$0.21 per serving 83% savings save $99.76 yearly
Happy New Year, friends! We made it to 2014!
...And yet, I'm still writing 2013 at the top of my journal, and on all of my checks. I'm a little slow on some things...
... Including wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'm so thankful for each of you, and your support, emails, comments, questions, and positive encouragement. It means a lot to me and my family. You all know how to give a girl the warm fuzzies.
Seeing as how it's a whole new year, and I KNOW that many of you have made resolutions of the "healthy" variety (myself included), I decided it only made sense to post an uber-healthy, yet inexpensive, recipe for you all.
I'm also going outside my own little box to make these vegan for those of you who live a vegan lifestyle, or are giving it a shot. Did you know Ghirardelli makes vegan (no milk products in the ingredient list) chocolate chips? I got my 12 oz. bag for $2.84 at Walmart.
Of course, if you don't mind a little milk fat, you can add whatever semi-sweet chocolate chips you want.
If your goal is weight loss, cutting down on processed foods, going vegan, or just eating healthier overall, these Banana-Oat Chewies fit the bill perfectly.
I'm going to give it to you straight where this recipe is concerned:
1. These are do not taste like a cookie bar. (There is no flour, or butter, or eggs involved)
2. These do not taste like a granola bar. (There is no white or brown sugar involved)
3. This recipe is not knock-your-socks-off amazingly mouth-watering delicious. I'll admit that.
3. However, they do taste good: lightly sweet, cinnamon-y (is that a word??), and hearty... the texture will be "interesting." (My husband said calling them bars would be misleading, because they were closer in texture to dried apricots... I said it would be interesting, didn't I?)
4. Your body will thank you for eating them: 130 calories for two bars, whole grain, low sugar, low sodium, 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of heart-healthy fats to help you stay full longer, anti-oxidants from the dark chocolate, and a good source of fiber.
5. They are great for breakfast, snacks, and as a convenient pre-workout booster.
6. They take all of 5 minutes to prepare before they go into the oven.
7. My three girls (ages 6, 5, and nearly 2) enjoy them... and I feel really good about that!
I'm looking to shed a bit of baby weight in 2014, and this recipe is a no-brainer. Easy to prepare, healthy as can be, and MUCH cheaper than buying over-priced nutrition bars from the store.
If shooting for a "healthier you" is on your resolution list, give this recipe a try. You can't go wrong!
Vegan Banana-Oat Chewies
*Makes 24 chewies (12 servings)
3 large (or 4 small) very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup light karo syrup (maple syrup, agave syrup, or a syrup made with stevia would also work)
2 cups whole rolled oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. vegan chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli's)
*opt. additions could be up to 1/2 cup of dried fruit, nuts, or seeds.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a potato masher, mash the bananas in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the honey, and stir to combine. Add the oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly till well incorporated.
Lightly coat a 9 x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press the banana-oat mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven, cut into 24 portions: 4x6. Remove from pan, and allow to cool completely on a paper towel or cooling rack to avoid soggy bottoms. (Yes, I just said soggy bottoms.) Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. I prefer mine chilled in the refrigerator.
~ Savings ~
3 large bananas - $0.52/lb = 8 oz/large banana = $0.26/banana = $0.780
32 oz. light karo syrup - $4.48 = 44 T = $0.102/T = $0.408
42 oz. rolled oats - $3.18 = 15 C = $0.212/C = $0.424
10 oz. slivered almonds - $4.98 = 40 T = $0.125/T = $0.500
18 oz. cinnamon - $6.69 = 230 tsp = $0.029/tsp = $0.058
26 oz. salt - $0.49 = 48 T = $0.009/T = $0.002
12 oz. Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips - $2.84 = 24T = $0.118/T = $0.354
Total Cost = $2.53
Per Serving (2 bars) = $0.21
There's nothing exactly like this on the market that I could find so here's the closest...
Larabar Banana Bread Bar = $1.25
"Over a Year" Scenario
Make Vegan Banana-Oat Chewies 8 times = $20.24
Buy equivalent number of Larabar Banana Bread Bars = $120.00
*Money Saved = $99.76