So, on Saturday, I decided I wanted to make breakfast bars, and I set out to find the perfect recipe for me. I wanted one that ultimately would be vegan (of course), would contain oats, would not contain flour, would not contain white or brown sugar, would not contain oil or fat, would contain bananas, would allow me to add in chia seeds, would not need to be prepped overnight (I'm just not that on top of things), and would not require me to make a trip to the store. It took me eight hours on Saturday to find a recipe and then sufficiently tweak it to meet all of my requirements, but it was well worth it. I made them this morning, and I am muchos pleased! Now, I bestow onto you... Banana Oat Bars.
Banana Oat Bars (the recipe started here, served on 2/8/10)
4 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 medium or large ripe banana
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup vegan milk product (I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup agave nectar (I used amber, but I'm sure light would work too)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I actually used a praline liqueur here because I was out of vanilla, but I understand that not everyone has praline liqueur sitting around in the kitchen!)
1 cup dried cranberries
First things first: Preheat your oven to 325. Prep your 9 x 13 pan by either greasing it or fulling lining it with parchment paper. Also, go ahead and prep your chia seeds by mixing the chia seeds with the 1/4 cup of water. Let it sit for a few minutes while you work on the other stuff. The seeds and water will make a gel that will bind your bars.
Start by mixing the oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a big bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mash the banana to your liking (I like some chunks in mine, personally), and then add the chia gel, applesauce, vegan milk product, maple syrup, molasses, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the clumps of chia gel are mostly broken up and the mixture is fairly homogeneous-looking.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the cranberries.
Smush the mixture into your prepped pan, making sure to smush it into all of the corners. Bake for 45 minutes. When it's done, let it cool for a few minutes to finish setting, then cut into 12 bars. YUM YUM YUM.
Time: about an hourP.S. If you don't have chia seeds and/or don't want to buy any, you can replace the chia gel (the chia seeds + the water) with 2 flax "eggs", or just mash in another banana.
Servings: 12 (183 calories/serving)