Mostly Cloudy79° WeatherMostly Cloudy79° Weather

Yum: Banana Spinach Protein Bars

Banana spinach bars taste good and are a good vegan protein source. Pieces of banana add texture, but use very ripe ones for best results.

KATIE LAMONT | East Lake High/SPC

Banana spinach bars taste good and are a good vegan protein source. Pieces of banana add texture, but use very ripe ones for best results.

There's a saying you should change your ways while you're young, and it's true. It's a lot easier to change before you get completely set in your ways. Maybe that's why tb-two* just 5 years old ­­— is bringing you some recipes to help you eat more healthfully. We're not promising it'll be a snap; I mean who isn't tempted to just get Chick-fil-A and call it a day? But we know that shaping up what we eat is definitely worth it.

Today's recipe adapted from undressedskeleton.tumblr.com is for banana spinach protein bars. Just hear us out; they are a perfect for a post-gym snack or to tide you over until dinner.

Benefits: This is a great way to sneak extra spinach into your diet if you're not too keen on it. The recipe is also vegan, so it cuts out the dairy that baked goods often include. Also, these bars are packed with protein; pick your favorite protein powder to add flavor you'll love.

Taste: All right, so this isn't a Luna bar. However, these bars do taste predominantly like banana and the protein powder flavor of your choice (chocolate or vanilla work best). They're chewy, but a little dry if you don't use an extra ripe banana, as that provides all the moisture. As for the spinach? If you make sure your spinach leaves are chopped into really small pieces, it's virtually tasteless, with all the benefits. These bars taste like a protein smoothie would: If you can get used to the healthful taste they're pretty darn good.

Yum rating? While they aren't the prettiest bars in the world, what protein bar really is good looking? The beauty is in the fact that you put it all together. And the taste really does grow on you.

You'll need:

1 large extra ripe banana

1 cup finely chopped spinach leaves

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp flax seeds

2 tbsp protein powder

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp PB2 (This is powdered peanut butter and can be found online or in health food stores.)

You can get creative. I ran out of flax, so I added extra hemp protein. This is the perfect dish to experiment with thanks to the interchangeable ingredients. (I'm going to add blueberries next time!)

Now make it:

Mix ingredients together. For best results, blend using a hand or electric mixer instead of a spoon.

Grease a pan with vegetable oil to keep the recipe vegan, or use non-stick spray and spread the mixture into the pan like you would brownies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes and slice in three rows of four.

Source: Adapted from undressedskeleton.tumblr.com

Yum: Banana Spinach Protein Bars 10/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 10:52am]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...