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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Heart Healthy Banana Bread

Heart Healthy Banana bread is low in saturated fat and sodium, rich in potassium and a source of fiber and plant stanols shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

This heart healthy banana bread is not only delicious, it has the benefits of  plant stanols, the natural way to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

 

Bake some bread. It’s February’s Recipe Redux theme! In keeping with my commitment to  heart month,  I’m baking  banana bread with benefits for your ticker. It’s  low in saturated fat and sodium,  rich in nutrients like potassium and a source of fiber and plant stanols.

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with plant stanols, let me briefly explain. Plant stanol esters  work by reducing the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract. They are naturally found in many fruits, vegetables and grains,  but because these foods have only trace amounts, you would have to consume ridiculous quantities everyday, to see  a signficant effect on  blood cholesterol (i.e. 12 pounds of broccoli, 29 pounds of carrots and 60 pounds of tomatoes).    This challenge has been overcome by fortifying foods with stanols and sterols. New food products, with the added benefit of sterol/stanol esters, may provide a more healthful alternative to high-saturated fat, high-cholesterol products such as butter.

This banana bread was made using one of these relatively new food products with the added benefit of plant stanols (Benecol®) . It’s simple to use because it is a direct substitute for butter or oil in recipes. Enjoying your favorite foods can be good for your heart if you make the proper substitutions.

 

 

 

 

 

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Heart Healthy Banana Bread


  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Benecol
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 .5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a piece of waxed paper, spread a light layer of Benecol inside a 8″ baking loaf. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Benecol, sugar, eggs, milk and lemon juice.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder,baking soda and spices. 
  4. Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the Benecol mixture and add mashed bananas.
  5. Pour batter into prepped baking loaf and sprinkle top with chopped pistachios.  
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes


Nutrition

  • Calories: 171kcal
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Sodium: 117mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 37mg

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