The inspiration for these bars wasn’t because I went to a sunny tropical destination and sipped coconut water on the beach while snacking on fresh pineapple and local oranges. Nope, I was still here, running through yesterday’s April snowstorm, and waking up to this morning’s 10 below. But at least I was waking up to a taste of the tropics with these healthy bars. And I may or may not have eaten more than one to fill my tropical, where-are-you-spring desires.
But that’s totally okay, because the inspiration for these came from the banana flour I purchased a few weeks ago and wanted to use! I had seen banana flour in lots of recipes, but I had never found it myself in the store until recently. I’ve learned that it is actually made from green bananas, so it’s not terribly sweet, but when cooked up, it lends a delicious banana flavour as well as a good dose of fiber. I combined it with real bananas, coconut, oranges and a delicious gluten free flour combo for a really delicious bar that is perfect for snacking or grabbing on the go for a quick breakfast as you walk out the door.
The other key ingredient in the bars is maca! If you aren’t familiar with maca, it is a superfood powder that comes from grinding up roots of the maca tree in the Andes Mountains. The result is a powder, which you can add to baking, smoothies, or sprinkle on top of smoothie bowls that has incredible health benefits for your endocrine system. This is the system that controls your hormones and helps in overall regulation of your body from a chemical stand point, and is also the system that gets affected when we are stressed or expose ourselves to the risks of adrenal fatigue – including high volumes of exercise, lack of sleep, poor diet and excess coffee. I’ve talked about this before in regards to running and I’m always super conscious to look after my adrenals. If you’re feeling the same, start adding some maca to your daily routine, or whip up a batch of these bars for a healthy snack that will also benefit your endocrine system! Enjoy!
Tropical Banana Maca Coconut Bars
Healthy, gluten free squares loaded with tropical flavours from the banana, coconut and orange, along with the added health benefits of maca.
Ingredients (16 squares)
- 1 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup banana flour
- 1/8 cup tapioca flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 1/12 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp maca
- 1 banana
- 6 dates, soaked in 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Juice and zest of 1 medium orange
- 3 tbsp coconut nectar
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
- In a large bowl combine together the oat flour, banana flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, oats, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and maca. Stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, add soaked date with their soaking water, banana, coconut oil, vanilla, and coconut nectar to a blender. Puree until smooth.
- Add date mixture to flours, along with orange juice and zest, and almond milk. Stir until combined and then pour into a 9×9 square pan, lined with baking paper.
- Bake in the oven, preheated to 375 degrees fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes, or until a stick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is firm.
- Cool on a rack and then cut into squares to serve. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Want to try some other bars?
- No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
- Tahini Ginger Granola Bars
- Vanilla Cardamom Energy Bars
- Chocolate Caramel Mesquite Bars