After a year of on-and-off lockdowns, if I never see another loaf of banana bread it will still be too soon. These bars are a great way to use up a big stash of overripe bananas, without the feeling of impending doom.
With that said, at this stage I feel I ought to include a bit of a warning: these bars aren’t really delicious, like carrot cake or a granola bar. They’re made of bananas and oats – what do you expect? My husband, usually a huge fan of any Caroline Feeds comestible, hated them. “They taste like cold porridge.” (Not a winning endorsement.) Perhaps this is the difference between a man who has never had to diet in his life, and a woman who has been dieting on and off since she was 17. These are incredibly good for you, chewy, dense, and vaguely tasty. On balance, that suits me just fine. Maybe keep out of reach of husbands with sweet tooths.
Makes 12 pieces (approx. 170 cals each)
6 overripe bananas
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups rolled oats (or porridge oats)
Preheat your oven to 400F / 200C / 180C Fan.
Line a baking dish with parchment, folded right into the sides and corners.
Unpeel the bananas into a large bowl, then mash roughly. (A potato masher makes short work of this.) Add the cinnamon, maple syrup and salt and stir to combine. Add the oats, then stir until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the lined baking dish, then use the back of a spoon to smooth into an even layer, right into the sides and corners.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the top is firm and the edges are golden. Let cool for 10 minutes in the dish, then lift out the baked slab by the parchment sides and let cool completely on a rack. Cut into bars or squares.
These will keep for 2 days or so, or wrap individually in parchment and freeze.