Sometimes, you want to eat seasonally, like enjoying ice cream in the summer to beat the heat, or cozy up with a hot bowl of soup in the winter to warm up. And sometimes, it just gets so damn cold that you decide to protest the weather and fantasize about a dreamy tropical getaway and have to make some snacks that help you do just that.
I don’t really do new year’s resolutions, but I almost always go refined sugar free in January as a body refresh and reset. I do pretty well at resisting the baked goods during the holidays but even I occasionally find myself indulging in more than my fair share of homemade cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie and holiday cookies. I am a firm believer in enjoying your food always and embracing the treats of the season are a part of enjoying time with family and remembering traditions. That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a break from it all come January.
Going refined sugar free works really well for me, I work well with boundaries and telling myself that I am not having something is often easier than I will eat less of something.
I love snacking on whole foods when I’m running between school, work or just heading to a workout, but many bars you find in stores are loaded with extra sugar or just weird ingredients. That, and I can make my own bars in about 15 minutes for a lot less.
Here are some tropical banana, oat, toasted coconut and almond bars that are naturally sweetened, full of healthy fat and fiber to help get you through these long, dark winter days. You could always add some dried pineapple or mango for an extra tropical feel, just make sure your dried fruit doesn’t have any added sugar.
Tropical Oat Bars
Prep Time : 10 minutes | Total Time : 15 minutes
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups oats (I used Trader Joe’s Gluten Free)
1 cup roasted and unsalted almonds
1 cup banana chips
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup and honey over heat on low until simmering.
- Spread oats and coconut flakes on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes (watch to make sure they don’t burn)
- When oats and coconut flakes are done, mix in a bowl with almonds, pepitas and banana chips and cover with oil and syrup mixture.
- Mix to combine and pour into 9X9 baking pan.
- Place in refrigerator until solid, slice and enjoy. Store in refrigerator.