Banana Bread Larabars

This past weekend, one of our college friends was in Vermont visiting his girlfriend, so on Saturday we met up for an afternoon by the beach and dinner in Burlington. On Sunday, the four us hiked Hunger Mountain. It’s only 4 miles round trip but it’s pretty steep and definitely a good workout for your butt. We got a little silly on the hike and had a great time hangout out with some friends.

For a little energy boost once you reach the top, a larabar is always a good choice. They are chocked full of good fats, protein and fiber. They generally have 3 to 5 ingredients and are very minimally processes (think dehydrated fruit and a whirl in the good ole food processor). They are also: dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, GMO-free, and vegan. All of these things leave your mind and body satisfied.

However, when not on sale, this tasty source of fuel can be a bit costly. We snagged some at a steal, 75 cents a bar, the other day. Once those ran out I contemplated making my own, which cost about $0.60 a bar. And making your own is on par with the difficulty of getting in your car/ hopping on your bike and heading to the store to buy them.

We also lucked out the other day when we were at the store… over ripe bananas were on sale for 8 cents a banana! So I decided to make banana bread larabars, one of my favorite flavors.

Banana Bread Larabars

Makes 2 larabars (1 bar: 230 cal, 5 g fiber, 6 g protein)

1 large, over ripe banana, sliced and dehydrated, about 1/4 cup once dehydrated

1/4 cup of dried dates, chopped

1/3 cup of raw almonds

To dehydrate the bananas, stick on a dehydrator sheet and follow the instructions. Or if you don’t have a dehydrator sheet (like me) preheat the oven to 175 to 200°F, depending on how low your oven will go. Slice the bananas and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 2 hours, keep an eye on them starting at about 1.5 hours, you don’t want them to get too dehydrated and turn into crispy banana chips. Remove them from the oven when they have reduced in size and have just begun to brown, but they still have a sticky, slightly gooey texture. Remove with a spatula, or fingers if they get too stuck, which they might. Measure out a 1/4 cup of the bananas and place it in a food processor with the 1/4 cup of dried dates. Combine them in the food processor letting it run for about 2 minutes. You might have to stop it periodically and scrape down the sides. Once combined well, transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Add the 1/3 cup of almonds to the food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds to a minute until the almonds are grounds, but still have some small chunks. Transfer the almonds to the bowl with the dates and banana. Combine all the ingredients together. I found using my fingers was easiest. Then divide the mixture in half and give your hands a quick rinse. Leave your hands a little damp, I found it helped prevent the mixture from sticking to my hands. Shape each half in to a rectangular bar. Wrap in parchment paper and store in the fridge until consumption.

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