By Mary-Lyn Taylor
Late night snacking? That time of the month craving? In dire need for fuel for that finals cramming sesh? Too busy building an empire to sit down for a meal?
We got your back.
These banana oat bars will take you 20 minutes from start to finish. It’s salty, sweet, delicious, and won’t leave you feeling guilty after you devour the last bite. My favorite part about this recipe is that it allows me to use extra ripe bananas that most people would end up throwing away, preventing unnecessary food waste and the ingredients are all cost friendly for a college student on a budget, like myself. These bars are filled with fiber and protein and they always leave me feeling full and satisfied. They’re also vegan and gluten free. If you aren’t avoiding dairy, feel free to substitute the chocolate used here with your favorite chocolate chips!
Warning: These are addicting
Banana Oat Bars
2 ripe bananas (look for lots of brown spots and patches on skin, the softer the better)
1 c. quick cook oats
½ c. chocolate chips by Enjoy Life
2 Tbs. natural chunky peanut butter (nut butter of choice with no added oil or sugar! I prefer Teddy’s Super Chunky)
Topping of choice: sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mash bananas together until smooth and no chunks are remaining. If you find yourself craving these treats before the bananas are ripened properly, put them in the microwave for 20 seconds so the texture is soft enough to use. Be sure to allow the goopy mess you made enough time to cool before adding anything else, otherwise your chocolate chips will melt instantly!
3. Add the oats, nuts butter, and chocolate chips. Stir everything together until completely mixed.
4. Spray a cooking sheet with oil and scoop a heaping spoonful of mix onto the sheet. Using your hands, form into a bar. If you’re feeling creative you can form any shape you want! But be sure to keep the thickness relatively low to allow it to cook thoroughly. If you decide to add any toppings, sprinkle them on now!
5. Place in oven for 10 minutes.
6. Let cool and enjoy! Store whatever remains in the fridge. I highly recommend doubling (or tripling) the recipe and freezing the leftovers for future munchies.
The simplicity of this gives you creative freedom, so try adding new toppings, or using different types of nut butters. If you have kids around, this is a great recipe to get them involved in the kitchen and turned on to a healthier treat. Let us know what works for you in the comments below!
Mary Taylor lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is studying Nutrition and completing Yoga Teacher Training at UVM. She can often be found hunting for vintage clothing or foraging wild plants for herbal medicine remedies. An avid traveler and taco eater, she is currently plotting to steal Anthony Bourdain’s job. Follow her adventures on Instagram.