Well, I just posted in the faith section of this blog about how I have lost my blogging mojo. I am sure it will come back. I hope it will come back. I trust it will come back!! Meantime, I am struggling to get around to writing. Not for lack of ideas – I have a list of ideas for both food and faith posts, some percolating in my mind on the back burner, others jotted down on a scrap of paper or saved in the notes section of my iPhone. So I haven’t got a lot to give at the moment in terms of “wow, that was an incredible post/recipe” but so that you know I am alive, I will post a tried and true dessert fave. It is wholesome, easy, tasty, nutrient-dense, kid- and adult-friendly, all the elements that have the makings of one of those recipes that become a go-to when your creativity and energy have run out but you really need something sweet. In fact, this was what I made my husband for his birthday last year instead of cake, as per his request (if you let it stand at room temperature for ten minutes of so you can still push the candles in!). I found the recipe in a little book called “Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body” – wow, that was quite the title to type out, hahaha. I bought this book several years ago while browsing in a university book shop and as I was not really “into” food in the same way back then, I tried only a handful of the recipes and then sat it back on the shelf. Except for this granola recipe because, as I said, it just is that good.
We have more snow already than we had all last year, Christmas music is playing and my son is already talking about what presents he may like for next Christmas (seriously, mom, dad, I know it is payback time for all those years you had to tell us: you are not allowed to talk about next Christmas until after Halloween! Oh how did you not strangle us, ungrateful little beasts! Hahaha). So I decided to make these bars festive with cranraisins and chocolate. Truthfully, I found the idea more festive than the result as it didn’t add much in the way of flavor (perhaps because they are frozen or because I used the unsweetened chocolate?) but no need to worry, the bars are just as good with or without them. Oh, and don’t be put off by the fact that it is winter and they are set in the freezer. We live in northern Manitoba and it didn’t deter us from polishing off the pan in two days, so go on, give it a try.
Happy Dessert Making!!
Banana-Honey Granola Bars with a Holiday Twist
makes 18 bars
- 1 medium ripe banana, peeled & chopped
- 2 cups oats (I like to use the large, slow cooking flakes)
- 1 cup almond OR natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp cranraisins (I like cherry flavor)
- 1/2 square Bakers unsweetened chocolate OR 1-2 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
- Oil (eg coconut but you can use olive oil or any neutral oil) for greasing pan
Put the banana, oats, honey, vanilla and cinnamon into a food processor and process until smooth and well combined. Empty banana-honey mixture into a large bowl and stir in the nut butter until you have a stiff, cohesive dough ball. Stir in the cranraisins and chocolate. Coat a 9-inch square pan with oil. Transfer the dough to the pan and press into the bottom until evenly distributed. Cover and place in the freezer for 24 hours for the flavors to meld. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving to allow the dough to soften slightly. Cut into bars, enjoy and store any leftovers in the freezer for up to two weeks.
- Review & Giveaway: Super Healthy Snacks and Treats (coconutandberries.com)