chewy choco banana nature bars • for the long journey

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Have you ever tried an Odwalla bar? If so, you will find that these particular choco banana nature bars kind of resemble their taste and texture: kind of chewy and with a lot of substance, and all natural of course.

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And where could you take one of these chewy choco banana nature bars? The park? A drive cross country? I recommend to take more than just one if that’s the case!

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It seems that when people seek nature bars, it’s either to help them loose weight and be healthy, or to have a good boost of energy during a journey. And that “journey” could be anything and the destination could be anywhere. How motivating and exciting if you think about it!

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Well, I have a whole sheet tray of these nature bars and I’ve been asking my self the same question. On what occasion(s) would it be appropriate to be munching on these chewy chocolate banana nature bars? The answer: anytime, anywhere.

The journey is opened to interpretation. A journey to the West Coast. A journey to the beach. A journey through a recipe. A journey to the wild side. A journey through this day…

Just as long as we’re always on a journey to keep life meaningful and captivating.

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Just to give you some ideas, here is a list of how I will be getting rid of my stash…My little journeys if you will.

• Pack a few chewy choco banana nature bars for bike trips. My most recent and commendable purchase has been a Trek 7.3 and I will need a good boost of endurance on the bike trail!

• Pack a few bars for my bff Mark. He is a member of a progressive metal band called Periphery and he leaves on tour tonight. He will be on the road for 3.5 weeks and the plan is that he will stay sweet, healthier, and will miss me even more with every bite that he takes.

• Share with friends, especially the ones who have a special appreciation for healthy and natural snacks.

• Eat a nature bar after a long run to the National Monument (I live in D.C. and like running to that area, but eating one after any jog/run to any specific place in your city/town will do).

• Pack nature bars along with a good book, sunglasses, and a towel. Munch on them while laying on the grass and catching up on good literature.

• Take a few bites while blogging and youtubing favorite 90’s music videos.

What else? I could keep going!

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Materials/Ingredients:

scale

6 oz ripe bananas, peeled

2 oz vegetable oil

4 oz brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

7 oz AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

4 oz old fashioned oats

1/2 C chocolate chips and additional for topping

12 oz granulated sugar (for dry caramel)

Procedure/Recipe:

1. Cream the bananas, the vegetable oil, and the brown sugar with a mixer at low-medium speed until all the bananas have been fully mashed and the ingredients have been well combined.

2. Add the egg and the vanilla and keep mixing.

3. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour and salt. Mix until the flour has been fully incorporated into the mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary.

4. Fold in the oats and the chocolate chips.

5. Spread and press a thin layer of the dough onto a sheet pan that’s about 13.25″ x 9.25″. (Be sure to grease the sides of pan and to place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom). Reserve the remaining dough in a bowl and set it in the fridge for later use.

6. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes, until dough sets and becomes slightly hard. Remove from oven and allow it to cool off.

7. Meanwhile make dry caramel with 12 oz of sugar:

a) Add a layer of sugar into pot on high heat.

b) Smoosh sugar with a silicon spatula that’s heat proof until sugar begins to melt and caramelize.

c) Continue to smoosh sugar until caramel is smooth and has a nice amber color. Remove from heat.

8. Pour caramel mixture evenly over crust.

9. Spread reserved dough evenly over caramel mixture. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over dough if desired.

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Run knife around edges of pan and cool completely before cutting.

10. Cut vertical strips that are about 1.5″ – 2″ wide.

11. Cut strips in half to end up with bars.

Results/Conclusion:

– the taste of banana and chocolate is very pronounced and delicious.

– the layer of dry caramel adds a crunchy texture that contrasts the chewiness of the bar. It also adds an appropriate amount of bitterness that balances the sweetness from the sugar, bananas, and chocolate chips.

– the actual bar is dense and chewy and not crunchy (aside from the layer of dry caramel in the center). I think this has to do with the high amount of banana, sugar, and oats and the low amount of fat, egg, and flour.

Eating these chocolate banana nature bars makes me feel healthier while satisfying my taste buds at the same time. Win-win!

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One thought on “chewy choco banana nature bars • for the long journey

  1. Reblogged this on terrilouwho and commented:
    Ok–First day of my new blog and I am definitely rushing to the kitchen to make these. I am trying to figure out if I can make them without the caramelized sugary layer but that may be for the 2nd go round. i have a bad habit of never actually trying out the original recipe as intended but I will try to turn over a new leaf ( occasionally)

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