When it comes to exercising, coming home and being faced with a food decision can be tough. By the time I finish reassuring the dog that I do, in fact, still love her, take a shower, and toss my post-workout duds into the wash, my stomach’s knock-knock-knocking to let me know that I should eat something, and I should eat something like now.
Typically after running or doing some sort of workout I crave healthy foods immediately afterwards, but that’s only helpful if I actually have healthy foods around. If I come home and realize that I have no filling, healthy foods or that it’s going to take me an extra 20 minutes to make something healthy, I know I”m doomed – I’ll reach for whatever garbage I have around and stuff it, sweaty-handed, into my gaping maw. This is an ugly thing to witness.
So if you’re like me, one thing you should definitely try is this: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Bars!
When it comes to great workout food, either pre- or post-run, these bars are really great. In fact, even if I’ve just come home from work and really need a snack between dropping off my bags and running errands, these bars totally hit the spot; they’re super satisfying and are sweet in that natural-tasting way, not the slap in the face a can of soda can be.
These babies have just the right combination of everything you need for your run. There’s oats, a variety of chopped nuts and peanut butter, and a little bit of chocolate to appease your sweet tooth. These food combined contain both complex carbs and protein you need after running and some super-satisfying fats as well. Plus if you cut the 8×8 pan into 10 modestly-sized bars, you’re not going to eat too much of anything, thus completely negating the calories burned by your run.
Besides being chock full ‘o’ the things you want for your workout, the thing I like the most about this recipe is that it doesn’t have any straight-up butter or sugar in it (chocolate chips aside, of course). A lot of recipes for oat bars you’ll find will ask for some amount of brown sugar or half a stick of melted butter. These bars are held together with mashed bananas and peanut butter, nothing to spike your blood sugar (uh again…chocolate chips aside).
I swiped this base recipe from Clockwork Lemon; hers included slightly different ratios of nuts and coconut as opposed to chocolate chips, but had the fabulously soft texture and banana-peanut butter flavor. I’m confident her bars would taste pretty similar; the sweetness of her recipe is be supplemented by the sweetened coconut instead of the chocolate. I plan on giving that original recipe a try. ^_^
Maybe this isn’t the perfect post-run food, but I’ve found these to work pretty well for me! Nice and satisfying, they keep me from reaching for the trash after my runs or prep my body just before starting one. If you decide to give them a try, let me know what you think!
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
Adapted from Clockwork Lemon
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Mash bananas with a fork in a medium bowl.
- Add all other ingredients and stir until they are evenly mixed.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper
- Add batter to the pan, spreading it evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let cool before cutting into 10 pieces.