All Natural Energy/Breakfast Bars Round 3: Super Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana

This bar is dedicated to Jessica, who patiently listens to me rant about the likes of Monsanto’s monopoly over increasingly tainted soybeans, and any other topic that gets me all riled up enough to drastically lessen the perceived duration of the slog up Left Hand Canyon to Ward, even before I take the time to get my facts straight.  What’s more, she reassures me that she loves how much I talk when we’re riding, even if said talking actually slows us down while making the time seem to go faster. I know the thread of oat-bursting homemade energy/breakfast bars is getting a little tired for now, but Jessica is one of  my most level-headed, reliable friends ever, and one of the most genuine people I know, and she requested this flavor.

It’s a little out of character for me, but I would actually recommend lightly drizzling a little dark chocolate, or sprinkling some mini chips over these bars. Not just because they do taste better–in fact, I really like the taste plain, especially when they’re fresh. They are a bit more crumbly than the other versions so far, however, and they dry a bit faster, so seal them well. In my trial batch, I put some semi-sweet chips over a small corner square for Dave, and the real reason I personally preferred that section was that the chips covered up the millet and quinoa dots. I don’t know how unique this is, but for some reason, concentrations of little dots have always irritated, or even repulsed me, like poison ivy boils or chicken pox. In spite of this quirky fixation, though, I truly did enjoy these bars without the addend, especially post workout. The millet and quinoa were added in an effort to boost protein stores a bit, and they added a nice nuttiness; they could easily be reduced if the dottiness gets to you, too!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Energy/Breakfast Bars

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (approximately 3 medium)
  • 1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 1 /2 cup rolled oats (be sure to look for gluten free if that is important for you)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

2. “Dry fry” quinoa, millet, and flax seeds on medium-low heat in a pan or skillet to gently toast. Stir and heat for approximately 3 minutes. Quinoa and millet will begin to pop a little, and even smell a bit like popcorn. Watch carefully, as these grains  Or, if you have a toaster oven, spread on the included baking sheet and toast for approximately 3 minutes, watching closely. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl.

3. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then pour into a prepared 8-inch square baking pan. The mixture should be about 1 inch+ thick.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, until edges look firm and top is slightly golden. Cut into squares, then leave to cool before removing.

Here’s the Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif bar nutritional info once again, for reference as a general guideline 260 calories;  6 g fat;   1.5 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol;  11  g protein; 42 g carbohydrates;5  g fiber; 200 mg sodium

Nutty Banana Breakfast/Energy Bar (based on 9 servings, without chocolate chips): 231 calories;  7  g fat;   .6 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 6.5  g protein; 51.9  g carbohydrates; 6.9  g fiber;  132.9 mg sodium

*Increasing to 3/4 tsp salt yields approximately 196.9 mg sodium per bar; cutting out salt altogether reduces sodium to 3.1 mg

*Using 1/4 cup peanut butter reduces calories (9 servings) to approximately 207 per bar, fat to 5g , protein to 5.5 g, and carbohydrate to 51 g

*Slicing into 12 servings versus 9 reduces calories to approximately 173.4, fat to 5.3, carbohydrate to 39. protein to 4.9, and sodium to 99.7

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