I have been thinking this week about how much food we throw away. I absolutely abhor food going to waste and at my house we do pretty well, we are great at finishing our plates and leftovers usually go in the Kiwi’s lunch for work, everything else gets composted, but I am guilty of the shrivelled up greens in the bottom of the fridge, the half eaten cauliflower slowly turning brown and the bowl of leftover rice where I cooked too much but not quite enough for another meal. I guess planning plays a good part in reducing waste but also having a good recipe to use up all those odds and ends helps too.
For some reason bananas seem to be out of flavour in my house at the moment. I think it is because over summer they were ripening so quickly, I mean they were nearly green and inedible one minute then the next they were brown and the fruit flies were homing in on them. So we have all got out of the habit of grabbing a banana for a snack and the fruit bowl has a banana imbalance. There are so many things a brown banana is good for though. Today I thought I would show you a super healthy snack that makes use of soggy, over-ripe bananas, it is packed full of slow release energy and contains no added sugar. To top it off kids love it so it makes a great, guilt-free lunch box treat.
I feel a bit of a fraud calling this a recipe actually because the basic slice is literally just mashed bananas and oats combined then baked. We do, however, like to pimp it with a mixture of dried fruit and seeds but the combinations are endless. It couldn’t be much easier, Oscar my 3 year old loves to help make it and as baking with a preschooler goes this one isn’t too taxing!
So start by taking 3 bananas and mashing them. Add in 2 cups of oats and a cup of your chosen fillings. For the oats you can use either wholegrain rolled oats or quick oats. I like to mix them having a cup of each, the rolled oats add texture and have undergone less processing, while the quick oats are quite fine so they help to bind the mixture.
The fillings I used today are 1/3 cup shredded coconut, 1/3 cup sultanas and 1/3 cup total of pepitas, sunflower seeds and Oscar’s absolute favourite at the moment, dried pineapple.
Once the fillings are in mix together until everything is combined.
Then press into a lined 22cm/9″ square baking tin and bake at 180’C/350’f for about 20 mins or until it starts to turn a lovely golden brown at the edges.
The timing isn’t crucial with this, if it is under done it will just be a little moister, the more you cook it the firmer and drier it becomes. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and it will last up to 5 days or wrap it up in some cling wrap and stick it in the freezer for up to a month.
Banana oat slice
Prep time: 5 minutes, cook time: 20 minutes
serves 12 – cost per serve $0.25
- 2 cups oats (rolled or quick)
- 3 bananas mashed
- 1 cup of any combination of the following: shredded or desiccated coconut, chopped nuts, seeds – linseed, sunflower, pepitas etc., chocolate chips or cacao nibs, dried fruit – raisons, sultanas, chopped dates, chopped apricots, pineapple, apple, cranberries, goji berries, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’f and line a 22cm/9″ square baking tin
- In a large bowl mash the bananas really well
- Tip in the oats and other chosen ingredients
- Mix everything together until well combined the pour into the lined baking tin
- Press mixture down using the the back of a spoon or fork then place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or the edges start to turn golden brown
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing and placing on a cutting board to portion.
The slice will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Alternatively wrap in cling wrap and freeze for up to a month.