Cookies and Bars/ Snacks

Banana Oat Date Bars #LoveMyHealthyHeart

Banana Oat Date Bars
Thanks Sprouts for sponsoring this post. February was American heart month and Sprouts gave me lots of tips to keep my ticker ticking. These banana oat date bars are guilt free and perfect for satisfying my sweet craving, while also helping keep my heart healthy!
Banana Oat Date Bars

After last week’s calorie filled Irish nachos, it seems fitting that I supply you with something a bit healthier. February was American heart month and Sprouts supplied plenty of information on ways to keep our heart healthy. Heart disease runs in my family so it is never too late to learn or review new tips to stay fit. My father had a wake up call at the age of 42 when he collapsed on the tennis court with a heart attack. I was 16. He never smoked, was not a drinker, just a tad overweight, and jogged at the time, though I’m sure he ate too much red meat. He’s continued to stay fit and even at the age of 85 he ran/walked a 5k. He has had two open heart surgeries to replace arteries, but thank goodness for modern medicine. Turns out in our case heart disease is genetic, though that doesn’t mean we should give up on trying to stay healthy.

Exercise is not something I really enjoy, but I do try to walk on  regular basis. Eating is something I really enjoy and though I received a minor in nutrition way back when (when no one cared about nutrition) I know what I’m supposed to eat.  However, I’m just not very good at following what I know. Well, at least I admit it. So far I’ve been pretty lucky and though I am overweight, I’ve avoided health related diseases. I’m getting older and know the odds of staying healthy are decreasing each day, therefore it’s best to err on the side of health.

Banana at Date Bars

Heart Healthy Tips

Following a heart healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet is one way to do things. Another way is to eat lots of fruits, veggies and fiber. Suzanne Farrell, a dietician and nutrition coach, gave us lots of tips to point us in the right direction. One thing I’m trying to do is to follow the rule of 1/4, 1/4, 1/2. No this isn’t a math test; that’s the way one’s dinner plate should be designed. In other words, (much to Manservant’s chagrin) vegetables and fruit should fill half of our plate, grain and starches should fill 1/4 and the other 1/4 is for your protein.

Some foods that help our heart include fish, such as salmon. Get your omega 3’s in. Walnuts and flax seeds, chia seeds or fish oil capsules also contain omega 3’s. Decrease your risk factors by getting lots of fiber in your diet. Most of us only get about 15g daily when we should get 25-35. Think lots of whole grains and oatmeal. Oatmeal is so good for you. Oats not only help lower your bad cholesterol, they also absorb it from your GI tract. Think beans. Beans are loaded with fiber. Think fruit; berries, apples and citrus are all great choices. Bananas are also great because they contain potassium and potassium is known for lowering blood pressure.

So today’s lesson is what to eat for a healthy heart. You figured that out, right? I decided to combine some ingredients that Sprout sent us home with and came up with banana oat date bars, something that Manservant could munch without feeling guilty-well, me too! I used bananas-check! I used flax seed-check! And I used oats! Add in some dark chocolate, which is also linked to reducing heart disease, (thank God!) some dates, which also contain lots of fiber and no need for sugar. We all know sugar is the new bad boy, not fat-right? Well, that is if you are eating healthy fats!

Banana Oat Date Bars

So check these banana oat date bars out. They aren’t crunchy like granola bars but they are chewy. No, they aren’t a chocolate chip cookie, but I don’t feel guilty eating them. They aren’t sugary sweet;  they taste like bananas and I love bananas. They are easy to make and perfect for those brown bananas that I usually throw away. It’s just a mind set, right? I mean if my mom had started me on these, maybe my heart would be healthier. So save those yucky bananas and help save your heart!

 

Need a new snack? Give these a try. They pack well, are easy to make and just might cure that sugar urge while also providing lots of fiber and heart healthy goodness!

Banana Oat Date Bars

More heart healthy recipes:

Banana Baked Oatmeal

This oatmeal made with applesauce, nuts and fruit is really a great way to start the day! Easy to do and can be made ahead and reheated! #oatmeal #breakfast www.thisishowicook.com 

   Simple Salmon

              Moroccan Fish with Chickpeas

   Please Pin and Share:

Banana Oat Date Bars are gluten free, added sugar free and dairy free. Filled with all great things they may just satisfy your sugar craving in a healthy way!

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
Banana Oat Date Bars

Banana Oat Date Bars #LoveMyHealthyHeart

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 9" Pan
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These banana oat date bars are guilt free and perfect for satisfying my sweet craving, while also helping keep my heart healthy! Gluten free, sugar free and egg free-what’s not to like?


Ingredients

2 large very ripe bananas
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1/4 c chopped pitted, dates
2 c oats
1/4 c coconut flakes
1/4 c flax seeds
1 T maple syrup
1/3 c mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease or line with parchment a 9″ square pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mash your bananas until they are almost liquid. I used an immersion blender. Stir in all ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
  3. Pat mixture into pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and then pat them into mixture so that they are resting on top.
  4. Bake for abut 30 minutes or until the edges begin to crisp up. You can also bake these longer if you want them crisper. Remove from oven and cool. Slice into bars and serve. Leftovers keep a good week, if they last that long.

Keywords: health bars, granola bars, snack, healthy snacks, bananas, oats, dates, fruit bars

You Might Also Like

  • Pamela @BrooklynFarmGirl
    March 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    This is a perfect breakfast idea!

  • Sippity Sup
    March 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Just looking at these makes my heart smile and that a good thing. GREG

  • tania| my kitchen stories
    March 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    They look so good. Its incredible what you can make with a banana or two

  • All That I'm Eating
    March 27, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Banana, oats and dates in one. Sounds delicious and great for a quick breakfast!

  • Chris Scheuer
    March 26, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    These look like a great way to avoid that mid afternoon slump! I love Sprouts!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 25, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    All of my favorites rolled up into one scrumptious bar!

  • Liz Berg
    March 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Mmmmm….I don't think I'd feel like I was sacrificing anything when noshing on these lovely bars!!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    March 23, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Well, one does exercise jaw muscles while eating, right? Isn't that enough? 🙂 Guess not. 🙂 Anyway, terrific looking bars! We do eat things like your nacho dish. But then eat healthy things like this. So we have a balanced diet, right? 🙂

  • Angie Schneider
    March 23, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Deliciously chewy, not overly sweet and loaded with good stuff..definitely my kind of snack, Abbe.

  • Lorinda - The Rowdy Baker
    March 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    They look fantastic, and since I'm trying to change my ways (don't hold your breath) this is a good place to start. I have a very insistent sweet tooth, and these sound like just the thing to try and retrain it.

  • Tricia Buice
    March 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    These bars look like the perfect way to snack and take care of your heart at the same time. Very nice recipe Abbe!

  • Sylvia
    March 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Did you forget to post how much I ats?

  • Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    March 23, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    SO DELICIOUS! These bars look great. I love bananas and dates. Isn't it funny how we can know what we're supposed to eat but ignore that completely? I love that I can satisfy my sweet tooth but still be healthy with these 🙂