Banana Bread “PowerBar”

PowerBar needs to be in quotes, since I work for “the” PowerBar. I absolutely love PowerBars, whether it’s our chews, wafers, protein bars or the traditional bars. I’ve told this story many times, but I’ll repeat it again. I started eating PowerBars in the 80’s, when they first came out. I believed it was the fuel of champions, and so, being an 8-year-old swimmer, I was going to be a champion too. So, I requested a chocolate PowerBar before every swim meet. And since I went on to swim in college, I know they helped. In all seriousness, nutrition is such a key to overall health and athletic performance, that anyone who wants to be healthy and be successful in all areas of life, should focus on good nutrition.

As much as I love our actual PowerBars, I love to bake. I’m often asked, “please give me a recipe for a bar I can make at home.” So, I set off to make a bar that tasted good, and provided good nutrients. Also, since added sugar, gluten-free and vegan are such hot topics, I wanted to make the bar all 3. So, here’s my take at an energy bar. For those times when you feel like making your own energy bar, give this one a try.

The base ingredients are dates, oats and banana. All provide healthy carbohydrates. The additional ingredients provide healthy fats and spices. The bar can be made with or without chocolate, or with vegan chocolate. If chocolate is used, there will be some added sugar, and may of may not be vegan, depending on the chocolate used.

Since these bars are made with oats and dates, they have a higher fiber content. Due to this, I’d recommend using them as pre-workout, post workout, snack or biking/non running activities.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Energy Bars

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Energy Bars

Banana Bread Bar:

  • 1 cup of gluten-free oats, ground into flour
  • 20 dates, soaked in 1 cup of water
  • 1 banana (ripe)
  • 1/4 cup water (reserved from the dates)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/vegan chocolate (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan
1. Pour 1 cup of oats into a blender or food processor. Blend until ground into a rough flour. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add the dates, banana and 1/4 cup water to the blender. Blend using pulses, and scraping the sides of the blender down. This might take 1-2 minutes of blending.
3. Add the oat flour to the blender and mix.
4.To the blender add the walnuts and almonds. Blend again using a low setting to mix the ingredients together.
5. Spoon the wet mixture into a bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips and spices.
6. Line your pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture into the pan, using your hands or a spoon to flatten the mixture out. It will be thick.
7. Bake 15-20 minutes or until starting to brown. Remove from the oven, let cool, then the parchment paper out of the pan.
8. Cut into 8 bars.You can keep in the refrigerator or freezer for best taste. I kept mine for 1-2 weeks in the fridge and they were just fine.
Nutrition with chocolate:
  • 200kcal
  • 28g carbohydrate
  • 4g protein
  • 10g fat
  • 4g fiber

Nutrition without chocolate:

  • 180kcal
  • 24g carbohydrate
  • 4g protein
  • 8g fat
  • 4g fiber

I hope you enjoy these bars as much as I do. Please give them a try and let me know what you think. Also, I’m going to be taking a one week hiatus from blogging as I’m going tech free for this next week. Brett and I are headed to Puerto Rico for some relaxation in the sun. I’m sure I’ll have some great pics post trip to share. Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day, from an Italian!

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