Wait… don’t throw out those spotty bananas. Here’s a recipe I often use to make these delicious and filling seed/nut bars. It is so quick and easy to put together. If you’re someone that skips breakfast at home because your morning schedule is hectic then these are perfect to transport and eat when you can eventually take five! Also ideal for a mid-morning or afternoon snack or the kiddies school lunchbox.
Nuts and seeds are so full of essential minerals but we are often low on ideas of how to include them in the diet. The sweetness and moisture of these bars comes from the ripe bananas, maple syrup and dates. These increase the glycaemic load [GL], so don’t go overboard, it’s still a sweet treat!! However, the 183 calories per bar are not ’empty calories’, they’re packed with healthy nutrients.
One bar gives you 8% of your recommended daily intake [RDI] of sugar and 10% RDI of fibre which will help dull down that sugar spike. The cinnamon will also help balance blood sugar. High in natural polyunsaturated fats including 25% RDI of Omega 3. High in essential minerals and trace minerals especially manganese at 44% RDI. Manganese is an important trace mineral needed for many vital functions, including nutrient absorption, production of digestive enzymes, bone development and immune-system defenses. You are also getting Vitamin E, some of the B vitamins including a high amount of B5 to keep you calm, and the amino acid ‘tryptophan’ at 129mg per 100g to help regulate mood, sleep and hormone balance. Well worth the 10 minutes it might take to mix it up – ready for the oven.
The great thing about this recipe is that most of the ingredients have a long shelf life making it easy to include as one of your regular bakes.
180g rolled oats (use gluten free oats for ‘gluten free’)
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
35g almonds, roughly chopped
35g walnuts, roughly chopped
45g pitted dates, chopped
3 small or 2 large ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter or coconut oil, for greasing baking tray
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180° C or 160° C (Fan). Grease the bottom and sides of the baking tray or line it with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Place the bananas, vanilla or maple syrup, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of a small food processor or blender and process until smooth. This can also be done without a blender. Pour the banana puree over the oat mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are evenly moist. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned on the edges. Let cool completely and cut into 12 bars. You can store them in an airtight container for a couple days. They will keep in the fridge for a week or more. You can also wrap them individually and place them in a freezer bag or container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
You can really enjoy this ‘sweet treat’ knowing your body is getting the nutrients it needs to stay healthy 🙂 Oh…. and they really do taste Yum!
Recipe adapted from 'Eat Your Greens - Nut & Seed Banana Oat Bars' 2013