I will be completely honest with you. When I feel like snacking on something sweet, a mango rarely does it for me. Nor does an apple, a pear or even a banana. Don’t get me wrong. I love fruit. Especially mangoes. But when I feel like snacking on something sweet it is usually because I’m hungry. And for some reason, there is a little voice in the back of my head telling me that as juicy and sweet as a mango may be it will not satisfy this hunger.
Enter cookies, cakes and everything bad for me.
But one year ago I switched to clean eating and cooking for my family and while I can not lie and say a package of store-bought (always organic) cookies has not mysteriously fallen into my shopping cart every now and then, I can say that it seldom happens and that I try to make as many healthy snacks as I can for both my children and myself. (My husband never, EVER craves sweets – damn him!)
Enter Chocolate, Oat and Banana Bars.
These bars are the perfect combination of what my body starts to crave around 3-4 pm – when the fatigue of the day is settling on me like a heavy blanket but I know that I am still many hours away from being able to settle on the couch with a cup of tea. I need something a bit sweet and a bit filling to pick me up and tie me over until dinner.
These little bars are not terribly sweet but just enough. And if I am generous enough with the chocolate drizzle, my girls (aged 2 & 4) enjoy them too.
- 2½ cups/230g oatmeal
- ½ cup/80g mixed seeds (the mix I buy contains sunflower, pumpkin and pine nuts)
- 1 Tablespoon Flaxseeds
- 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
- ⅓ Cup/50g dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons organic chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup/60 ml Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup/60 ml Coconut Oil, melted
- 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 egg
- 50g/2 oz good quality dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Line a jelly roll pan or pyrex dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, seeds, cranberries, chocolate chips and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, mash the banana and add the maple syrup, coconut oil and egg and stir.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until set and golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes before lifting the paper from the pan and cutting the bars first into rectangles and then crosswise into diagonal pieces.
- While the bars are cooling in the pan melt the chocolate in the top of a double-boiler. After cutting the bars into diagonal pieces use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars and allow to cool and set.