Banana Oat Energy Bars
By Darla Leal
This was a 4-ingredient experiment gone darn well! I prefer making my own energy bars and old bananas, oats and 65% dark chocolate is all I used to put these together. Great taste, texture and keep well stored in the refrigerator. No need to spend lots of cash on energy bars when they are this simple to make.
Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees. Oil 9 x 13 baking pan and dust with flour (I use stoneware so skip this step)
4 very ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla
½ bag dark chocolate (65% dark)
Peel bananas and place in a large bowl, with a fork or potato masher, smash and stir bananas until creamy. Add 2 cups rolled oats, 1 tsp vanilla and stir until well blended. Stir in ½ bag dark chocolate chips until well combined. Pour into prepared baking pan and spread until even. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until just starting to brown.
Cool and cut into 16 bars and enjoy throughout the week.
HEALTH TIPS: Bananas Don’t Make You Fat
Let’s put this myth to bed. Bananas don’t make you fat. Just like any other fruit, bananas contain natural sugar and excellent nutrients to support a healthy body. Bananas are famous for their potassium content but also rich in fiber, vitamin B6, and biotin. The natural fiber stimulates satiety and weight loss. Being rich in potassium, bananas are shown to help decrease blood pressure, maintain muscle and improve bone density. Vitamin B6 in bananas promotes a healthy central nervous system, enhances athletic performance and beneficial for hair and skin. I suppose if you were sitting around like a monkey eating bushels of bananas, there may be a concern for weight gain. Over consumption of any food is going to increase calories and possibly cause us to get fat. Taking in more calories than we burn promotes weight gain not singling out a banana. Eating all food in moderation is the key to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Enjoying one or two bananas per day is the general guideline.
Takeaway: bananas are a nutrient dense food and great daily snack.