There is something about the peanut butter banana and oat combination that I find so comforting. This combo is probably my most typical breakfast combination for oatmeal that I have been having for years. Oats are traditionally recognised as a nerve tonic that is good for soothing and calming the nervous system. A possible explanation for this is that the fibre in oatmeal increases the amount of a certain gut microbe that helps produce the neurotransmitter GABA. Low GABA is the reason I ended up with a severe anxiety disorder that led to seizures when I came off my hormonal contraception. Oats also contain the amino acid tryptophan which gets converted into both serotonin (for stable happy moods) and melatonin (for good sleep and immunity). More than this both peanut butter and bananas are some of the highest plant-based sources of vitamin B6 which is now recognised in many studies to help improve mood, especially when combined with magnesium. This is because both magnesium and B6 are needed to help convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin.
Once my little boy started preschool, I found it difficult to find the time to make my usual oatmeal breakfasts in the morning. I have had to since become very good at meal prepping breakfast the night before. I decided to make these bars as a quick grab and go breakfasts that if needed we could just eat in the car! They are a little messy for car eating but they are a much quicker option for busy mornings. I have used peanut butter in this recipe but the recipe works with any nut or seed butter of choice. They only use 4 ingredients and come together quickly and easily. They work great as a grab and go breakfast or as a nourishing dessert after dinner to help promote sleep (you can leave out the chocolate if you find it too stimulating for sleep, especially for little ones). Oats are naturally gluten-free but are usually processed on equipment that also processed gluten so if you are celiac make sure you buy certified gluten-free oats that have been processed on non-gluten-containing machinery. If you still have issues digesting oats then you can use quinoa flakes or any other flaked grain. I used the macro organic oats from Woolworths. they are my favourite to use because they are organic but also because they are very fine so they have a nice creamy texture in oatmeal. The recipe is vegan, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free.
|Banana Peanut Butter Oat Bars|| |
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1½ cups mashed banana
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- In a large bowl combine together all of the ingredients.
- Mix until the banana and peanut butter is well incorporated into the batter. It will be heavy and a little difficult to mix. Feel free to use your hands if needed.
- Once well-combined press tightly into the bottom of a lined 10cm square baking tin.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 C