Strawberry and Banana Breakfast Bars
Taken from Running with Spoons
For the jam:
- 350g frozen strawberries
- 30ml maple syrup
- 14g chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the bars:
- 160g rolled oats (divide into 2 portions)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed (roughly 200g)
- 60ml maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the jam:
- Put the strawberries and the maple syrup into a saucepan and heat until the fruit begins to melt. Once the strawberries are soft, bring the mixture to a boil, and start to break them down with a spoon. Continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Then stir in the chia seeds and vanilla and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Allow the jam to cool - it will thicken the longer it sits.
Make the bars:
- Preheat oven to 190C and line a tray with baking foil.
- Place half of the oats in a food processor or blender, and process into a fine flour. Transfer this into a large mixing bowl, and add the remaining rolled oats and baking powder. Mix well.
- Add the mashed bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until everything is well combined and a dough is formed.
- Transfer 2/3 of the mixture into your prepared baking pan, using your fingers or a spatula to ensure that it is pressed down tightly and evenly. Spoon chia jam over the surface, and use a spatula or knife to spread it evenly, making sure not to spread it all the way to the edge so the jam doesn't burn in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top, breaking up bigger chunks and pressing down lightly.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the top turns a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool in pan before cutting into squares.
vegan | refined sugar-free | gluten free*
*Be sure to check the oats
Things to note:
You'd think that starting to work full time in an office would coincide with me starting to get my shit together. Nevertheless, in the spirit of getting up at 8.15 and leaving 20 minutes later, I have started eating a snack-type breakfast with a cup of tea once I get to my desk. For the last few weeks, I've been buying cereal bars, but this isn't only against my plastic reduction aims, it's also not the healthiest option.
Cue scouring Pinterest for healthy breakfast bar alternatives, and these were pretty good ones to start with.
They're not cereal bars as we know them, but how many of these recipes have ended with me saying 'oh my god, this tastes exactly the same as what I'm trying to replace'? The oaty part is quite chewy because of the banana but it means they're very moist (sorry, sometimes there's no avoiding that word). They're not sweet as we know it either, but it's super comforting to think that they don't contain sugar as such, even though there is quite a lot of maple syrup involved.
From a technical perspective, I used two quite large bananas, which is more than the recipe calls for and I therefore had to add more oats to compensate, but I basically just added enough to make the dough drier and it worked fine as far as I can tell. I also used a rectangular tin, which meant all of the dough went to the base with none left to spare for the topping. I used plain oats on top instead.
All in all, I would definitely recommend these. They're super easy to make, which means it didn't seem like a total chore to make them on a Sunday afternoon, and they're a filling and tasty way to start the morning.