Chia Banana Bars
My favorite breakfast these days: quick, easy, tasty, filling and super-healthy. All of the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find where I'm living. Packed with whole grains and seeds, these squares are wheat-free, gluten-free (if made with gluten-free oats), dairy-free, egg-free, low in sugar, and high in fiber.
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Grind (easy to do in a clean coffee grinder):
4 Tbsp chia seeds
In a large bowl, combine the ground seeds with:
1 c unsweetened apple juice
Then mix in:
2 large or 3 small over-ripe mashed bananas (about 3/4 - 1 c)
3 Tbsp coconut oil (or melted butter)
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
Next, mix in:
2 c large flake / old fashioned oats rolled (for gluten-free use gluten-free oats)
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon (3 tsp Mexican canela)
*Optional ingredients - I occasionally add one or more of these
ingredients when I'm feeling decadent (or baking these for guests):
* 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or cardamom
* 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon or orange zest
* 1/2 c chopped dates, figs, or other dried fruit
* 1/4 - 1/3 c chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate or carob chips)
Grease a medium-sized pan (I use a stainless steel pan that's 10"x7.5") and press mixture in.
Sprinkle on top and gently press in approximately:
1/3 c pepitas or sunflower seeds OR 1/2 c chopped walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes (depends on your pan and oven) or until the sides start pulling away and the seeds/nuts on top are golden and toasty. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.