Alright – these were another creation inspired by Sally. As you can see, I tweaked this recipe a little bit! I was a little nervous about ’em, being as they represented my first foray into the world of explicitly healthy/specialist bakes. Then I handed them out to people. And was met with a tidal wave of positivity, which made me very happy about telling everyone all about ’em.
Tried and tested on coeliacs, diet watchers, full time vegans, part time vegans and devoted carnivores. Everyone took to these. They’re filling, strangely healthy and that special kind of gorgeous. Did I mention they’re also very easy to do, and they keep a good four to five days after creation…?
Make sure you have a 20 by 20 or so cm baking tray for these babies. Apparently you can get sixteen bars out of these, but, uh, I cut big…I got about nine. Depends on your size preference 🙂
225g Rolled Oats
60g Peanut Butter (smooth or chunky to taste)
1 Large Banana, mashed up
125g Cashews (or more, to taste)
75g Soft Dried Apricots, chopped
75g Golden Raisins
230g Golden Syrup
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1. You want to preheat your oven – about 150 fan, or 170 non-fan. When it’s hit temperature, grab your nuts, quit giggling and throw them onto a baking tray. Shove ’em in the oven. You’re gonna toast them that way, which brings out their flavour much more. Give them ten minutes.
2. While all that’s going on, combine your banana mash, peanut butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Attack it until it’s an even mixture. Please don’t literally attack it. You’ll make a mess.
3. Add in the oats to the mix and really mix them in thoroughly to get a complete combination – you’ll find that oats are evil and tend to hide in dry pockets in a mix. Be very diligent and get them all moistened and combined. If you’re finding your mix is a little too dry you can always add in some more maple syrup or peanut butter. The drier you do your mix, the crunchier you get your bars. Very moist mixes make gorgeous but rather impractical bars. Up to you really. I try and find the happy medium.
4. Remove nuts from oven. Assure them that everything will be okay. Now stir them into the oats. Add the chopped apricots and golden raisins. Please note that at this juncture you could add practically anything else that you want in here, along the healthy theme – dates? dried mango? vegan chocolate? There’s very little that could go wrong.
5. Press the mix into your baking tray. You may want to line it, you may not. Depends on how new your tray is 🙂 Make it even and bake for twenty five minutes. Dance while it bakes. Why not? Cool for at least an hour before cutting into squares – I left them for two, they turned out angelic.