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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Banana Bread Bites (Vegan, Sugar-free & Gluten-Free)

Unlike most folks, I am so relieved when the oppressive, summer heat comes to an end.  Admittedly, we only had about 5 or 6 weeks of fall before winter weather started creeping in.  I know a lot of people experience low energy and mood in the winter.  I'm okay with it until about March when I've definitely had enough.  Right now, I'm still enjoying the return of the seasonal comfort foods I love like squash, pumpkin, root veggies, and everything cinnamon and spice.  I'm excited to dig out my sweaters and soft, comfy jeans and curl up with a hot cup of tea.
 
My energy levels are also sky high because I sleep so deeply in the chilly weather, and perhaps because of my now higher hemoglobin levels.  I didn't think I had any symptoms of anemia, but now I seriously feel like wonderwoman!  I'd like to also think that aside from the iron supplement, my energy is due to my stellar diet, and regular exercise, of course.
 
If you are finding your energy levels slagging already, perhaps this little snacky snack can help!
 
 

These are so amazing.  All the sweet tooths in this house loved them.  Even fussy, particular, unpredictable Little A.  What more do you need to know?

Banana Bread Bites

3 bananas, cut as thinly as possible
4 cups pitted honey dates
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup freeze-dried bananas*
2 cups oats (gluten-free if necessary)
1 tbls lucuma powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Fresh ground nutmeg, to taste

Place banana slices on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray or lightly wiped with canola oil.  Bake in oven at 275F for about 35-40 minutes.  Let cool. 


While bananas are baking, cover dates with boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes.  Drain and let cool.  Place freeze-dried bananas in food processor and pulse until almost powder.  Add dates and pulse until dates break down.  Add all remaining ingredients, including banana slices, and pulse, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until dough comes together.  Chunks of banana and date are okay.  Roll into balls and refrigerate until firm.  Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

*The crunchy kind with no added sugar or oils.  These are usually available in health food stores, or in grocery stores as toddler snacks.

This recipe has been added to this week's Gluten-Free Friday on Vegetarian Mamma and Diet, Dessert & Dog's Wellness Weekend.