Banana peanut bars

Banana peanut bars

banana peanut bars tray

I’m 11 days into the renovation of my rental flat and there have been so many ups and downs already. Duncan came for a long weekend and has helped me a great deal but also lifted my spirits immensely as I was getting a bit down about the sheer amount of work that’s still ahead of me and by how difficult it is to find a reasonable contractor in the middle of a pandemic. He is good like that, he sees the light at the end of a tunnel where all I can see is the tunnel itself. I don’t cope with stress so well as I get overwhelmed easily and when I do I lose all faith in my own ability to overcome problems. It feels like they are all competing for attention and my brain seems unable to focus on one at a time.

We finished the living room, did most of the hall and today I spent a 2nd day on the bedroom. Cleaning, sanding, cleaning again and painting the walls. Tomorrow, I crack toxic wood paint open (I bought an oil-based paint by mistake!!) to paint the window frame, skirting boards, inbuilt cupboard and bedroom door. By the time the evening comes, I will be well intoxicated, I imagine. I’m also seeing two contractors tomorrow so that the big project of refurbishing the bathroom can hopefully start soon. That’s by far my biggest blocker so I am really hoping that I will find someone soon.

Recipewise, I made some simple banana peanut bars. I’ve set out to make them completely sugar-free and while I was not sure I was going to like them without any sugar, both Duncan and myself found ourselves to enjoy their subtly savoury taste. As they have no sugar, their texture differs quite a bit from more traditional nut bars that are bound with some form of sugar so please be aware, but I think they are delicious, satisfying and make for a great, healthy snack, so here is the recipe in case you happen to like the sound of these too.

banana peanut bars ingredients

banana peanut bars making

banana peanut bars

banana peanut bars close up

makes
8-10 bars
PREP
20 min
COOKING
30 min
makes
8-10 bars
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
30 min
INGREDIENTS
BARS

TOPPING

  • 4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 35 g / 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 40 g / 1.4 oz dark vegan chocolate, melted (optional)
METHOD
  1. OPTIONAL: Preheat the oven to 180° C / 355° F. Place peanuts on a large roasting tray and toast them until lightly golden brown (about 8 minutes). Allow them to cool down completely.
  2. Line a small baking tin (I used a 2lb / 900 g baking tin*) with a piece of baking paper and preheat the oven to 160° C / 320° F.
  3. Chop the peanuts up small.
  4. Mix mashed up banana and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Next, add in flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, puffed rice, cinnamon, salt and chopped up peanuts.
  6. Mix well until you get a uniform batter.
  7. Spread the mixture on the paper-lined baking tin. Press the mixture down really well so that there are no gaps / air pockets and the bars hold together well. Use a piece of baking paper with a flat-bottomed glass on top to be able to pack the mixture better.
  8. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, they should be browned, no longer super soft / raw to the touch.
  9. Take out of the oven and compress the mixture again using the glass again. Then weigh it down with something heavy while the mixture is cooling down. Allow it to cool down completely before cutting or applying the topping.
  10. Melt coconut oil and peanut butter on a low heat, stir together well until completely combined.
  11. Pour the peanut glaze on top of the set bars. Decorate with melted chocolate (if using) and allow it to set in the freezer / fridge.
  12. Cut into equal size pieces with a sharp knife. Store the bars in an airtight container.

NOTES
*I used a 2 lb / 900 g cake tin of the following dimensions: 18.5 cm / 7″ x 8 cm / 3″ x 6 cm / 2½”. (I used one like this).

I set out to make these completely sugar-free, but adding some maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener) to the mixture and the topping is a great idea, I would add 30 ml / 2 tbsp of maple syrup (instead of some of the banana) to the mixture and approx. 15 ml / 1 tbsp to the topping.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
321
16%
sugars
4 g
4%
fats
27 g
38%
saturates
7 g
35%
proteins
12 g
23%
carbs
14 g
5%
*per serving
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5.0
3 reviews, 7 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Cassie:
Finally made these and they are delicious! I added a little vanilla extract and sesame seeds. Loving them! Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's fantastic to hear, Cassie! I'm really happy to hear that you are enjoying these! Ania
Julian:
These look great. What is the upside down glass trick exactly?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Julian,
    Sorry for confusing things - not sure why I called it an 'upside down' glass trick as this is what is involved: Use a piece of baking paper with a flat-bottomed glass on top to be able to pack the mixture better.. The glass allows to you apply firmer pressure to a larger area all at once, the paper prevents the mixture from getting stuck to the glass. Hope this helps! Ania
Basia:
I'm very excited about this recipe - Sugar free and (almost) refined oil free, it's right up my alley! I'm definitely going to make it next week - I started work again and this is ideal for a little snack :)
I also wanted to send you lot's of good vibes and positive energy - I can 100% relate to how you are feeling... I renovated our house this summer because my husband and I decided to sell it and move. I was the one with time on her hand (I was furloughed) and spent over 3 months stripping wallpaper, fixing walls, painting every single surface and trying to do the job done as best (I'm a perfectionist which makes it difficult) and as quickly as possible not to mention finding the right contractors to do various jobs. I don't think I've ever been so stressed in my life, it took so much out of me physically and mentally... so I wish you all the best, I am sure you are doing a tremendous job!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks for your words of encouragement, Basia! Yes, it's hard work and progresses so slowly if you want to do it right. I have now found a good bathroom fitter and he started today so I am somewhat relieved. Congratulations on your renovation and my hat off to you for doing it all alone. Oh and I hope you'll enjoy these! Ania
cassie:
These are the bars that I've been looking for! I get so discouraged with making my own bars sometimes because of the super high sugar content (even unrefined sugar!) so I am so super excited to try these!! I'll check back with how it goes :D
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Cassie,
    Great to hear and I hope you'll enjoy them. Ania
Liz:
These look amazing! Can you suggest a sub for the puffed rice?
Thanks :-)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Liz,
    How about puffed quinoa? I cannot think of anything else, I'm afraid. You need something light and 'flexible' that will fill all of the gaps between all of the nuts. Hope that helps! Ania
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