Monday, January 27, 2014

Oatmeal Banana Bars

The kid goes through “food phases.” That is, he is really into certain foods for a while and then not so much. Recently, he has been having green smoothies, banana yogurt (plain Greek yogurt, smashed banana, and vanilla stevia), avocado, and blueberries for breakfast. But all of these foods are not that appealing to him anymore.

So I was looking for some new breakfasts and thought I’d experiment with some bars. Now, if you know me, you know that I am not a baker. Over the years I have learned to follow a recipe when it comes to baking, and I do usually okay when I do just that. But the last time I experimented and tried to make gluten-free pumpkin cookies by experimenting with oats and no added sugar they turned out awful. In fact, the experience made me not want to bake for a while…

Luckily, I had a lot more success with these bars as we all enjoy them. I like that they have no added sugar but are sweet enough because of the bananas and raisins. They are also egg and dairy free. Plus, they are perfect for those ripe bananas you need to use up. While I set out to make breakfast bars, we eat them more at other times of the day rather than for breakfast, but they are a success nonetheless.

Oatmeal Banana Bars

Yield: 8 bars

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, processed in the food processor for about 15 – 20 seconds, until the oats are smooth but still have some texture
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, smashed
  • 3 T almond butter
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  4. Put the dough into the baking dish evenly and smooth out the top.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Take the parchment paper with the cooked bars out of the baking dish.
  7. Cut the baked dough into 8 bars.
  8. Let cool completely before eating so that the bars have a chance to set.
Nutritional Information per bar (I used the MyFitnessPal website to calculate the stats): Calories: 127, Carbs: 16 grams, Fat: 7 grams, Protein: 3 grams, Sugar: 7 grams.

These bars aren’t overly sweet, but sweet enough (at least for us) if you use ripe bananas. They are great for those who like sweet(er) breakfasts. If eaten for breakfast, I would definitely eat a higher protein food, such as some nuts, eggs or Greek yogurt, along with a bar or two. Personally, I tend to eat one a few hours after lunch with a cup of tea.They are also portable and have made appearances in Andy’s and the kid’s lunches as a little sweet, but not too sweet, treat.

Finally, the kid’s Korean school celebrated the Korean New Year with traditional Korean games and food on Saturday. Here are some photos.

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? Are you a baker? As I said, I’m truly not a baker, but I think I’m a pretty good cook. Cooking is just so much more forgiving... Do you like to experiment with baked goods? Since this experiment went so well, I’m curious and want to experiment some more. Not sure if that’s a good idea. Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead… What’s your favorite breakfast at the moment? I used to love “eggy” breakfasts. To me, there is nothing better than veggies topped with a couple over-easy eggs… Plus, it’s an easy and cheap way to get a protein-filled breakfast. But since I can’t digest eggs anymore, they are unfortunately off limits for me. So these days I always have a green smoothie for breakfast. If I’m still hungry after the smoothie, I often have some plain Greek yogurt with pecans or some other nuts.

Be well,