Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Banana Pecan Oat Bars

Looking for a healthier treat to take to a meeting or get-together?  These delicious banana oat bars are a great alternative to those sweeter snacks that are made with refined sugar and flour.  You could even grab a bar for a quick breakfast on the go, and they are great with a cup of tea in the afternoon.  They are also wheat and dairy-free.  Enjoy!

Banana Pecan Oat Bars
adapted from Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free by Ricki Heller
Makes 12-16 bars

1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon finely ground flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
1/4 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon natural smooth nut butter, sunflower butter, or coconut butter
2 medium, very ripe bananas
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup whole oat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment or coat the pan with coconut oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, maple syrup, flaxseeds, milk, oil, vanilla, and almond butter until sugar is dissolved.

Cut the bananas into chunks and add to the bowl.  Mash the banana chunks with a fork, leaving a few smaller pieces here and there.  Stir in the cranberries and chopped pecans.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, oat flour, baking powder and salt.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir well to combine.  The mixture will be wet.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is dry and a tester inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.  Freeze any portion which will not be consumed within a day or two.


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