It all started with the bananas.

by threegirlpileup

Three overripe bananas, that is, brought to us by Steve’s cousin  Laura as she headed back home.  Along with a number of other goodies like a pint of local heavy cream and a half-gallon of ice cream.

Oh yes, I said, I’d love those bananas.  There’s a recipe I’ve been wanting to try that calls for three ripe bananas.  It’s this one for “Healthy Cookies” from 101 cookbooks and Heidi’s wonderful cookbook “Super Natural Every Day.”  But because of being brainwashed by Barbara Kingsolver (well, and perhaps also because my kids don’t really like them anymore), I’ve mostly stopped buying bananas, and can’t remember the last time I had several that were ripe enough for baking.

So it started with the bananas.  Because it is my nature, and because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand (I almost bought some almond meal, but who knew it was so expensive?), I tweaked the recipe more than a little.  I added an egg, because I consider pastured eggs a health food–though I’m sure you could leave it out, and then the recipe would go back to being vegan.  I added peanut butter because I love peanut butter, especially with bananas and coconut oil.  I left out the baking powder because I didn’t think I needed it I forgot to put it in.  And I made it into bars because it seemed easier than individual cookies. So the recipe I finally made was pretty different from the original.

And my oh my were they good.  So good that yesterday they were practically all that I ate.  And while they are certainly healthy when compared to, say, a bag of oreos, I wouldn’t say they are in the same league as, for example, a salad.   But fortunately the pan was small and soon they were almost gone.

I ate the last one for breakfast this morning.  I have mixed feelings about the batch being gone. I think my body is glad that I actually consumed some vegetables and protein today, but I’ve been craving that banana-oat-chocolate yum.

If you decide to make these, they seem pretty robust, so do your own tweaking.  You could probably leave out the egg and it would be fine, and also vegan. Next time, I think I’ll use more walnuts, fewer chocolate chips, and probably put the coconut from the original recipe back in. A cool thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t have any wheat or other flour, so as long as you source gluten-free ingredients, it’s both gluten-free and 100% tasty–not so easy to accomplish in a baked good.

Banana Oatmeal Bars

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted if needed

1 egg (or not)

2 cups rolled oats

2/3 cup flax meal

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or more to taste)

1 tsp. salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Mash the bananas and stir in the coconut oil.  Beat the egg and stir it in, and then add the rest of the ingredients one by one.  Spread in a 9 x 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees until they’re cooked through (sorry, I didn’t watch the clock!).  Enjoy.