14 October, 2016
Healthy Banana Granola Bars
What do YOU do with over-ripe bananas? Make banana bread? Freeze and put in smoothies? This quick and easy granola bar is a perfect way to use up a few bananas, and they are healthy too! No refined sugar in this recipe. I found it on myfitnesspal.com and was delighted to use up some bananas and Medjool dates I had in the freezer leftover from our visit to the Date Festival in Indio last year. These bars are somewhat soft and chewy as granola bars go. A nice consistency, easy to eat, and just the right amount of sweetness.
- • 2 cups rolled oats
- • 2 tablespoons ground flax
- • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- • 1/3 teaspoon salt
- • 1 cup very ripe mashed bananas (about 2)
- • 1/4 cup honey
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • 1/2 cup chopped dates (or use other add-ins of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 350° and prepare an 8 X 8 inch baking pan by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Mist foil with cooking spray.
- Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Pour into baking pan. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan, firmly pressing down with spatula or hands. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the top sets and edges begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before cutting into bars with a sharp knife.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Per serving: Calories: 130; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 120mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 3g
- Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 122mg; Iron: 5%; Vitamin A: 0%; Vitamin C: 2%; Calcium: 1%
The biggest challenge I had with this recipe was trying to figure out how to cut these bars into 10 pieces. In an 8 X 8 inch pan it is easy to cut into 9 pieces, or 12 pieces, but 10? Is this where high school math, algebra, or geometry comes in handy? Can you tell I didn’t pay attention to math classes in school?
Flax Seed antidote: A few years ago I had to hide the truth from my husband about adding healthy ingredients such as flax seed to recipes. He really didn’t notice until….. I cleaned the waffle maker. (This will make sense, just keep reading.) We’ve had this waffle maker for 40 years (I was 10 when we were married – JK) and I cleaned it often, but decided one day to give it a really thorough cleaning, taking it all apart and getting into the back bits that your normally don’t see.
A few days later I made waffles for breakfast. Now what I didn’t tell you is that for about a year prior to this I had been adding flax seed and wheat germ into the pancake and waffle mix, oatmeal, and the list goes on. So this morning I made the waffle mix, and cooked them in the newly cleaned waffle maker. I used a different flour this morning (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill Soft White Wheat) and this day the waffles cooked with little flecks in them (not noticeable when using the other flour).
My husband is so diplomatic. He mentioned that I must not have cleaned the waffle maker quite enough because his waffles came out with dirty bits in them. He wasn’t going to eat them until I confessed the bits were flax seed and that he had been eating waffles with flax seed for at least a year. I can’t describe the look on his face at that point. Hard to believe that we’re still married. 🙂