Letting some of it trickle out while trying to soak it all in

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ben's Banana and Bean Bowel Buster Bars (brownie variant)

If you want super flavorful, nutritious, fibrous, and delicious energy bars try out this recipe we've been working on:

Some ripe bananas
Some beans (black, navy, white, whatever)
Flax seed
Rolled oats
Several generous dollups of honey

Some peanut butter
Nuts (walnuts and almonds are my favorite)
Dried fruit chunks (blueberries, cranberries, cherries, whatever)
Hot peppers (we use Grandpa Hansen's chili tapines for this, put in more than you think you need!)
Dark chocolate chunks
Applesauce (if mixture is too dry)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla etc.
A splash of lemon juice/lemon zest

Start with mashed bananas and beans. I usually use three bananas and one can of black or navy beans (a half pound of dry beans boiled on the stove works good too). This will make a good full pan of bars. If you've got one of those fancy stick blenders (we do, in fact we may have two of them) you can use that to mix the banana and beans. Otherwise it works fine to mash it with a big spoon. Don't worry about crushing all the beans, they will get worked in as you go along.

Now that you have a clumpy mixture add whatever you want in whatever portions you want. If the mixture gets too wet add more dry oats or quinoa. If it gets too dry, add applesauce or honey. My only caution is that, if the zester you're using has "Dr. Scholl's" marked on it, it might not be a zester at all but a bunion rasp (that happened to us once when we were house sitting at Margaret's place--luckily there was a little catcher pouch on the back that kept most of the foot crumbs and dead skin out of that batch of bars).

Spread the thick chunky mess in a greased pan or on a greased cookie sheet. Put in the oven at 325F and cook for 30-50 minutes (depending on how hard you want your bars). Dryer bars will keep longer, though even very moist bars will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

If you are feeling lazy, there is a brownie variant. It's the same process except you start with a dry brownie mix and add the bananas, beans, blueberries etc. to it.

The brownie variant is more cake-like and holds together better. The straight banana and bean mix is denser and more crumbly.

Here's a batch of brownie variant that we made yesterday. Notice the tiny green halibut sneaking up on them. They were that good.

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