Sometimes it's tough to keep weight loss and fitness goals on track. Whether it's due to hitting a plateau or just giving in to those Oreo's that have been staring at you for days, slipping up is not uncommon. We're human!
It's when we keep giving in to those potato chips and new Ben & Jerry concoctions (I admit that I'm fighting very hard to not buy their Hazed & Confused flavor, a fusion of hazelnut and chocolate chip ice creams with a Nutella-esque core) that the pounds stay on. Sigh.
Thank goodness, then, for healthy indulgences like the raw banana-honey granola bar recipe I found in Better Nutrition magazine. It's easy-to-make, brimming with tasty ingredients, and is the perfect way to satisfy cravings without the insane calories and unhealthy additives.
How to Make the Raw Banana & Nut Butter Oat Bar
Mix banana, oats, nut butter, honey, pollen, vanilla, and cinnamon in bowl and stir into stiff dough ball. Blending in a food processor works too. But hey, every opportunity to exercise and work those biceps is a good one right? All that mixing by hand must be helping, I imagine : )
Coat a 9-inch square pan with coconut oil, and oil your hands as well. Press dough evenly into bottom of pan. Cover, and place in freezer for 24 hours, which allows the flavors to mix and the texture to be chewy, not crumbly.
Cut into 3-inch squares, then cut each square in half for a total of 18 bars. Store bars in tightly sealed container in freezer, and consume within 2 weeks for the best flavor and texture.
Health Benefits of the Raw Banana & Nut Butter Oat Bar
Of course bananas taste great, but they're also linked to improved athletic performance because their combination of vitamins and minerals helps to reduce muscle cramps.(1)
The fact that ripe ones are used in this recipe is also beneficial; banana skins that have developed the telltale signs of ripeness such as brown spots are an indication that it actually has more antioxidants than a ripe one.(2) This is due to the fact as a banana ripens, chlorophyll begins to break down and turn into antioxidants.(2) Gotta love antioxidants for their ability to boost overall health and fight the free radicals that can increase disease risk and cell damage.(2)
As for nut butters, because they're made from nuts which are known to fight weight gain and boost metabolism (yes, contrary to popular thought, it's true), they're a far superior choice over traditional, spiffy-named brands often found in the PB&J aisle.(3)
When it comes to oats, they also play a role in helping with weight loss goals or weight loss maintenance, as they're rich in fiber which produces feelings of fullness.(4) In other words, no need for that Hazed and Confused!
As if this isn't good enough, it's great knowing that this is all raw. No secret ingredients, no unpronounceable additives or items disguised to sound healthy when they, in fact, are not...just pure goodness from made right in your own kitchen!
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
U.Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.