Banana Raisin Oatmeal Bars

Thank you for all the kind comments from yesterday’s Virtual Vegan Potluck. If you didn’t get a chance to see my recipe click here.

Now on to something sweet.

I love when first time recipes turn out. It makes the cooking process so much more enjoyable.

I’ve been craving oatmeal cookies for a couple of days now. I have all the ingredients but am never in the mood to bake at night when I really want one. This morning, in a baking mood, I started concepting (ah, an old advertising word, haha) how to justify a way to have oatmeal cookies for breakfast.

This recipe combines all the things I love about cookies without all the butter and flour and sugar. You can eat one of these bars every morning and not feel the least bit bad. Plus, they are really quick and easy to make, which seems to be my theme these days.

Banana Raisin Oatmeal Bars (vegan, gluten-free)

2 cups gluten-free oats

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon maple syrup (agave would probably work well here too)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unflavored almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer)

2 frozen bananas, thawed (you can also use very ripe bananas if you have some you need to use up)

1/4 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 375.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add all wet ingredients to dry. If using frozen bananas microwave for 30-45 seconds then mash into the mixture with a fork.

Add raisins last.

Grease a glass baking dish, I used cooking spray. Dump mixture into baking dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bars become firm.

Serve once cooled with a big glass of black tea or coffee.


Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Cake Bars

As I sit here and type this I’m not actually sure by the time I get to the end of this post that there will actually be a recipe to share with you.

I set out to make carrot cake breakfast bars. I was attempting to replicate the carrot cake flavor from Clif Bar. One of my favorite flavors. But as the bars cool they are looking rather soft so I may end up with more of a crumble than a bar. Regardless, the ‘dough’ tasted delicious so all is not lost.

Before I get into the recipe I wanted to recap yesterday’s race. My friend Amanda and I ran the Tuft’s Health Plan Women’s 10k yesterday. It was a perfect day for a race. I heard there were over 8,000 participants and I believe it. Most of the time races open up early, but we were jam-packed until at least mile 3.

I started the race feeling sort of sluggish. Too many beers at the Pats game on Sunday 🙂 But there’s something about racing that gets my adrenaline pumping. After mile 2, I was feeling pretty good. The race started at the Commons, sorry there aren’t pictures, I intended to take some but got distracted. We then looped around Cambridge, came through Back Bay and back into the Commons. I finished the race in 51.18 (8:16 pace). I actually don’t know if I’ve ever run a 10k before, but if I have I don’t remember my time so we’ll make this my new PR!

Here’s a pic from the finish line.

Okay, the bars have cooled. They’re still not hard but there more bar like then I thought they’d be so I’ll give you the recipe, with some pointers on how to make them better if you recreate.

Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Cake Bars

1 cup shredded carrots, about 2 big carrots

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup almonds

10  Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled (optional)

pinch salt

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, add nuts and dates. Pulse until fairly fine, don’t make too smooth though.

Add shredded carrots, coconut, cinnamon, powdered and fresh ginger, salt and lemon zest to the mixture.  Pulse until everything is incorporated.

Next add maple syrup and vanilla. Run processor until dough creates a ball.

Spread mixture evenly into a greased bread pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

You might be able to make these raw if you use a dehydrator but I do worry that they might not gel.

Two things I’d suggest you do differently than me.

First, I added the raisins in with everything else but they got sort of lost once they were chopped so fine. I would fold the raisins into the batter if you like their whole texture like I do.

Second, I think this needs a binder. Hence the reason my bars are on the wet side. I’d suggest a half cup of gluten-free oats or maybe even uncooked quinoa could be added. I’ll try both soon and revise this recipe accordingly.

I would also add more fresh ginger but then again I’m a ginger lover.

If you try these with the binder let me know how they turn out.

I will say they taste pretty darn good as is and great for snacking on while putting off a recovery run.