[donotprint] Desiccated coconut is one of my favourite breakfast toppings, be it French toast, pancakes oats or anything in between. I don’t however use it a whole lot in baking…this is something that is going to change!
It adds a delicious texture, an amazing scent and an intense sweet flavour that is like nothing else on earth; the kind of flavour that no sugar could possibly provide.
I put the bananas to one side in an effort to refrain from making yet more banana bread and then picked them baked up to make these baked oats bars. I saw the recipe over on Angela’s blog a lifetime ago and finally got around to remember them and whipping them up.
Dense, fruity, sweet, wholesome, nourished and packed full of flavour. I switched up the ingredients a little making use of my newly purchased coconut sugar. Lately I’ve been making an effort to reduce the sugar in my recipes, omitting it entirely if at all possible, but mashed bananas will only go so far! The combination of the desiccated coconut, banana and coconut sugar provided the perfect subtle, natural sweetness to these bars.
The bananas are a High GI fruit but the coconut sugar is low enough on the Glycemic Index that it can be tolerated by people with diabetes as an alternative sweet hit. The bananas are balanced out nicely by the wholegrain oats and relatively high fat content of the desiccated coconut slowing down it’s impact on your blood sugar.
I haven’t experimented with it enough to know if it bestows the flavour of coconut all on it’s own; the desiccated coconut in these bars and the banana are the predominant flavours, along with the bursts of fruity dried cranberries.
Really easy to make, cooked without any checking or attention in the oven and once allowed to cool sliced perfectly in to eight chunky bars.
They are delicious just as is, but even more so with a smidgen of your favourite nut butter on top for some extra staying power. For those of you seeking an on the run carbohydrate breakfast component these bars are ideal. Shop bought cereal bars tend to be laden with unnecessary additives, lots of sugar and although some only come to a mere 100 calories, the majority of them are empty and unlikely to do more than wet your appetite. These bars are made from whole foods, nutrient dense and sure to keep hunger at bay for a hell of a lot longer.
Have you ever used coconut sugar in baking? Do you buy or make your own breakfast/snack bars? [/donotprint]
Oil Free Banana Cranberry Coconut Oats Bars (adapted from Oh She Glows)
Servings – 8 Bars
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 30-35 minutes
- 1 3/4 cup (160g) jumbo oats
- 1/4 cup (30g) wholegrain spelt flour
- 1/4 cup (60ml) almond milk
- 1/2 (45g) cup desiccated coconut
- 3 ripe bananas mashed (1 1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup dried unsulphured apricots diced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup (40g) coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
- Mix together oats, baking powder, coconut flour and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl blend together banana, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar with milk.
- Add wet to dry and stir well to combine. Fold in cranberries and apricots.
- Place mixture in an 8 inch square baking tin and smooth over the surface to ensure evenly distributed using the back of a spoon or a spatula.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are nicely browned and mixture has turned golden. Allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing in to 8 bars!