23 September 2013
Banana nut & oat bars!
This weekend I took advantage of a new roll of parchment paper and made a batch of soft banana nut bars. Hey, we had bananas dying on top of the fridge and bags of nuts randomly lying around in obscure corners of the freezer--why not combine them into delicious snacky bar form?
These bars are a variation on Clockwork Lemon's soft peanut butter banana oat bars. The main change I made was to switch out the cashews and walnuts--neither of which I could find in the freezer, although they may indeed be hanging out in there somewhere--with almonds and pecans, which I could find. The finished bars were barely sweet, with a subtle nutty crunch hiding under the soft exterior: an ideal breakfast.
I considered adding more fruit, since we had dried cranberries, apricots, and tart cherries hiding in the freezer too, but I decided to try out a batch with no extras to start with. Next time, though, I could totally see myself chopping up a big handful of apricots and chucking them into the batter. The bars could also definitely handle some chocolate chips, especially if you have a taste for the kind of banana bread with huge chunks of chocolate in it.
Banana almond pecan peanut butter oat bars
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans & almonds, your choice of proportion
1/4 cup sweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oats
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
Mash your bananas in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Press the batter evenly into the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly browned.
The finished bars will be fairly soft, so give them a few minutes to cool & solidify in the pan. Then remove the whole slab from the pan by lifting the parchment paper.
Let cool before slicing into the bar shape of your choice. I cut my batch in half, then cut each half into five pieces. Store wrapped in plastic wrap, or layer with parchment and put in an air-tight container.
These guys are great for a midmorning snack with a big mug of coffee, or as an instant breakfast to grab on your way out the door to the train. Or just bring half the batch to work and leave them in your desk drawer as a balm for the occasional pang of hunger. It's all good.
What do you guys stash away for an emergency snack?