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Made with simple ingredients that you probably already have stocked in your kitchen (like bananas, almond flour, peanut butter and protein powder), Beth's recipe is quick to whip up, freezes well, and truly: the texture of these bars is similar to a fudgy brownie.
“These bars definitely look like blondies,” says Allie Echeverria, RD. "But if you’re looking to increase your protein intake and you really like peanut butter and bananas, they could be a great choice for you.” The recipe also works well for those looking to avoid dairy, eggs, and/or gluten. And while not a complete breakfast, these make the perfect grab-and-go bite you can pair with a breakfast smoothie or egg bite.
Health perks you'll reap from these peanut butter banana bread bars
Peanut butter is not only delicious: it’s also a good source of various essential nutrients, healthy fats, vitamins, fiber and protein. “On average, there are approximately eight grams of protein in two tablespoons of peanut butter,” says board-certified internal medicine physician David Nazarian, MD, co-creator of VitaminMD.net and medical director at My Concierge MD. “In addition, peanut butter is a source of vitamin E and B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.”
Bananas are a great source of essential nutrients including fiber and vitamin B6. “The fiber in bananas can help regulate healthy bowel movements and support the digestive tract, while B6 helps in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine,” says Dr. Nazarian.
“Flax eggs are a popular substitute for people who are vegan and they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid, which play an important role in heart health, brain health and function as well as reducing inflammation in our bodies,” says Dr. Nazarian.
Almond flour is a good alternative for those looking to avoid gluten while also, according to Dr. Nazarian, being a good source of healthy fats, which support a healthy heart. “Almond flour has a lower carbohydrate content compared to traditional wheat flour, which makes it a popular choice for those following a low-carb diet. In addition, almond flour contains protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and other minerals.”
Echeverria likes that this recipe calls for a scoop of vanilla protein powder because, depending on the one you choose, it can provide between 15 and 30 grams of protein.
While a sugar is a sugar is a sugar—and maple syrup certainly falls into that category—Echeverria likes maple syrup because it contains riboflavin (vitamin B2), zinc, manganese, calcium and potassium.
Peanut butter banana bread bar recipe
2 ripe bananas
1 flax egg (to make, mix 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp water; can also sub with regular egg)
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (can omit and substitute 1/4 cup almond flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash bananas then add in egg, maple syrup, peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Mix in almond flour, protein powder and baking soda. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 17-23 minutes or until set, but still slightly gooey in the center. Let cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
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