We are quite bananas about bananas. It’s a wholesome fruit, can be eaten in a flash, and packs tons of energy. Moreover, it probably costs you less than an energy bar. So what if you could take that very banana, throw in some other ingredients and make your own on-the-go snack?

This recipe completely bowled us over, when we first saw it. It mixes two of our favorites – bananas and oatmeal – but requires a bit of work. In the end though, you will have a delicious power-packed snack to fuel up!

What you will need

  • 2 large, very ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts — such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or pecans
  • Grated nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
  • How to make it

    Heat an oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9-x9-inch square baking dish with olive oil or butter.

    Peel the bananas and mash their flesh in a medium mixing bowl. Mash very thoroughly until no large chunks remain; the bananas should be essentially liquid. (You will have between 1 cup and 1 1/4 cup.) Stir in the vanilla, if using. Add the oats and stir them in. Stir in the salt, dates, and nuts.

    Pat the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to crisp up.

    Place the baking pan on a rack to cool. When the pan is mostly cool, cut into bars and enjoy with a glass of milk or tea.

    The best part about these bars is that you can store leftover pieces at room temperature in a cookie jar. They will keep for about 5 days, more than enough for your weekly running fuel!

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