My dad is one of the most awesome guys I know (have to include the hubby in this one), and he really is my best friend. I can always count on him for anything, including lifting heavy boxes and trucking furniture up and down stairs.
Though he really wasn’t thrilled that we were moving away, my dad showed up on moving day and gave us every ounce of energy he had. That little man did the work of ten (and I even caught him doing sit-ups in between trips!). Seriously, my husband and I were in awe.
I look forward to being in as awesome shape as he is now in my 60’s. While we were taking water breaks, he just kept on going, and going, and going. Okay, he did take a few breaks to snack on these banana oat bars …
Bananas and oats have to be my dad’s two favorite foods, but he shies away from baked goodies since in his mind they are all loaded with sugar and refined flours. So I created these whole-grain, naturally-sweetened snack bars to keep us all powered up and happy.
Admitedly, my husband and grandma (the two sugar fiends) preferred the blueberry-cashew bars I made (still working on the recipe, as I thought they were too crumbly). However, my dad and I were loyalists to these snack bars, which had a dense, but somewhat cakey consistency. In fact, after the pan was gone (that very same day), dad asked me to make more!
Banana-Oat SuperDad Snack Bars
This recipe is Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Free of Refined Sugars, and Optionally Wheat-Free / Gluten-Free (seek out some of those certified gluten-free oats)
- 1-1/4 Cups Quick Oats (not instant)
- 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar or Honey*
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted or softened (or oil of your choice)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Flour (I ground more oats in my spice grinder to a flour consistency, feel free to use the flour of your choosing … AP, whole wheat, or even almond flour)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Egg (brought to room temperature if using coconut oil)
- 1 Cup Mashed, Ripe Banana (about 3 small or 2 large)
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut (I used unsweetened)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, agave or honey, oil, and vanilla. Briefly set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Briefly set aside.
Returning to your mixing bowl, stir in the egg, banana, and coconut, until everything is well combined. Stir in the reserved flour mixture (since I was using oat flour without gluten, I wasn’t worried about over-mixing. Be careful not to overmix if you are using a wheat-based flour).
The batter will be a little thick. Spread it evenly in your greased baking dish, and pop it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting. Can be stored in the fridge if you like ’em chilled (I do).
* According to our taste buds, these bars were perfectly sweet, but if you prefer a sweeter treat, feel free to up the agave or honey to 1/3 cup or add a couple tablespoons of Sucanat or brown sugar.
Cinnamon Raisin Version
The above recipe is my slightly coconutty version. You can mix up the flavors if you wish. The following changes will give you a cinnamon raisin banana oat bar:
- Substitute grapeseed oil or other neutral-tasting oil for the coconut oil
- Substitute 1/2 cup of raisins for the coconut
- Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more if you like!)
- Substitute maple syrup for the agave/honey (optional)
Yields about 9 snack bars
Blog Events: I shared this post with Fight Back Fridays.