After a long smoothie obsession, I have finally succumbed to the early morning laziness I have long been fending off. I used to not mind spending 5-10 extra minutes every morning making smoothies before heading off to work, but now it feels more like a chore. Especially after my last smoothie creation: banana papaya with almond milk kept congealing into an inedible texture! (But thank goodness for those protein shaker balls–worked like a charm in making the smoothie a normal consistency!)
So I decided I need to do something different this week and found this recipe for banana oat bars. The nutrition is all there and I love that the bars contain only a handful of ingredients and you can taste every single of one of them in each bite. I think they turned out great but don’t expect them to be as sweet as a store-bought bar. The only sweetness comes from the banana and the dried dates which is enough for me, but you may want to add some honey in if you crave that sweetness in the morning.
The recipe said to use a 9×9 pan. I used an 8×6 and it worked fine.
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped nuts –I used walnuts
Nutmeg and cinnamon for the topping
Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil or butter.
Peel the bananas and mash their flesh in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas should be essentially liquid. (You will have between 1 cup and 1 1/4 cup.) Stir in the vanilla and then stir in the oats. Stir in the salt, dates, and nuts.
Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. Sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or unti the edges just begin to crisp up.
Place the baking pan on a rack to cool.