Subtitled: I am horrible at estimating how many bananas my family will eat...
Written by Gayle
I'm not much of a banana eater, and the others in my household eat them in fits and starts. Consequently, I often have overripe bananas hanging around. Yes, I freeze them (peeled) to use for smoothies (one of my daughters makes a smoothie almost every day, so that helps) but here's another great recipe to use those bananas!
Saundra's Banana-Date Breakfast Bars
I got this recipe from my sister. I won't brag here about how amazing she is, but just trust me, she is. This is a simple, quick, do-right-now or make-ahead recipe. I've added some ingredients that we particularly like, such as ground flaxseeds, ground hemp seeds, and chia seeds. These are optional, but I like the added nutrition.
Chia seeds have gained popularity over the last several years, and they are packed with nutrition. This NY Times article
tells about the great antioxidants, protein, and fiber in chia seeds.
Hemp seeds are a great source of amino acids, along with protein and healthy fats.
Flaxseeds (which should be ground in order to gain the nutritional benefits) contain fiber, protein, and Omega-3s and have been found to be good for lowering cholesterol. See this article in Shape Magazine
for information on all three kinds of seeds.
The original recipe also calls for wheat germ, which has been a popular source of protein, iron, Omega 3s and 6s, and more. I found this
helpful list of wheat germ's benefits.
You Will Need:
- 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 3 TBSP wheat germ
- Optional: chia seeds, ground flax seeds, ground hemp seeds (I used 2 TBSP each)
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped dates (I used about 6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped)
First, Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (oatmeal, wheat germ, seeds, whole wheat flour, baking soda)
Then in a blender, mix the bananas, oil, egg and vanilla.
Pour the banana mixture over the dry ingredients
Chop and then add the dates. Here's a little tip about chopping those sticky dates. I oil my knife so that the date pieces come off of the knife easily and don't stick together as much either.
(I will confess that sometimes I add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips too. Does that make me bad?)
Add the dates to the bowl and mix everything together thoroughly.
Pour into a greased 9"x9" pan and bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. My pan is actually a 8"x8" so I baked my bars for about 28 minutes.
You can cut the bars and serve immediately or cool. These will keep for a few days at room temperature, or you can freeze the bars and pull them out for a quick breakfast or snack. My kids like to take a bar for lunch, too. They make a great breakfast with a protein shake or just juice!