Am I the only person who could not get the whole ripe banana situation figured out? It seemed like every time I would buy bananas, they would be completely over ripened in 2 days. I would even buy the greenest ones I could find and still end up throwing half of them away in a couple of days which is terrible! I hate throwing away food!
So I started looking for recipes that called for overripe bananas. It was a pretty short search because it turns out when you are baking with bananas you want them to be overripe since that is when they are the sweetest. I know some people are reading this going, “well duh!”, but you have to keep in mind this was during a time when bananas and a bag of lettuce, if I was feeling super “healthy” that week, were the only produce I purchased. I pretty much knew nothing about food/cooking a few years ago.
Of course banana bread was one of the first things to pop up. I currently have a love/hate relationship with banana bread. I LOVE to eat banana bread, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the texture right when I’m converting a banana bread recipe to gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free. I feel like the two bananas left on my counter are mocking me at this point! I promise I WILL get banana bread figured out and hopefully up on the blog soon. I love a good challenge.
I also found out about cutting up your left over bananas and freezing them to use in smoothies or to make “nice cream”. What a great idea! We love fruit and veggie smoothies in our house! I also feel incredibly proud when I see my 2 year old drinking a bright green fruit and veggie smoothie because it’s something I would have never even tried when I was younger.
Then I stumbled across a recipe for peanut butter banana baked oatmeal bars which looked and sounded fabulous! I’m always looking for new breakfast recipes that can easily be made gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free which as you can imagine is not an easy task. I knew I wanted to try these out, but needed to use almond butter instead of peanut butter because of food allergies and wanted to adjust a few other things as well.
Let me tell you something, I NEVER thought I could be so excited about an oatmeal based recipe as I was when I took my first bite of these baked oatmeal bars. They are delicious, sweet, and were so easy to make. They really remind me of banana bread flavor wise but have an awesome almond butter and oat flavor as well. I actually made a double batch my first time and they turned out perfect. We may or may not have eaten the whole 9×13 pans worth in just a couple days.
I can’t wait to find more amazing banana based recipes to try. What are some of your favorite banana based recipes? All this talk about these almond butter banana baked oatmeal bars has made me really hungry for some more so I think I’m going to go make another batch! I hope you enjoy these Almond Butter & Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars as much as we do!
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free quick cooking oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (I use “Lite Salt”)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 overripe bananas
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbs ground flaxseed meal
- 3 tbs warm water
- 3/4 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I use “So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk”)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together flaxseed and warm water and set aside.
- In another small bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, mash bananas and stir in almond butter until combined.
- Add vanilla, maple syrup, flaxseed mixture and milk to the large bowl and stir.
- Pour the oat mixture into the liquid ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake for 25 minutes.
- Let cool a bit before cutting into squares and store in the refrigerator.
- This recipe can be doubled very easily. Just use a 9×13 pan and cook 5-10 minutes longer.
For This Recipe, I Recommend:
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