If you look through my kitchen, you would be hard pressed to find many 'snacks' or processed foods. I'd always much rather prefer making things for myself, that way I know all of the ingredients and there aren't any hidden additives. Plus, making food for yourself is usually far more affordable.
After a hard workout I'm usually starving and in need of an easy and FAST snack to hold me over until dinner. Carbs are a must to refuel but I don't want something full of sugar or junk like a traditional store-bought energy bar.
Solution? THESE bars!
Whoa baby, are these delicious and so incredibly simple to make! You want to know another secret? Aside from the slight bit of sweetened coconut on top of the bars there is no added sugar. These are naturally sweetened with ripe mashed banana and dried cherries. I'm also using coconut butter, or manna, in these bars. If you haven't ever tried this...you are in for a treat. Not to be confused with coconut oil, coconut butter is made from the flesh of the coconut.
The bars are a great post-workout treat, but also would be awesome for a quick breakfast or easy dessert. Really, you can make an argument to have these bars morning, noon or night!
While it isn't absolutely necessary, I used a True Nutrition Custom Oatmeal Blend to make these bars. It is pretty awesome to be able to make your own oatmeal blend! The combinations are almost endless as far as mix-ins and flavoring options. For these bars, I used a blend of Old Fashioned Oats, Dried Tart Cherries and Chopped Walnuts.
Want to give a Custom Oatmeal blend a try? If you use the code 'MYENG' at checkout, you will receive 5% off your order!
What is your favorite post-workout snack? Regardless of your oats, I hope you give these bars a try!
Coconut Cherry Oat Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 bars
- 2 cups oats blend (True Nutrition Custom Oat Blend of Old Fashioned Oats, Dried Tart Cherries, Chopped Walnuts)*
- 1 cup mashed ripened banana
- 2 tbsp Coconut Butter (also called Coconut Manna)
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (unsweetened also works!)
- Baking Dish, 8 inch square
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
*If you choose not to use a blend, simply combine 1/4 cup chopped walnuts with 1-1/2 cup oats and increase dried cherries to 1/4 cup
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking dish by lining with parchment paper. Fold the paper so that the bottom and edges are covered in the parchment - this will make for easier removable of the bars from the dish.
- Spread the 2 cups of oats out on a baking sheet, making an even layer. Toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, ensuring the oats don't get too brown.
- While the oats are toasting, combine mashed banana, melted coconut butter, dried cherries and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Once oats have toasted, add oats to the mixing bowl and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
- Transfer oat mix to prepared baking dish and spread into corners. Sprinkle an even layer of the shredded coconut on top and bake for 25 minutes at 350°F.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing. Slice into 8 equal bars.
Nutritional Information (1 bar):
193 calories - 4.5 g Protein, 29 g Carbohydrates, 6.5 g Fat