Friday, January 3, 2014

Vegan Banana-Oat Chewies {$0.21 per serving}

$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
Printable Version

*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 ~

Cost Breakdown
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

The Competitor
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


  1. These sound yummy! I'm going to try making them using some frozen cut up bananas I have saved in the freezer!

    Vegan and also gluten free I think?

    Love your blog, you have great recipes and advice!!

    1. Thanks, Julia! You'll have to let me know what you think... :)

  2. I don't EVEN remember now what search I did to find to your site. Once I started reading, I had to read more! Love all your frugal recipes (oh, maybe that was the search?) and have saved them to my Favorites! Keep up the great work and much happiness to you and your beautiful family in the New Year!

    1. Oops! Wasn't done... I'm so glad you found me. Hopefully my site will prove useful to you. :)

  3. First of all, LOVE the picture of your darling family!! Thank you for sharing that.

    Next: absolutely LOVE your blog!!!!!!! Thank you, you do a terrific job!!

    I teach classes on eating for "a dollar a day per person". Your blog gives me additional ideas. I stick with very basic nutritional foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, lentils, pinto beans or other dry beans if price is good, unbleached flour, eggs, oatmeal, etc.....with recipes such as cracked wheat cereal, creamy whole wheat cereal, oatmeal n' raisins, whole wheat pancakes, brown rice n' raisin cereal with cinnamon sugar, oatmeal pancakes, 100% whole wheat bread, pizza (the dough has 1 cup w.w. flour + 2 c. unbeached flour), burritos (homemade flour tortillas), mexi-lentil tacos, one pot spaghetti, mexi-lentil taco soup, chicken n' homemade noodles with vegetables. I use basic vegetables chosen for nutrition and low cost: fresh onions, garlic, cabbage, carrots, celery, potatoes; frozen chopped broccoli. Also basic fruits: raisins, applesauce, fresh bananas, fresh apples or other fresh fruit in season......then with leftover money, add other fresh veggies and fruits that are on sale. No dessert on this budget........but I do give dessert recipe ideas using items from grocery list included in the class.

    Here's my OATMEAL PANCAKE recipe......they are light when cooked and we use applesauce on them instead of syrup, but syrup would be good also. This is the only way one of my children will even touch oatmeal......

    Mix in a bowl:
    1/3 c. nonfat dry milk powder (best price I found was at LDS cannery)
    1 c. QUICK oatmeal (I have never used rolled oatmeal in this recipe, so don't know if it would work, but thinking it wouldn't be a good choice for the pancake results wanted. BUT, if a person only has rolled oats, try putting them in a blender to chop a bit until they are more like quick oats, then measure out the cup needed)

    Stir in:
    1/2 T. vinegar (cider vinegar or white vinegar)
    1 c. water

    Cover, let sit 15 min. to 1/2 hour (also: can be put in fridge overnight if you wish)

    1/4 c. unbleached flour
    1/2 tsp. sea salt
    2 tsp. baking powder (Rumford's......purchased at health food store in a 5 lb. container is the best price for has no alum, making it healthier; will last a few years if kept covered and in a cool-ish place. If your health store doesn't carry it, they can order it. The cost should be somewhere around $12.00)

    Then add:
    1 large egg
    water as needed for a pancake consistency

    Cook pancakes on medium high. Since they are mostly oatmeal, though they will be light, make sure they are cooked thoroughly as they are a bit 'heavier' than white flour pancakes.
    Yes, these work with 'regular' salt and flour if that is what you have on hand, as well as milk instead of water: if using milk, omit the dry milk powder.

    1. Thanks for the new recipe Janet! I'll have to try it out. Have a great day!

  4. Unfortunately, this recipe can't be called vegan because it contains honey. It is vegetarian the way it is made, but not vegan.

    1. Wow, I never would have thought honey was off limits. What do you use in place of honey, so I can make this recipe vegan friendly?

    2. For something to be truly vegan, it can not contain anything based from an animal (hence, no milk, butter, eggs, honey, etc). Most people substitute honey with maple syrup, agave syrup, or a simple syrup made from stevia. Also - vegan dieters typically replace eggs with a flax-seed/water mixture and butter with either coconut or olive oil. Happy cooking!

    3. Great! Thank you so much for clueing me in! I will make the necessary changes in the recipe and description above. :)

  5. Just pulled these out of the oven and they are yummy! Can't wait to have my husband try them when he gets home!

  6. I LOVE your blog. Your recipes are fantastic. I cannot wait until you post again! I use your recipes and tips daily. Thanks!

  7. Made these yesterday and they are great! Love with some almond butter spread on top!


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