granola bars

Bar recipe: avoid energy crashes with brain-boosting granola bars

Posted by for Nutrition

Given we’ve waited so long to go out, the last thing you need is an energy dip that you can’t seem to clamber out of on the day you’re due at that dinner you’ve had booked since February. So it’s important to sustain your buzz with the right snacks – and these granola bars are bursting with everything you need to keep your brain and body at full throttle.

This satiating snack is made from slow-release carb sources (such as oats and bananas) to keep your battery charged until evening, and laden with fibre to support your mental health (thanks to the link between the gut microbiome and your brain). Plus, the crunchy pecans are loaded with omega-3 – proven to increase serotonin levels – and monounsaturated fatty acids that have been linked to improved cognitive function. Now that’s what we call smart eating. 


8 bars total 


15 mins to bake + prep time 


2 ripe bananas, peeled

1 tbsp maple syrup

200g (7oz) whole rolled oats

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Small handful of pecans, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Mash the bananas into a rough paste in a bowl and stir in the maple syrup. 
  3. Add the oats, cinnamon and pecans and stir again, then use your hands to fully combine.
  4. Press tightly into a small, shallow baking tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice into bars while still warm, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Switch the pecans for sultanas (golden raisins), freeze- dried raspberries or dried cranberries for tasty variations (which children will love too).

Image and recipe courtesy of Five Ingredient Vegan by Katy Beskow 

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Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

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