Do-It-Yourself: Healthy Snack Bars with 4 ingredients

I hike so I can eat !!  Plus I find spending time in nature to be some of the best memories, especially if you’ve got great hiking buddies like mine.   We usually stop at a beautiful spot & enjoy a snack.  My latest great find is 4-ingredient Banana Oat Bars from TheKitchn.    Even if you don’t hike, these are the healthiest snack bars I’ve found.   There is no sugar in any form added.   Just bananas, grains, dried fruit & nuts.  They taste great, are super easy, have only 4 ingredients & I had everything in the pantry.   You can’t beat that.   And what a great way to use your ripe bananas.    They would make a great breakfast bar when you’re in a hurry & running out the door in the morning.

Since the recipe is basically grains, nuts & dried fruit held together with very ripe bananas…’ve got lots of options.   Use your favorite dried fruit or the nut of choice.   Instead of only oatmeal, mix the grains too… oatmeal/buckwheat/flaxseed or try 5 grain cereal.   The options are endless & it is only 5 ingredients… kind of recipe.   And, if you want them a little sweeter, add a bit of agave nectar or maple syrup to the banana mash.

4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars  Adapted from TheKitchn 

2 large, very ripe bananas  (the kind that have turned brown)
2 cups rolled oats   (or mix of oatmeal with other grains)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried figs or dates (or dried fruit of your choice)
1/4 cup chopped nuts   (walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, hazelnuts)
1/2 teaspoon salt  (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple syrup (optional)
Nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with olive oil or butter.

Peel the bananas and macerate until they are liquid, at least 1 cup of ‘mash’.  Stir in the liquid flavoring, if using.  Add the oats/grains and mix well.   Stir in the fruit & nuts.

Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to crisp up.

Place the baking pan on a rack to cool.   When mostly cool, cut into bars.  Store in airtight container.

About Pat Thomas

I love what food brings to our lives other than the needed nutrition. I share all my foodie experiments with friends & family. Thankfully they are usually delighted but always kind with whatever I've cooked up.
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