Banana Bread Bars

Photo: Pete Scherer.
  • Total: 100 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 80 mins
  • Yield: about 6-8 servings

A lot of "healthy" bars are simply cookies in disguise. Not only is this bar not a cookie, but its name is so fun to say that you’ll want to make them just so you can tell everyone that you’re baking a big batch of banana bread bars.

They’re darn good for you, too. They contain lots of protein from egg whites, only natural sugars from fruit, healthy fats, lots of fiber and other nutrients. The toasted wheat bran gives the bars a bready flavor without the addition of flour, while the cinnamon, bananas and walnuts deliver that classic beloved banana bread taste. For an extra-yummy boost, pop a bar in the toaster oven for a quick spell, then follow with a slathering of chunky natural peanut butter.
Though it’s based on the popular Rx Bar, these bars are less chewy and more banana bread-like. That’s because they contain liquid egg whites rather than powdered. Keep them in the refrigerator and eat within about a week.

Ingredients

  • 10-12 ounces peeled ripe banana (about 3 bananas' worth)
  • 6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup wheat bran, toasted
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients and preheat the oven to 300F.

  2. Grab two oven-safe pans or dishes. Put the walnuts in one of the pans, and the wheat bran in the other, and put both pans in the oven. Toast the walnuts and the wheat bran until they’re a bit more brown and fragrant than before they went in, about 15 minutes.

  3. While the nuts and bran are toasting, mash the bananas and the dates in a medium bowl. The dates may not mash very much — just get the mixture gooey.

  4. Roughly chop the toasted walnuts. Add the chopped walnuts, the toasted bran, cinnamon and the salt to the bowl with the bananas and dates. Mix well.

  5. Add the liquid egg whites and mix until well combined.

  6. Place a piece of parchment paper into an 8x8 inch baking pan such that the paper covers the entire interior surface of the pan.

  7. Pour the batter into the paper-covered pan and spread it evenly as best you can. It’s ok if there are a few odd folds.

  8. Put the pan in the oven and bake for about one hour and ten minutes, or until the egg white is no longer making surface bubbles, and the surface of the bars is no longer shiny.

  9. Remove the bars from the pan via the parchment and let them cool to room temperature before cutting to your desired size. Refrigerate and consume within one week.