sun butter banana protein bars

I cannot believe I just made a photo folder for the month of DECEMBER. 

And to kick off December 1st, Colorado knew just what to do.  With temps all week in the 50’s, today plummeted to the 20’s, and we got about 4” of snow.

It was a bit of a crazy day, evidenced partially by the photos below.

(1 of 7)

My morning + afternoon were jam packed, leaving me with not much time to bust out this delicious experiment.

(2 of 7)

Complete chaos, for one pretty easy recipe.  I’m making it look much worse than it actually needs to be.  I was also in a bit of a hurry because the snowy sunlight was fading fast. 

(3 of 7)

So fast that I had to crank my ISO up to 1600 and leave you with this craptastic image.

crappy quality

fantastic tasting

(5 of 7)

Bringing it closer to the window, did absolutely nothing to help the situation.

(6 of 7)

Even taking it outside, proved useless.

But, that’s life.  Sometimes the sun doesn’t cooperate when you want it to.

(7 of 7)

Sometimes, other things are more important.

Like the recipe.

Sun Butter Banana Protein Bars [serves 9] vegan/GF/nut free

  • 1 1/4c GF rolled oats
  • 1/2c GF oat flour
  • 1 1/2c GF brown rice cereal
  • 1/2c plain protein powder
  • 2 med. bananas [just less than 1c mashed]
  • 3T ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/4c sunflower seeds
  • 1/4c sunflower butter
  • 1/4c dark chocolate chips
  • 5T brown rice syrup
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 3/4t salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. In a bowl, mash the banana until there are no lumps and then whisk in all other wet ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips.
  4. Mix wet into dry and stir until just combined.
  5. In a lightly greased, or parchment lined 9x9 pan, spread the mixture evenly and bake for 30min.
  6. Let cool completely.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl, in the microwave in 20sec increments, stirring in between.
  8. Drizzle the chocolate on the bars, cut the bars, then place in the freezer for 5-10min until set.

tips/substitutions:  Buckwheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour should work in place of the oat flour.  You can grind GF oat flour from GF rolled oats or GF oat groats in a blender/coffee grinder/spice grinder.  I use Raw Protein, which was completely undetectable in the recipe.  I would suggest using a plain or possibly a vanilla flavor protein powder.  The protein powder I use has 80 cals + 18g protein per 1/4c serving.  I used 2 servings in this recipe.  You can most likely sub pumpkin or squash puree for the banana, at just under 1c, but it will take away a lot of the sweetness.  Sub any nuts or nut butter instead of sunflower if desired.  Honey or maple syrup can be subbed for the brown rice syrup.


When these first came out of the oven, I didn’t have my hopes set too high.  I was betting that the texture would be off, but after fully cooling the bars, the texture was spot on.  Soft and chewy, but also held together very well.  Chris loved them too!  Double score. 

For me, 2 of these are the perfect mix of carbs, fats + protein to get my day started right.  It will be so nice to wake up to breakfast already made. 

More photos coming soon…