This recipe might lead some to believe that I’ve lost my mind. I haven’t. Well, I don’t think so. But I am branching out from my typical kind of baked good. Last week I was looking for something new to do with my ripe bananas. I love banana bread but just wasn’t in the mood. So when I found these banana oat bars I was intrigued. The most interesting thing: there’s no flour or sugar or eggs, so if you’re in the know, that makes them vegan. And if you know me, you probably just fell off your chair. But listen: they’re good. Really! I drizzled the top with a little maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. You could also mix in pretty much anything you like – craisins, raisins, chocolate chips, almonds – and these chewy, granola bar-like treats will make a great breakfast or satisfying afternoon snack. So who’s crazy now?
Banana Oat Bars
– 2 very ripe bananas
– 2 cups of rolled oats
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla
– ½ teaspoon of salt
– ¼ cup of dried & pitted dates
– ¼ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped (or pecans, hazelnuts or almonds)
– Maple syrup (or cinnamon or nutmeg)
– Cooking spray
Heat your oven to 350º.
In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. It should look like banana pudding. Stir in the oats and vanilla, and then stir in the salt, dates and nuts. Lightly coat a 9×9 (or similar) baking dish with cooking spray. Press the mixture evenly into the dish. Lightly drizzle maple syrup over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden. Let cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars.
Shopping for presents is hard. Especially when you have absolutely no clue what to get somebody. Even if that somebody happens to be someone you’ve known your entire life. Oof.
But you know what’s a gift everyone likes? Food! And I have a feeling one person in particular on my list will enjoy these sweet and spicy nuts, a roasted mix of pecans and cashews seasoned with brown sugar, cumin, cayenne and cinnamon.
Sweet & Spicy Nuts
– 1 egg white
– 7 oz of unsalted pecans
– 9 oz of unsalted cashews
– 1/3 cup of brown sugar (or ½ cup if you want it sweeter)
– 1 tablespoon of cumin
– 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
– ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
– ¾ teaspoon of salt
Heat your oven to 250º.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water until foamy. Add the nuts, sugar, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until the nuts are mostly dry but still lightly sticky, about 40 minutes. Lower the heat to 200º, stir the nuts (mostly to make sure they’re not sticking to the paper) and then bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir to loosen the nuts from the paper, and let cool completely. Then eat, or toss them into a festive tin and hide them under the tree.
Merry Christmas Eve Eve, everyone!