MMMMMM…so yesterday was “Banana Lover’s Day,” which just so happens to be both my favorite pre-workout snack, as well as my favorite baking ingredient!
What’s so awesome about bananas?
–They are an excellent source of potassium and fast absorbing carbohydrates for that quick boost of energy.
–They’re also a great source of serotonin and norepinephrine, which has been shown to help naturally boost your mood
–They are a good source of melatontin, which helps adjust our body’s natural clock.
–They’re chock full of vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium
If you see me heading to the gym, more times than not I will be noshing on a banana to get my body ready for a good ‘ol whopping!
They also make a healthy fat and or sugar substitute in baking. What I typically like to do is replace at least half the required butter or oil with a mashed banana — but then I like to go a step further. Since bananas are naturally sweet, I can then cut back on the amount of sugar called for within a recipe. Sometimes this doesn’t work the way I initially plan, but it is all about trial and error, especially when it comes to baking!!
While I would have loved to be baking banana breads, cakes, and cookies, the biggest banana lover of all (Mat 🙂 ) is no longer out here to gobble them up!
Alas, I did make an attempt towards a gluten-free recipe I found on Pinterest, and adapted it a tad bit to add in bananas! Yummyy 🙂 Oh, and just like with my last gluten-free baked good, this one also has a surprising secret ingredient!
I call them: Gluten free Monkey Bars (initially Garbanzo Bean Blondies)
1 can of chickpeas <– Crazy I know…trust me you can’t tell they’re in there!
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 egg whites OR 3 TBSP egg white beaters
1/4 cup gluten free oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 Medium banana, diced
Preheat oven to 350-degrees
Place the oats through a food processor until they form a flour-like substance. Drain and rinse chickpeas/garbanzo beans, and toss into a blender. Add in egg whites, sugar, baking powder & soda, vanilla, peanut butter, and oat flour. Blend on high, and intermittently stop the blender to scrape the sides and lightly stir, then continue blending until a smooth batter is formed.
Stir /fold in banana chunks and chocolate chips.
Pour into a nonstick / glass pan (I used an 8×8 glass pyrex)
Bake for 30-35 minutes & allow to cool
I was very pleased with the way these squares turned out! They were slightly dense, yet perfectly gooey at the same time.
It paired perfectly with my Green Mountain french vanilla coffee this afternoon 🙂 (yes, it was one of those rare days where I was desperate for coffee into the afternoon – busy busy at the office!!!)