If you’ll recall, we don’t call things “balls” around here because people in my house (ME) giggle too much around that word. That’s why I make cake poppers, not cake balls.
I’ve been playing around with an “easy” recipe for some sort of granola bar/running fuel replacement since I started the great
vegan plant-based, whole foods, consumer responsible experiment. There are some running gels that are vegan and even mostly organic/whole (Clif makes good ones) but I used to eat the gummies which I can’t do now because of the gelatin. Also, I used to be a granola bar ADDICT but most of the “good” ones have chocolate chips in them. I’ve found some Lara bars I like but DAMN, they’re SO EXPENSIVE. So! I was working on something I could use to fill my granola bar/fuel needs. My key requirement was they would be easy and not require me getting out the food processor, or cooking anything. (I’m totally a lazy almost-vegan.) And after several failed attempts (the flavor was fine, the consistency was off) I think I finally have a recipe for a good batch.
Strawberry Banana Oat Poppers
Yields about 20 poppers depending on how big you make them.
- 1 whole banana
- 2 Cups of Oats. (I use “quick” oats because I think they’re easier on my stomach since we’re not cooking them.)
- 3 TB of Strawberry Preserves (I use “no sugar added” variety.)
- 1 TB of honey (Use local if you can! I’m not calling this “vegan” because of the honey, but I like supporting local beekeepers because it helps local flora/fauna and takes way less energy to produce than mass-harvested sugar cane.)
- 2 TB of Flax Seed Meal
- 2 TB shredded coconut (optional – simply used as coating of sorts)
- Put the whole banana in the bowl with the oats and use a fork to mush the banana while mixing in the oats. You really don’t want any “pieces” of banana, it should all be incorporated into the oats. Obviously, the riper the banana the easier to mush, but mine did fine without being overripe.
- Add in preserves, honey and flax seed meal. Incorporate thoroughly using fork to keep mashing ingredients into banana/oat mush.
- Line a pan with parchment or even wax paper. Roll mixture up into balls and put them on the paper if you’re not coating with coconut. If you are using coconut, then lightly touch the ball to your small pile of coconut. Smash coconut into the outside of the ball with fingers. Basically, we’re looking for a very light covering, nothing too overwhelming in terms of flavor.
- Place pan in freezer for 2 hours to set.
- Move poppers you want to eat soon to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Obviously, since they’re made with banana, they won’t stay “fresh” forever. That’s why I suggest only moving the ones you’ll eat in the next few days to the fridge. My batch made 21 poppers so they were about 45 calories each. So, that means – if you’re comparing to Lara Bars – 4 poppers is about 1 Lara Bar. I figured I probably wouldn’t eat more than 4 a day, although they are a tad tasty and seem harmless to grab out of the fridge periodically at 45 calories each. But still! Probably would only keep half of the batch in the refrigerator next time instead of the entire batch.
I’m going to work on variations of these because they fill so many food voids in my life. I think I’ll try adding raisins and/or craisins. I’d like to try a blueberry variety, but I don’t want to use the food processor (#LazyVegan) and I’m not sure well blueberries would mash up. I also would like to try to do them without banana, but you have to work on the “sticky” factor then, these are almost perfect consistency and “stickiness” to make rolling kinda easy and they hold together well as poppers.