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

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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,
Andrea

44 comments:

  1. Well, I'm off grains, so I don't bake anymore. (terrible, huh?) If the hubby or anyone wants baked goods, we'll have to buy it. I don't mind them eating it, if they want, but I wouldn't be a very good primal role model if I was still baking desserts. (I'm just not into the almond or coconut flour paleo dessert recipes. At least not at this juncture.)

    My favorite breakfast is hashed browns, nicely seasoned, a nice grilled hamburger patty, over-medium eggs, and a flute of champagne. :) (Sundays only.) Otherwise, it's nuts and cheese, sometimes with a hard boiled egg, sometimes not.

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    1. I made several baked goods with almond and coconut flour from the Against All Grain cookbook, and we all liked them a lot. While we are certainly not completely grain-free (especially not the kid and Andy), I'm trying to reduce the grains we eat more and more. Baby steps. :)

      Your breakfast sounds good! Wish I could still eat eggs...

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  2. These look delicious! I will definitely be trying them soon!
    I'm really into wholegrain English muffins with almond butter for breakfast lately :)

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    1. Hope you'll like them!

      I once had an English muffin phase... I liked them with just some butter... I think the older kid was about G's age... Brings back memories! :)

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  3. Yum!! It's amazing how much sweetness one banana can provide :-) And, great Idea to add some protein with the bar! I've been eating something different for breakfast almost everyday lately, although last week I was really craving oatmeal with raisins. Mmmm...

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    1. Yes, if you add a ripe banana to many things, you really don't need to add any sugar. Oatmeal with raisins is a great combo!

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  4. Greta,
    Ich backe nicht gerne, wenn, dann für Andere,dann experimentiere ich auch mal.Dein Gebäck sieht gut.
    Interessante Fotos!

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  5. why kids are so difficult to feed?eating is a constant battle here with Sofia. I hope this gets better as she gets older.

    I love baking and I love the smell in the oven when there's baking going on! :)

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    1. I think as kids get older, the "food battles" do get easier. At least the kid now understands that he needs to eat certain things to be healthy. What's hard with him is that he'll "overdose" on certain foods and then doesn't want anything to do with them. It's hard to convince him to eat more variety on a consistent basis...

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  6. Yum! I'm looking forward to having a little one again who goes through stages! :-)

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    1. Yes, stages are fun! :) And going through them again after quite a few years will be such a different experience, Jenn!

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  7. I actually like that your bars aren't overly sweet - I'd probably love them then! I don't bake sweet stuff, but I love my breads! I've declared 2014 the year of sourdough for me - I just bought some rye flour to start my starter - hope its not too cold in my house to get it going!

    And savory breakfasts hit the spot for me - breakfast nachos, hashes, etc. Although I did have whole wheat poppy seed pancakes for breakfast that were pretty tasty!

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    1. I love savory breakfasts, but many of my old go-to breakfasts contain eggs, so I can't have them anymore... I'll have to come up with some more egg-less savory breakfasts!

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  8. The smoothie sounds tasty but the bars look amazing too. My highlight of the weekend was doing yard work - it felt good to get rid of all the dead plants, weeds, and bushes.

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    1. Yes, yard work, well in my case "patio work," always makes me feel good! :)

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  9. I'm always looking for something to do with our ripe bananas, and your bar recipe looks perfect! I like how it's not too sweet (which is great for me) and that there aren't a lot of ingredients. I could see myself eating one for breakfast along with an egg or two. Right now, I'm still eating bircher muesli every day (can't resist!). I like to bake, but I have a tendency to not measure, which is a problem ;)

    Hope you're having a great week, Andrea!

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    1. I love bircher muesli, too, and we had some this morning! :)

      I can so relate to the tendency to not measure... ;)

      Hope you are having a great week, too, Jessie!

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  10. OKAY AMAZING! There are NO added sweeteners to this!!! PERFECTION I tell YOU! :)

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    1. Thanks, Gigi! I'm very happy that they have no added sweetener, and that they turned out so well. :)

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  11. These bars sound and look great Andrea...
    I always enjoy the pictures, the traditional Korean costumes are so pretty.
    Hope you are having a great week :D

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    1. Thanks, Juliana!

      Hope you are having a great week, too!

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  12. I LOVE THAT RECIPE _ printing!!!!!! Great for before my run!!! You know how I feel about my baking but I try! :)

    Love the family pics too - so fun!

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    1. Thanks, Jody! As long as we keep on trying... :)

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  13. My kids love it when I make granola-type bars. These look amazing!

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  14. I love bars like this! I enjoy baking but I don't very often bake anymore as we are trying not to eat sweets so much. I alternate between hot oatmeal and green smoothies for breakfast.

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    1. I definitely don't bake as often as the boys would like me to... Since it's often three of them, anything baked is gone very quickly, but I try to limit it...

      We haven't had hot oatmeal in a while, but I'm making overnight oats about once a week.

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  15. I go through heaps of food phases too haha :) Especially with my packed lunches...sometimes I like sandwiches, sometimes I don't haha Breakfast for me is relatively easy because so long as it's warm, I'm usually too tired in the morning to care what I eat! Your oatmeal banana bars look amazing though....they'd definitely make a great snack for me!

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    1. Thanks, Von.

      I almost always prep my breakfast the night before. That way I can eat what I want. The kid is harder because he will all of a sudden not care for some things... :)

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  16. Those look delicious Andrea. I've bookmarked the recipe. LOVE the Korean NY photos!!! Have a great day.

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  17. Whoohoo for egg & dairy-free child-approved breakfast bars! They look tasty!!!!! So glad your kid is loving them! Ill admit this, I will never be a baker and I don’t think I want to experiment with baked goods… but I can work with steamed dough! My fave breakfast is def the sprouted bread with my vegan chik’n sald ;)

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    1. Bread with vegan chik'n salad sounds delicious!

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  18. LATE TO THE 'NANNA SOIREE----but we are making these this week!

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    1. We are making them again this week, too! Hope you'll like them!

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  19. Bananas and nut butter - MMMM! I cannot even recall the last time I had that combo of love!

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  20. ahh thinking about this post yesterday as the child TURNED on a food she's loved for years!!

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    1. Yup, it can happen so unexpectedly (well, with the kid I now expect it as he does it all the time). Luckily, they can also "turn back"... :)

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  21. These bars look yummy and are so healthy! I will give it a try. We are currently having porridge every morning (oat meal mixed with quinoa or millet flakes).. I am sure some diversity in eating oats would be welcome!!

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    1. Let me know what you think if you end up making them!

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  22. I'm not a baker but I have to say that your oatmeal banana bars look so simple and delicious that I will definitely try it. My favorite breakfast for the moment is mashed chickpea rye bread sandwich. Haven't got tired of it yet!

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    1. Yes, the bars are super simple and perfect for non bakers! :)

      Your favorite breakfast sounds good.

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