Healthy Banana Bread Granola Bars

As I alluded to last week, I’m attempting to curb my sweet intake as of Jan 1 so today I’m sharing an abnormally healthy recipe.  For me, the timing just happens to combine both my resolution and the start of my very own bridal bootcamp.  I’ve always thought the hardest part of eating healthy is finding guilt-free snacks, so I decided to tackle another homemade granola bar to expand my choices for a late afternoon craving. When I saw the title of these over on The Svelte Gourmet, I immediately wanted to try them out, and I’m so glad I did!

Banana is a great substitute for traditional fats used in baking such as butter or oil, so here you get all the flavors of banana while also getting to omit some not-so healthy stuff.  I recently picked up some roasted flax seeds and chia seeds from Trader Joes and threw them in, so these bars are packed with all kinds of trendy, crazy nutrients.  The texture of these granola bars is true to their name – not crunchy, but soft like banana bread.  I’m not going to lie to you, my regular banana bread delivers a lot more yumminess, but for the nutritional content, this one’s not so bad!  The recipe yields 8 granola bars, so it was a perfect amount for Ryan and I to pack in our lunches this week as a snack.  I enjoyed them and didn’t feel bad at all entering them into My Fitness Pal shortly after :)

I wish I was the kind of person that could just swear off sweets completely, but as you probably guessed from the nature of this blog, that’s just not me.  I really can’t go a day without some sort of treat, even if it’s just a Fudgsicle, so I’ve been trying to eat right most of the day so I still get to indulge just a bit.  These granola bars will help stave off hunger and leave more than enough room to have dessert later on!  So to any of you that are worried about a change of content here on Sweet Tooth, don’t fret – we’ll be back to our normal programming next week, and I promise no more flax seeds!!

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Healthy Banana Bread Granola Bars

Recipe adapted from The Svelte Gourmet

Yield: 8 granola bars

Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp honey
1 egg white
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp chia seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Combine the banana, applesauce, honey, egg white, cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, and 3 tbsp brown sugar in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the rolled oats, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Add to liquid mixture and stir well to combine.

Press mixture into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of brown sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Once done, invert onto a cooling rack and allow the bars to cool completely before slicing.