Healthy Banana-Nut Bars

Let’s be honest: banana and nuts are meant to go together. Let’s be honest again: shop bought snack bars are too expensive. Even the sugar and additive packed ones. These bars are super simple to make, super filling, and pretty delicious. They have no artificial flavours or colours, no refined sugars, are suitable for vegetarians, and will keep in an air tight tub for around 2-3 days. I’ll bet you have the majority (if not all) of the ingredients in your cupboard, right now.  I made these bars this morning, and have already eaten two of them. One once they’d cooled, and another in the afternoon, warmed slightly and smeared with a little almond butter. If you are going to make these, I need you to promise me something first, okay? You must try them warm with or without a nut butter on top, because although easy to wrap up and carry off to school/work, that is where these bars come into their own. For anyone hoping to shift a few pounds before summer (it’s nearly here- nearly!) these bars contain roughly the following (I say roughly, as Spark Nutritional Calculator doesn’t yet have Alpro Coconut milk up yet; unsweetened almond or soya milk should work just as well):

  • 182kcal
  • 9.4g fat (1.4g saturated)
  • 19.6g carbs
  • 6.4g fibre
  • 3.2g sugar
  • 6.0g protein

Now then, who wants the recipe?


Ingredients (Make 8 servings)

  • 1.5 cups porridge oats
  • 1.5tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ginger
  • 1tsp vanilla essence/flavouring
  • 2tbsp runny honey (You can omit this- I do. If you don’t like you food too sweet I recommend them with 1tbsp or no honey; I love them without honey, other people think they need the honey- I’ll leave it up to you. Bare in mind the flavours get stronger once stored for a day or so!)
  • 25g walnuts
  • 1 banana (very ripe, large)
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Alpro coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup no added sugar peanut butter, smooth or chunky (I used Whole Earth Smooth as it’s what I had in)


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190*c. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In one bowl mash up the banana until almost completely smooth and creamy; leave some chunks. Beat the egg into this, and add the honey and vanilla in too.
  • Place the peanut butter into a microwavable dish and heat in the microwave for a few seconds to slacken it up; this will make it easier to beat into the other wet ingredients. Which is what you shall then do. Beat until all the wet ingredients and well incorporated, and DO NOT eat it. I know that it will small amazing, but there’s raw egg in there…
  • In a separate bowl combine the oats, baking powder, and spices. Chop or break the walnuts by hand into pieces, and add to this mixture. Stir until the spices, baking powder, and walnuts are evenly distributed throughout the oats.
  • Now, empty the bowl of wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix it all together. The mixture will look slightly dry at this point, so now add in the milk, and continue stirring until a dough forms.
  • Empty the dough onto the prepared baking tray, and flatten out. Smooth the top over, and the edges, before placing into the oven for 15-20 minutes. After the first five minutes, turn the oven down to 180*c.
  • Once the timer goes off remove them from the oven, and cut into eight. Lift the baking paper out of the tin and place onto a cooling rack to prevent the bars from sweating. Once they have cooled slightly, separate them out and leave to cool completely. Or dig in while they’re still warm…

So there you have it! I hope that you enjoy this recipe; my recommendation is to heat a bar up a little, and top with almond butter. That increases the enjoyment factor dramatically.

Edit: These taste even better the day after making them, once they’ve been stored in an airtight tub overnight!

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