Chewy Oat & Banana Bars

Chewy Oat & Banana Bars

Following the recent Chocolate-Brownie-fest in our house, I was starting to feel a teeny bit guilty about the amount of sugar that my kids have been eating.

So yesterday I decided to try making a 'chocolate brownie substitute' that I wouldn't feel bad letting them snack on!

The result are these super-simple healthy oat bars - they have no added sugar (they're sweetened with dates and ripe banana), and are nutritious enough to give little ones for breakfast. Plus they have a lovely soft, chewy texture and keep for several days if you wrap them up well.

With just 4 ingredients, they take mere minutes to prepare if you have a food processor (or a smoothie blender or stick blender), and only slightly longer if you have to mash/chop by hand.

So here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

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1 very ripe banana (as brown as possible!)

1 cup porridge oats

1/2 cup dates (ideally soft squishy medjool dates, but any sweet dried fruit e.g. raisins, dried apricots or prunes would also work)

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or you could use butter, or any other type of mild-flavoured cooking oil)

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease the base and sides of a 2 lb (standard size) loaf tin, and line it with baking paper.

2. Blend the banana, dates and coconut oil until smooth. (if you don't have some kind of blender, just mash the banana and finely chop the dates).

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3. Add the oats. Either blend them for a few seconds for a softer, less chunky result, or just stir them in.

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4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until its just starting to change colour at the edges. Less time will make a stickier, softer bar)

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5. Leave it to cool in the tin before turning out and slicing into 10 or 12 thin bars with a sharp knife.

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Storage: These will keep, well wrapped, for 4-5 days.

Weaning: These bars would make ideal weaning finger-food for babies over 6 months.

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