Raw Granola Bars

These don't photograph well but that's OK because what they lack in looks they more than make up for in taste and nutrients. These 'raw' granola bars came about when our oven broke and was out of action for a month. I'd previously made something similar in the oven but had to figure out a compromise that worked without being able to bake them. This is more a technique than a recipe, as long as you get the base right you can add and subtract ingredients as you like, just make sure you don't go too heavy on the dry stuff of they'll just crumble.

Arch inhales these and they're great for grabbing from the freezer for a second breakfast on the way into school or for pick-ups. All the sweetness comes from the mashed banana so I don't add anything else on that front, the peanut butter and added almonds give them a nice hit of good fats, slow release energy and keeps them feeling full for longer - they're a real hanger leveller after school.

Core Ingredients:

2 Large bananas

1 1/2 Cup of Oats

1/2 Cup of Rye flakes (or just use 2 cups of oats)

2 Tablespoons of any nut butter of your choice (I tend to go for peanut)

1/4 cup of toasted flaked almonds

1/4 cup of toasted coconut flakes

Additional ingredients:

1 Tablespoon of flax seeds

1 Tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

1. Mash the bananas in a large bowl until as lump free as possible

2. Toast the almonds and coconut in a pan over a medium heat until golden (keep an eye on them so they don't burn)

3. Add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the bananas and mix well. It should feel like a very dense, gooey mix

4. Line a small - medium sized baking tray with greaseproof paper or foil and tip your mix in. Using your hand or the bottom of a mug squish it all the way to the corners and flatten the mix as much as possible - this will help it stay together. If it looks like it won't fill the whole tray, don't worry just go to the corners on half the pan and stop when you run out of mix

5. If you have room in your freezer, cover the tray in foil and put into your freezer for 2-3 hours. If, like me, you don't have the space, gently grab the corners of the foil and remove the mix from the tray, wrap the corners in on themselves and then wrap another layer of foil on top and lay flat in your freezer.

6. Once this is set, it will be rock hard, remove from the freezer and let sit on a chopping board for a couple of minutes. Using a sharp knife cut into bars, place in tupperware or wrap in foil and put back in the freezer for grabbing when you need them. 

Tip: These only need a couple of minutes out of the freezer in order to become edible (though Arch will eat them fresh from the freezer). Be warned though they don't do well sitting around at room temperature for hours as the banana in them will mean they go brown and a bit too soggy.