Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

I recently found this recipe for Banana Blueberry Bars from Forks Over Knives, and knew I had to try it. They are moist and fluffy — similar to a banana bread or muffin — and providing a healthy, filling, and delicious treat to provide lasting energy. As an added bonus, they are both vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, so they can be enjoyed by everyone. And as a new recipe that I was trying, I get to add it to the list of recipes in my 50 in 15 Challenge.

Be forewarned: These bars are surprisingly addicting!

Ingredients

  • 1 c. dates, pitted and halved
  • 1 1/2 c. apple juice
  • 3 c. rolled oats
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a 9″ x 9″ (or similar size) baking pan with parchment paper, making sure the sides are covered. (Tip: Cut slits in the corners of the paper so that it overlaps and lies flat.)
  2. In a small bowl, soak the dates in the apple juice for 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of the oats with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Mix together and set aside.
  4. Remove the dates from the juice and set aside. Strain the juice and add to a blender, along with the remaining oats, the bananas, and the vanilla extract, and blend until creamy.
  5. Add the dates to the blender and pulse a few times until the dates are broken down into small pieces.
  6. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix well. Stir in the blueberries and walnuts.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

The one big thing to note for this recipe is that the more banana you use, the more moist the end result will be. I used 2 medium ripe bananas, and the end result was very fluffy and moist, like a banana bread or muffin. I suspect that if you use less banana and/or more oats when you make the blender mixture, that the end result would be a bit more firm. So feel free to experiment with different quantities until you find one that suits your liking. I know I’ll be making these again, and will definitely be toying around with the banana/oats ratio to see which one I like best.

Bon Appétit!

 

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