Thursday, November 10, 2011

Banana Chocolate Joltbars

In every school, there are always those teachers that everyone loves to hate. In ninth grade, it was a certain English teacher who would bite your head off if you forgot to call her Doctor. Everyone despised her, and I  worried that my marks would go down in her class (thanks, Big Brother, for all your eleventh-grade English horror stories, starring the Doctor). I need not to have worried; I did all my assignments, stayed under the radar, and got a decent grade.

Then in tenth grade, it was a certain math teacher. In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy the way she taught, but looking back, I realize that I could have done more to facilitate my own learning. Blame, like respect, is a two-way street.

This year, people are complaining about a new English teacher. (Well, actually, people still complain about the math teacher I had last year and they surely would about the English teacher from ninth grade if she hadn’t gotten fired...) Originally, I had a different teacher, but since I insisted on switching into enriched World History during the second week of school, my timetable got rearranged. I knew I would enjoy the World History class because I liked the subject and because I’d heard good things about the teacher in charge of the enriched class, so I decided to take all other class changes in stride.

Despite all the complaints, I actually really like my (new) English teacher. She’s a little bit quirky and her assignments are vague, but that’s what I like. The freedom to change things up, to do what I think is the right answer. Besides that, the class discussions that she leads are actually quite thought-provoking.

Our most recent assignment revolved around the novel Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Throughout the novel, which is set in the future, Atwood creates many different products and our assignment was to choose one and create an ad for the product. Originally, I was going to choose Watson-Crick Student Services (James Watson and Francis Crick, the guys who discovered DNA; cool play on words, no?). Watson-Crick is the name of the school which Crake goes to, so I thought “student services” would entail care-packages and laundry and the like. And then I reread the section where these “student services” are mentioned. How wrong I was...

So I chose to market a Joltbar. In the novel, a Joltbar is an energy bar which contains steroids and helps build muscle. Instead of creating only the packaging, I decided to take it a step further and create the actual product as well. Enter these Banana Chocolate Joltbars. They may not contain steroids like real Joltbars, but they’re packed with healthy energy-boosting foods like mashed banana, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, yogurt, and ground flax seed.

Click below for the recipe.

Banana Chocolate Joltbars
Yield: 9x9-inch pan

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium bananas
  • ½ cup plain non-fat yogurt 250 mL
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats, finely ground
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup Ovaltine (dry mix)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted over a double boiler (or in the microwave), slightly cooled


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9x9-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir banana and oil together. Add the sugar and stir. Add yogurt, eggs and vanilla.

Combine ground oatmeal, flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the melted chocolate overtop, in random drops spread evenly in the pan. Using a knife, swirl the batter and chocolate around to create a marbled effect. Bake for 23 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with a few moist clinging crumbs. Cut into bars and enjoy. 


  1. It looks absolutely delicious. Perfect with a glass of milk.

  2. These look amazing. Sounds like a neat assignment-especially when it involves food!

  3. LOVE the initiative you took with that assignment, taking it a step further and creating the actual product itself. Or at least a close facsimile. I bet your teacher is impressed!

  4. 16 yrs old and creating beautiful and decadent desserts like these banana jolt bars? I wish we had assignments like that when I was in HS!! The packaging is awesome and they're healthy to boot! This is a dream come true bar! Beautifuly done! A+++++

  5. wow these just look good and healthy! definitely would give me a jolt in the morning! hahaha i always laugh when i hear students banter about their teachers (since i am a teacher!) :).


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