Banana & Peanut Butter Bars


This recipe has been sitting in my draft folder for weeks and I just haven't found the time to sit down and share it with you until now. I have been flat out doing another lot of back to back freelance jobs for Lose Baby Weight for their Winter Weight Loss Challenge. It starts in July so the heat is on to get all the recipes photographed before it starts! Eek. I am enjoying the creative freedom that styling and food photography brings but trying to juggle running a house and keeping a energetic little boy entertained just about does my head in some days.  I haven't been able to experiment that much in the kitchen of late which I really miss. I have been cooking a LOT though just not for me or the blog.

I have been feeling more energetic this past month which has been really nice. It seems the second trimester of pregnancy is agreeing with me a little more than the first but it's always like that with me. I have only just started to show my little bulge in the last fortnight which is a little bit of a relief considering I am 19 weeks this week. I am sick of looking like I've eaten to much cake all the time. It's nice that people can finally see yes she is pregnant not just over indulging. We got our 18 week scan done last week and decided not to find out the sex of the baby. It was so hard and tempting to find out because I am an organiser and to not know the baby's gender will drive me nuts for the next 4 months. Luckily hubby was with me when we had the scan and stayed strong with not finding out.




Over the long weekend I managed to get back into the DIY furniture renovation and do up a desk that will be gracing our office. Big changes are happening in our house. I am in SUPER nesting mode (like spring cleaning on steroids) at the moment and am going through EVERY room organising it before this next child comes. I have sense of urgency as I know how much time newborn takes up and I want the house to be in order before it's arrival. The office is getting a makeover with our old and very large desk getting sold and this one will take it's place to make a little more room in our teeny tiny office. This room will also be my photography room as J.D will be moving out of his nursery into the spare room I am currently using so I need all the space I can get to house all the food props I have stored in there. I hope to share the finished result of the desk and office makeover with you soon. I am pretty happy with how the desk turned out and hope the office can come together quickly so I can get a move on organising other rooms.



When I had a spare few hours one weekend a few weeks ago I decided to have a play and to try to create a delicious muesli type bar for snacks. I have made a few different ones but was never really happy enough with them to share...... until now. I have made these bars twice now in the past two weeks because they taste THAT good. The combination of sweet banana mixed with the savoury peanut butter, choc chips and nuts is just right. Hubby snavelled a few straight from the tray he likes them that much. These can be really versatile if you want to play around with different nuts or dried fruit. I like this combination enough not to want to change it around too much. They make a fantastic lunch box filler and can be portioned, wrapped and frozen to pop into lunch boxes throughout the week. I have used rice malt syrup as the sweetner in these bars however if you don't have that on hand you can substitute honey but maybe add a tad less as it will be a lot sweeter than rice malt.






Banana & Peanut Butter Bars

Prep Time: 15-20 min
Cook Time: 15-25 min
Makes: 12-14
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup mixed nuts, chopped (I used a combination of cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (you could use shredded)
  • 2 tablespoon chia seed
  • 1/4 cup choc chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter ( I use an organic brand which can be a little runnier)
  • 2 x medium sized, ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup, warmed until runny
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Instructions:
Preheat an oven to 170 degrees (fanbake). Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl place the oats, chopped nuts, coconut, chia seeds, choc chips and salt.

In a smaller mixing bowl add the mashed banana, peanut butter, rice malt syrup, egg and vanilla essence. Mix together to combine the ingredients evenly.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly. The mixture should be sticky and holds itself together. If it is a little dry add a little more rice malt or peanut butter to help it hold together.

Spread the mixture out onto the baking tray until it is about 1 cm thick. Place into the oven for 10 minutes or until very lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and leaving the mixture on the tray cut into bars. Spread slightly apart and place back into the oven for a further 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool before devouring.
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