Monday, 1 December 2008

See what happens...

...when you don't plan ahead and end up doing chunks of your shopping in random bursts? Our bin weights is 1.2kg for the past two weeks. In mitigation I will say it contains a completely stripped chicken carcass, and we have not eaten out as much this fortnight as we have before! There are several meat trays in there, and a bit of ham that hid at the back of the fridge until it was unusable, plus other unrecyclable plastics from pasta, spinach, celery and other things it seems impossible to buy any other way.

Tonight I will knuckle down, make a list, check out the freezer, and see how well I can plan out the week. I have to try and convince Mark that he can shop at the market (all of 200m from his office)! I'll also use up some of the many bananas I brought home from the half marathon leftovers, and turn them into my new favourite banana cake recipe, so there'll be no need to buy cereal bars etc.

Wholesome Banana Chocolate Breakfast Bars
(from 101 Cookbooks via Chocolate and Zucchini)
  • 200 grams (2 cups) rolled oats or mixed rolled grains
  • 60 grams (2/3 cup) ground almonds, a.k.a. almond meal
  • 30 grams (1/3 cup) dried, unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 120 grams (4 1/4 ounces) good-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 very ripe, medium bananas, about 400 grams (14 ounces) when peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) whole almond butter (can substitute olive oil, or slightly warmed coconut oil)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 9" square tin (or equivalent) with vegetable oil.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, ground almonds, coconut, and salt. Set aside. Chop the chocolate so the largest pieces are about the size of a chocolate chip. Set aside.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the bananas, vanilla, and almond butter, and mash thoroughly using a potato masher. Add the oats mixture and mix well. Fold the chocolate in gently.

Pour into the prepared baking dish, level the surface, and slip into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is set and golden-brown. Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

The recipe happens to be vegan, gluten-free, and no added sugar, but primarily the bars are just yummy! Oats, bananas, nuts, a little dark chocolate - all good stuff. A couple of notes on the ingredients: you can get almond butter in health/whole food shops if not in the supermarket. I haven't seen unsweetened shredded coconut (desiccated is too fine I think) so I substituted chopped pecans, but seeds would work well too. I guess you could put good old soaked fruit instead of chocolate.

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