies won't cut it. Most snacks that are big enough to take the edge off my hunger, just sit too heavily in my stomach. However, I've found that a granola bar is pretty energy dense, while still allowing me to work out or run just fine. I've made Alton Brown's recipe a few times now (another post on that later), and my only complaint is that they go so quickly! Last week, Joey pointed out this recipe, and I finally gave it a try last night.

Recipe: Bananarama Power Bars
2 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk (any milk of choice - I usually use almond milk)
1 egg
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup sugar (or splenda)
1 tbsp ground flax (optional)

Mix-Ins (choose as many or as little as you like!)
5 dates, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans (toasted!)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a large cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop), place batter on baking sheets, flattening tops slightly. Put 5 on each sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then switch positions of the baking sheets in the oven (swap top and bottom). Bake another 10 minutes, or until golden and the bars feel set when you lightly touch them. 

Feel free to add as little or as many of the mix-ins as you want! I really like pecans+chocolate. My husband loves pecans+chocolate+coconut. Dates+pecans would also be fantastic!

I have successfully made these adding in some protein powder. I even used banana flavored protein powder to amp up the banana flavor! If you do this, just sub out an equal amount of the oats. For example, if you add in 1 scoop of protein powder, then make sure when you measure out 2 cups of oats that you subtract 1 scoop.

Ground flax adds fiber and nutrients without affecting the taste. Make sure to use ground and not whole flax seeds, to really get the full nutritional benefit.

If you only have one banana, feel free to cut the entire recipe in half! Every ingredient is pretty easy to divide in half - and just use 1 egg white instead of a whole egg. If you bake half of the recipe, just keep them in for the entire 20 minutes - you don't need to worry about swapping positions in the oven.

Before they were baked (left), After they were baked (right)