Tomorrow we leave for our work trip/mini vacation to San Francisco. Which means this entire week has brought with it some rather interesting meals as we cleaned out the fridge before leaving (strawberries with broccoli and spring onions all wrapped up in a peanut butter smeared whole wheat tortilla… anyone? It was actually pretty good). Luckily we had lots of left overs after a bbq we had on the 4th to tie us over as well. So although I still need to pack and get a few miscellaneous things together, I thought I’d share a granola bar recipe with you first.I had two lonely bananas staring back at me this morning, getting more brown speckles on them as each day passed and I knew they definitely wouldn’t be pretty by the time we returned. So I figured I’d make a batch of granola bars. I made these bars a couple weeks ago when we were up on Mt. Rainier for a weekend retreat and because they were so good I figured I’d make them again.
I wrote about finding the perfect granola bar recipe over a year ago and since then I have tested and tried many, many, different variations. Some were pretty great, others not so much. The bars I’m sharing today are very similar, but use mashed banana in place of the honey, which makes them sugar free, unless of coarse you add in the chocolate chips.
They are soft and chewy and they don’t fall apart when you eat them. I think they are an exceptional little bar to have around for snacking. They’re also great for long road trips where you’re sitting a long ways, or those times when you have a busy day/weekend ahead and you need something to sustain you through the end without being loaded with sugar.
Granola Bars / makes 8-10 bars
Loosely Adapted from Anja’s Food 4 Thought
I’ve actually made the recipe for these bars below very adaptable to your flavor preference, giving basic guide-lines to an amount for each ingredient and options to follow. The only one I would be careful on is the 1/4 cup seeds. I used a 1/4 cup mix of sunflower, sesame, and poppy seed, you could use all sunflower, but you probably wouldn’t want to use an entire 1/4 cup of smaller seeds like poppy. But really have fun with the flavors. Try a tropical bar using cashew butter, macadamia nuts, dried mango, dried papaya, and coconut.
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew), preferably all natural
1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachio, cashew, pecan, macadamia)
1/4 cup seeds (sunflower, sesame, poppy, chia)
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dried fruit (cranberry, cherry, apricots, papaya, mango, raisin, strawberry, blueberry)
1/4 cup chocolate chips or cocao nibs, optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment. I haven’t made these without parchment because I think they would really stick without it. Plus it makes for really easy clean up anyways.
In a large bowl mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Stir in the nut butter until everything is well combined.
Add the oats, chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate, cinnamon, and coconut if using. Stir well until everything is well combined. The batter will be very, very wet and you’ll wonder if this will even bake, it will.
Spread the batter evenly into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be slightly browned and give a little when pressed. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars, this is important. Store wrapped tightly in a container or in the fridge.