My eldest son has a busy sporting week ahead. Tomorrow he is captaining his school Hockey B team in a county schools tournament, and on Thursday he has finally made the A-team for the school footie away match. I wanted to make some snacks that were healthy, yet packed with energy to keep us all going.
I used to have a recipe for a really nice banana/date/oat-based snack, but I’ve lost it for now, so I had a go at my own recipe. The result was a delicious and moist, not-too-sickly-sweet snack , which holds its shape well to slice. Making it great for lunchboxes and post-workout munchies.
Oaty banana and date squares
You will need:
100g wholewheat flour
1 tsp ground mixed spice or cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp coconut oil or other oil
125g + 2 tbsp runny honey
3 medium bananas
80g dried pitted dates
Pinch of salt
Prepare ahead alert: Start by placing the dates in a small bowl, and add 4 tbsp boiling water. Leave for a couple of hours.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C.
Grease and line a 22cm x 22cm (9″ x 9″) baking tin (not too shallow in height).
1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and spice.
2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana, then snip the dates in to small pieces with kitchen scissors before mixing with the banana and 2 tbsp of the honey.
3. If you are using coconut oil, you will need to gently melt in a small saucepan, before pouring it over the oat mixture along with the rest of the honey. Give it all a good stir.
4. Spoon half the Oaty mixture in to the prepared baking tin, push down firmly with your hand or a spatula.
Pour the banana/date mixture over the top, and then add the rest of the Oaty mixture, again pushing down firmly, and ensuring it is evenly distributed.
Cook for around 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven.
When it is golden brown on top, remove from the oven, and let it cool slightly, before scouring 4 lines each way, to make your squares. But leave to cool completely before trying to take them out of the tin (I know, it’s hard, they smell so good!) otherwise they’ll fall apart.
I hope you and yours enjoy them as much as me and mine did when we had a cheeky taste before dinner. For quality control purposes of course.