The other night I was craving a Hershey’s bar so bad I was making noises and embarrassing myself at the grocery store. I KNEW though that if I caved, I’d be upset. Not because indulging is bad but because Hershey’s bars are now made with more fake ingredients and isolates (ingredients found naturally that are then isolated and put into products in higher amounts than found in nature) than they once used to. Without going on a rant with this alone, I’ll get to the story about me laying in bed for over an hour pouting that my life was over that night because I wanted a chocolate bar and I couldn’t have it. The 26 year old version of a tantrum.
But I didn’t cave. Instead, I thought about what I had in my kitchen and decided to come up with a healthier recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth. Thus, the birth of the banana almond butter blondie bars was born and let me tell you, these are dynamite delicious! So much so that my husband and I inhaled the entire 12 bars within 20 minutes of them coming out of the oven. But you know, it was for science…and blogging…and all of you! I took one for the team! ….erm. Good lord I already want more of these!
This was also my first time buying and using dates. I’ll be honest, I was always hesitant because they look like a pile of bugs. But great odin’s raven are these things sweet and amazing! In fact, of all the dates I’ve experienced, these were definitely the sweetest (see what I did there – my Dad humor has no end). And while dates are high in fructose, they also are packed with magnesium, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. In other words. they are a MUCH better alternative to get some sweet in your baking that just using refined sugar.
I’ll stop teasing and give you the recipe already 😛
- 3 bananas
- 6 pitted dates
- 1/2 cup whole grain oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a smaller baking dish (I used a glass 6×8 or so) with wax paper and cooking spray. Mash together bananas until creamy. Slice up pitted dates. Combine all ingredients into a bowl with mashed bananas. Pour mixture into lined baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
The beauty of these is you can eat them immediately for more of a bread pudding type treat. If you were really being bad you could add ice cream. Letting them cool for at least 20 minutes though gives them time to solidify more into bars. I can’t tell you what they are like cooled further or even refrigerated because we ate them too fast (nom nom nom) but I will do an update soon.
Slice them into 12 pieces for the following nutritional info per serving.
Whatcha gonna do with those extra banananananas?!? Well you’ll only need two for this recipe and the browner they are, the sweeter your clean banana bread will taste! This recipe ROCKS! I’m telling ya, you’ll want to gobble it right up. Each loaf makes 8 super soft and velvety 106 calories pieces of heavenly banana bread. When most recipes are close to 250 calories a piece and pushing 20g of sugar, you’re bound to feel guilty but not with this one!!
What’s the key to healthier baked goods? Well for one thing, I’ve learned that you do not need mountains of flour to hold something together. All this time, I always thought that 2 1/2 cups of flour was a staple amount just because, I dunno, that’s what people have always done. I got away with just 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe and the bread is more spongy and soft and luxurious than anything I’ve ever had.
I always like to sub in some healthier alternatives for ingredients. So instead of regular butter and milk and white flour, I opted for some healthier alternatives. First up, I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. I love this stuff.
I also used my favorite yogurt butter by Brummel & Brown that has only 45 calories per tablespoon.
I also used almond milk instead of regular milk.
- 2 Bananas
- 2 TBSP Brummel & Brown Yogurt Butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TSBP almond milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 8 tsp sugar
- 1/4 unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
- Mash together bananas in small bowl, add in almond milk, ground cloves, and cinnamon
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer
- In a third bowl, combine all dry ingredients; baking powder, baking soda, salt, and whole wheat flour
- Pour banana mixture into butter and sugar bowl
- Then add all dry ingredients and blend together with the mixer
- Pour into lightly greased (I always use Pam or any spray) loaf pan. I think mine is around 5×9
- Baking for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean
- Drop out onto cutting board or flat cutting surface and let cool for 10-15 minutes
- Slice into 8 pieces for 106 calorie servings. Bread will be very moist and will need to cool completely before storing in containers or Ziplocs to keep it from getting soggy.
Say whaaaaat! I’ve been on this quest in 2014 to find ways to make clean and healthier versions of foods I love. Sometimes for me it’s more about the texture of foods than anything else. And I will tell you that these have a very similar feel to regular brownies.
I’ll be honest, they won’t taste like sugary brownies, but they will be healthy! My boyfriend made a face when he tried them and said “I DON’T LIKE IT!” like a 3 year old. So they aren’t for everyone. They taste a lot more like an oat bran bar.
Worst case scenario, if you don’t like them, you can keep the recipe for April Fools 😉
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- 1 can garbonzo beans, drained
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 quick oats (whole wheat)
- 2 tbsp White Chocolate Wonderful (or nut butter of your choice)
I put all of the ingredients straight into my Ninja blender and blended until smooth.
Pour into greased 8×8 pan. The mix will rise a little but not by much. It will be thick.
Bake for around 20-25 minutes until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
You can also top them with some melted peanut butter for extra taste. I may try altering the recipe in the future. You could use any type of beans really. I may experiment with black beans and using applesauce instead of honey. A lot of these bean brownie recipes call for chocolate chips but I didn’t have any and am trying to stay away from chocolate so I just used the cocoa.