Monday, August 8, 2016

Quick Oatmeal Bars

No more excuses to skip breakfast with this very simple recipe including bananas, oats, your choice of nuts and dried fruits.

 I am a victim of wanting a quick and easy breakfast on-the-go as I try to get through the door, and to be honest, my granola bar and Greek yogurt routine could be better.  With the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines suggesting we cut our sugar intake to no more than 10% of our total calories, we need to caution added sugar in our processed food products, especially the healthy-looking granola bars and protein-rich Greek Yogurts.

I had been staring at these lonely ripened bananas on my counter and realized they would be better baked in something then added to my overnight oats as a mushy topping.  I came across a wonderful recipe via for 4-ingredient Banana Oat Bars.  In my version, I ended up using the 3 small bananas and I added in shredded coconut, whole almonds, chia seeds and pumpkin pie spice (I am a New Englander that is obsessed with anything pumpkin flavored).

 Looking back, I would have added the vanilla extract which was optional and dried fruits that were included.  In addition, I would have chopped the nuts to make it easier to cut than rather it looking like a square of trail mix.   Take a look and let me know your thoughts and creative modifications!

•3 small, ripe bananas (2 large also works), peeled
•2c Rolled Oats
•1/2 t salt
•1/4c almonds, or nuts of choice (recommend chopped)
•1 T chia seeds
•1/4c shredded coconut
•sprinkle of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice •Would recommend 1/4c dried fruit to add more flavor, i.e. raisins, dates, or apricots would be delicious
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and set aside a 9 x 9 baking dish (lightly greased).

Start mashing the bananas in a bowl until it becomes a smooth liquid (I used a large fork).  Then mix in the the remaining ingredients; hold off on the nutmeg if you plan to use as just a topping when the mixture is formed in the pan.  Make sure to pat the oat mixture until it is flat in the pan.  Bake for 25-30 mins or until golden brown on the sides.  Set aside after they are cooked to your liking and then cut into squares once cooled. For a protein bonus, I spread one 1T nut butter on top.  Enjoy!

About the Author:
Kathryn Pfeffer is an RDN in Boston and writes her own blog at where she shares her culinary adventures bite by bite.  She is an experienced clinical dietitian in an acute and rehabilitation hospital in the Boston area and recently completed her first marathon in May.