They're fun to make, because you and your kids can indulge your maddest scientists swapping in dried fruits, nuts, and seeds to suit your mood. Darwin loves to scoop and dump the ingredients on the kitchen floor.
These bars are minimally processed, featuring only whole grains, only whole fruit as sweetener, and only raw nuts, seeds, and virgin coconut oil for richness.
Wherever these bars go, I'm following behind, scribbling the recipe onto note cards; everyone who has tried them demands the recipe (Really. Everyone.) They're completely portable, mostly crumb-free, and they freeze beautifully.
|so many treats in these bars|
|into the pan|
Total Time: 40 minutes. Hands-on Time: 20 minutes.
Makes 8 bars
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw nuts, chopped (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, peanuts etc.)
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped (dates, raisins, apricots, cherries, prunes, blueberries, etc.)
1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
2 Tbls. raw seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
big pinch cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed until smooth
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, heated just to liquid state
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 7" x 11" baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together all dry ingredients.
In a second mixing bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients.
Pour oat mixture into banana mixture and stir until well-combined. (Since these aren't going to rise, you don't have to worry about over-mixing.)
Spread batter into lined baking dish, using the back of a spoon to mash the batter into the corners and smooth out the top. Try to make the thickness of the batter even throughout.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges of the bars are just beginning to brown. (If you're cautious like me, you'll stick a thermometer in the middle to make sure the egg is cooked through. 20 minutes always does it.)
Cool for ten minutes in the pan before lifting out and slicing into eight bars. Now you may eat, refrigerate, or freeze.