Banana “Bread” Walnut Bars- GF, Vegan

4 Ingredients. 10 minutes.

Gluten free, dairy free, (refined) sugar-free, raw and vegan.

And it tastes good?

Woah.

No one told me about National Banana Bread Day (Feb. 23rd), I had to find out by browsing TasteSpotting and torturing myself with delicious looking loaves of banana bread that I cannot eat.  Awesome.  Since I cannot enjoy banana bread the way I used to, I try to satisfy my craving with healthier options that are free of gluten and sugar.  These little nuggets do the trick; with bananas, dates, walnuts and cinnamon, they taste just like mom’s (only without the flour, eggs and butter).  These are similar to a LaraBar, my favorite on-the-go snack when I traveled for work.

Can I tell you something great about this recipe?

You can leave it as-is, or customize it to suit your taste!  You don’t like walnuts?  Swap for almonds, macadamias or cashews.  Bar form isn’t the most convenient?  No problem, cut them into smaller “bites” or roll the mixture into balls for an even more portable snack.  Are you craving chocolate?  Add a few chocolate chips on top or mix them in.  Eat these for breakfast, post workout or on the go!  Whip up a batch on Sunday and watch it disappear throughout the week.

Recipe: Banana Bread Walnut Bars
Yield: 6 Bars, 12 bites, 16 Balls
Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. pitted dates
1/2 c. walnuts + 1 T. for topping (if desired)
3/4 of a large, ripe banana divided in half & mashed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Method:
Blend dates, 1/2 c. walnuts and cinnamon in a food processor until combined.  The mixture will be sticky.
Take 1/2 of the banana and begin kneading it into the dough. If your mixture is not too sticky, add the second half and blend until just combined.  Adding the correct amount of banana will ensure that the bars turn out solid rather than mushy.
Press the date mixture into the bottom of a 9×5 in. bread pan and top with additional 1 T of walnuts if desired.
Cut into bars or bites or form into the shape of a ball.
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I hope you enjoy these delicious little bars as much as I did!

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