Banana Walnut Snack Bars

Banana Walnut Bars are the natural, whole food way to fuel a high-intensity workout!

This  banana walnut bar isn’t  just a tasty snack, it’s a great way to  fuel a high intensity workout with natural, whole foods. 
Yesterday I did my ‘crossfit-ish ‘ workout. Our  metabolic conditioning included lots of shoulder strengthening exercises.  I could never have completed the bouts of exercise without proper fuel, I mean carbohydrate. I ‘m not a fan of the trendy train low regimen that would require me  to perform heavy exercise training bouts after skipping a meal (or meals) to reduce carbohydrate availability with the hope of  training my muscles to more readily use fat as a substrate.  I don’t see it as practical;  I eat carbs to maintain my training intensity and get the most out of my time spent in the gym.  I don’t deny that both dietary protein and fat can provide necessary energy to perform physical activity, but carbohydrate is the macronutrient most efficiently metabolized by the body and the only one that can be broken down  fast enough to provide energy during high -intensity exercise when fast -twitch muscle fibers are primarily relied  upon. Furthermore, carbs enhance my mood, reduce my perception of fatigue, and boost  my level of focus to  complete physical activity in a way that does not compromise technique (important to  to avoid unnecessary injury.)

Let’s face it,  trusting the advice of someone pushing carbs  is hard. It’s opposite of  the more prevalent message about limiting carbohydrates for health reasons in the physically inactive population.  Sadly, we have lost sight  of the fact that athletes need  high carbohydrate foods to enhance muscle glycogen and deliver carbohydrates to the muscle during exercise. If you are a couch potato,  go the low carb way. If you are active and performing high intensity training bouts, you can benefit from carbohydrates!

Today’s recipe for Banana Walnut Bars, is one of my pre-workout, high carbohydrate snacks. It’s food that’s rapidly absorbed and provides  my muscles with energy  to maintain performance.  Each  bar provides 190 calories, with a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. It’s low in fat so it is digested rapidly.   Not only is it energy food, it’s delicious.  I used quick cooking oats to add some bulk without making the bars too dense. Buttermilk keeps the bars moist and the subtle tang balances the sweetness of an overripe banana. Walnut oil also helps with the bars moistness and it’s the ingredient you need for a deeper nut flavor than with walnuts alone.

 

Boost your exercise intensity with a delicious Banana Walnut bar.

 

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Banana Walnut Snack Bars

banana walnut snack bar

Tasty banana walnut snack bar is a perfect way to fuel a high-intensity workout.

  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Ingredients

•  1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

• 1 cup quick cooking oats

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

•  1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 ripe banana

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 cup 1% fat buttermilk

• 1 tablespoon walnut oil

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1 egg white

• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

• cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine four and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Place banana in a small bowl.  Mash with a fork until smooth. Add sugar and next 4ingredients (through egg white); stir to combine. Add to flour mixture stirring to combine. Stir in nuts.
  4. Spread dough into an 8 x8 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees F for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 8 bars.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 190
  • Sugar: 12 grams
  • Sodium: 140 mg
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.76
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 30 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0

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Round-Up: 12 Pre-Workout Snacks

A round-up of bars, bites, muffins, toast, and even cookies  to help power you through your next work-out.So you want to have healthy eating  and  exercise habits,  but  don’t know how  to integrate  both into your daily life?  A good place to start is focusing on proper fueling before a bout of exercise  and smart recovery afterwards.  Today’s post emphasizes the importance of pre-workout nutrition with a myriad of  snacks my colleagues helped me ’round-up’. (Stay tuned for more on post workout foods.)

While most attention regarding exercise pays close attention to strength, speed, flexibility and stamina,  we need to support all of these components with good nutrition. Studies are consistently proving, we perform best with some carbohydrates on board.  While I don’t recommend eating a meal just before  exercise, snacks  are a different story. A snack of about 100-200 calories (of primarily carbs can be consumed  just minutes prior to exercise) and will provide energy to focus on correct technique, push intensity, and help you persist through a vigorous energy expending workout.

There are an infinite number to foods to enjoy before physical activity. The key is to select food/foods based  on your preferences, and on the intensity and duration of your activity. Experiment with a variety of foods/fluids to determine what works best for you. Some simple ideas, include a banana, oranges slices, a couple of fig newtons, 1/2 jelly sandwich. You can even make your own energy snacks with a few ingredients. Find inspiration below with this  round-up of  bars, bites, muffins, toast,  and cookies all created to help power through your next work-out

No Bake Granola Bites via Lauren Sharifi of Bite of Health Nutrition

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No Bake Protein Energy Bites via Tawnie Kroll  of Krolls Korner

Peanut Butter Yogurt Bars   via Hungry Hobby. These are super easy to make and especially nice in the summer, because you don’t have to turn on your oven.

Cashew Cookie Hemp Energy Bars via Kelly Jones of EatRealLiveWell 

Sweet Potato Toast via Family Food on the Table

Avocado and Hummus Bagel via No Excuses Health

No Bake Peanut Butter Cherry Trail Mix Bites via Bucket List Tummy 

Snack Bar Madeleines via Queen of My Kitchen. 

10 Minute Healthy Energy Bites via Nourish Nutrition .

 

PB & J Sweet Potato via Jessica Cording Nutrition Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Balls via And a Dash of Cinnamon

Soft Baked Zucchini Cookies via yours truely. I posted this back in April, but some of you may have zucchini to spare now, so I’m including it  in this round-up.

Please let me know what your fav pre-workout foods are in the comment section below. Have a terrific day!

 

 

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