Healthy

Grand return-Banana Oat Bars

I’m back! Well, my sisters wedding was a huge success and I had an amazing time the last 3 weeks getting to know my new American in-laws. The downside-I’m knackered! Not in a bad way though. There wasn’t a single day where we weren’t participating in some sort of activity be it a tourist site, beach games, walks, cross country ventures and even the stag do! Only over the last 2 days have I had the chance to sit down and re-recuperate.

Now for the upside-I baked nearly every day! I had an endless request for breads, buns, desserts and treats-it was great. So it hasn’t all been a break for me as I have gathered up a large number of photos and recipes to post up here over the coming weeks.

Enough about my fun, time to talk about these oat bars.

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I’m a big fan of great tasting healthy food and this is perhaps one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I have ever used.

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Oat bars are great for a quick breakfast, snack or energy booster but sometimes home made bars lack the textures and flavours you find from store bought ones. The problem is that you have no idea what exactly has gone into them. Claims of ‘healthy’ ‘low calorie’ ‘all natural’ etc are advertised but when you read the ingredients you stumble across a list of words (apparently these are ingredients!) you would expect to find if you smashed your hand on the keyboard! On top of that the ‘healthy’ ones often contain high amounts of sugar. Take a look here for more http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/08august/Pages/cereal-bars-dont-deserve-healthy-image-says-sugar-fat-analysis.aspx.

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The beauty of home made bars? You control exactly what goes into yours and if you use raw ingredients like natural honey and unprocessed oats they are even better for you. In the past I have made oat bars but they have either been very crumbly, lacking flavour or just taste horrible. This is by far the best recipe I have ever used and the resulting bar tastes just fantastic, I needed to share it!

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I know I’m rambling on here but there’s one last bonus to this recipe. There are only 4 ingredients! As long as these four are included you can go mad (within reason if they are to be healthy, go to town if not) with other ingredients. Think nuts, fruits, spices, pulses, seeds etc. The recipe below is what I put into mine.

You will need:

2 large ripe bananas
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup toasted desiccated coconut
2 cups oats

Optional:
1-2 tbsp honey (recommended)
1/2 tsp vanilla (recommended)
1 tsp lemon juice (recommended)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (mixture is best)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds

How to do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Line a small baking tray with baking paper.
2.Mash the bananas with your hands or a fork until liquid like then mix in the beaten egg. If using the vanilla and lemon juice add it now, other than that throw in all the rest of your ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Spread evenly over the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden around the edges and slightly firm. Cool on a wire rack until set (about 30 minutes).

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How easy was that?! This will take under 30 minutes to prepare and bake and you will have your breakfast, snacks and energy bars sorted for the week! Or maybe just for a day or two…they are rather addictive.

Thanks for reading, there will be more up soon!

Steve

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