You’d never believe that these soft baked chocolate fudge banana oat bars are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and made without any butter or oil! The perfect healthy breakfast or snack for any chocolate lover!
I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I’m pretty sure that I’m everyone’s favourite road trip buddy. And it’s not because I don’t complain when it’s my turn to drive or that I don’t need to stop every 30 minutes to go pee.
Nuh uh. This one’s way bigger than that.
It’s because I bring all the good snacks.
I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t get through a road trip without some serious snacks. I mean, I can, but it’s not overly pleasant — not for me and definitely not for anyone who’s unfortunate enough to find themselves stuck in a car with me for any extended period of time.
So, in the interest of everyone involved, I never head out for a long trip without a big ol’ sack packed with snacks. I call it The Feed Bag, and not only is it great at keeping the hangry at bay, but it has the magical ability to make time go by faster as well… I mean, I’m normally pretty good about keeping myself entertained on long trips, but if it’s a drive that I’ve done over 100 times and could probably do with my eyes closed [as is the case when I head up to the mountains]? Then I definitely appreciate a little edible entertainment.
And I like to bring food from home rather than rely on picking it up along the way because… uhhhh… how do I say this? Mine is better. Toot, toot.
Sorry. I think I got a little big-headed after this batch of chocolate fudge banana oat bars that I made rocked everyone’s socks off this weekend. It’s always a little tricky to make healthier snacks for people who might not necessarily eat so healthy most of the time, which is why I was stoked when my bars got a “holy sh*t these are good” review from everyone. And I totally agree. In fact, I couldn’t have said it better myself ?
Picture this — a soft-baked banana oat snack bar with an ooey, gooey chocolate [date] filling. It’s perfectly sweet despite being made with NO refined sugar, and perfectly soft and tender despite being made with NO butter or oil. It’s perfectly perfect all around, especially if you’re looking for a tasty energy boosting snack that won’t leave you in a sugar coma 20 minutes later. These were my fuel of choice during this weekend’s boarding sessions, and they did… perfectly ?
- 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates (~150g)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups rolled oats, divided*
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (~1 cup)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375F and prepare an 8x8 baking dish by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Spray foil with cooking spray and set aside.
- To make the banana oat base, place 1 cup of oats in a food processor or high speed blender, and process until they resemble a fine flour. Transfer the oat flour to a large mixing bowl, and add the remaining rolled oats, baking powder, and salt, mixing well. Add the mashed bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until everything is well combined and a dough is formed. Set aside.
- To make the filling, add the dates, cocoa powder, and water to the now empty food processor or blender, and process until the dates have broken down into a paste. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and add a splash of water if the mixture is being stubborn.
- Transfer ⅔ of the mixture into your prepared baking pan, using your fingers or a spatula to ensure that it is pressed down tightly and evenly. Spoon chocolate fudge filling over the surface, and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly, making sure to only go within ¼ of the edge to prevent burning. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top, using a fork to break up bigger chunks and spread it around.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the top turns a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool in pan before cutting into bars. Store in air-tight container for up to a week.
Looking for more warm and cozy breakfast recipes? Try one of these!
What are your favourite road trip snacks?
Where did you go on your last road trip?
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