June 18, 2014

C&C in the Kitchen

A few weeks ago I posted a tasty granola bar recipe (here). While I love this recipe and have been eating these bars nearly daily, they are pretty heavy in "nut butter", and have a good bit of sugar, albeit natural, given the honey as a sweetener.

So, last week I went in search of a granola bar recipe that doesn't contain nut butter or a lot of sugar. I found this one, and have used it as a source of inspiration to create my own recipe which I thought I would share with you today.

I'm calling them Banana Bread Granola Bars because they taste like banana bread but in thin little squares. Here is the finished product.

You can add whatever combination of nuts and dried fruit you choose. I made two batches last week. The first batch had the ingredients listed below. In the second batch I used cashew meal, cashews, and dried cherries.

3 medium/large bananas
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of cherries, blueberries and mango)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tbs chia seeds (optional)
2 tbs ground flax seed (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish (approx. 8.5" x 12.5") and line with a piece of parchment paper so the bars are easier to lift out.
In a large bowl or mixer, mash the banana until smooth. Add in the vanilla.
Stir oats into the banana mixture.
Add the nuts and fruit and the rest of the ingredients into the banana-oat mixture until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Press down until compacted and smooth out with hands until even.
Bake for 25 minutes or until firm and lightly golden along the edge.
Place dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then slice into bars once they are cool.

They can easily be wrapped up and taken with you on a hike, in your purse, or eaten straight out of the pan. I took some to the Mini's teachers and they enjoyed them. I hope you do as well!

Happy, Healthy Baking!

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