I've been trying to think of some new healthy snacks recently, and fancied trying out some variation on a seedy munchy bar. Seeds are a good way to get some good oils into my snacks since I don't like nuts, and I thought that oats and bananas would be a good way to keep them moist, sweet and substantial enough to see me through an afternoon of battling with data not meant for twenty-first-century analysis (standardised names? Pah. Dates which correspond with the modern calendar? Piffle. Entries obscured by 18th century dirt? A mere trifle).
You get the picture; let's get back to the bananas.
I searched around for recipes that featured my main ingredients and came upon a site called Patty Cakes - a blog by a Canadian baker who features lots of healthy recipes which are suited to various special diets as well. This was a recipe called Banana Booty Bars which immediately tickled my fancy, and even more so when I noticed that Patty had included a variation which used coconut oil. I had bought some of this on the Norse Goddess's recommendation, and it's also favoured by one of my favourite bloggers, Heidi of 101 Cookbooks and Super Natural Cooking. It's unrefined, which I like, and it's also solid at room temperature which is sort of fun. If you use the oil they're vegan, and they're also wheat-free. I omitted the walnuts and used sunflower seeds instead, and raisins instead of the dates. I did add some grated orange peel, but decided to try them without choc chips this time. So many variations!
The bars were really delicious. I was probably quite light-handed with the sugar as I wanted them to be fruity-sweet, and it was just the right balance. They didn't taste particularly of coconut but it was nice to know that the fat was a relatively healthy one. The raisins and bananas together kept them really moist, while the oats and seeds lent them bulk and crunch. I made half a batch in a standard loaf tin, so they were quite thick. They were still lovely two days later, and I've put the rest in the freezer to snack on when the data get particularly obstructive. They're great with a cup of tea, and they travel well, too (I ate one on the train home and didn't even get crumbs on my laptop. Though it might explain why I seemed to have an oat stuck under my Ctrl key most of the morning....) Go on, make these now, and go and have a look at Patty's other great recipes too!
Banana Booty Bars (vegan and wheat free): recipe here