Banana Pecan Granola Bars

I love to sing along loudly in the car (when I am alone): I sing anything from Miley Cyrus over Rihanna to Red Hot Chili Peppers or The White Stripes, no matter if I know the lyrics or not. I usually have a self-made CD running for several weeks or months in a row. Because of that my 4-year old kid can sing along too, and even has his favorites: he loves Johnny Cash (song no. 15), Amy McDonald (no. 5), Beyonce (no. 3) and Katy Perry (no. 12).
I also love to eat while driving. I had a few errands to run last week, and was in need for some snack to have on the road.Those three bananas used in the recipe were becoming VERY ripe on the kitchen counter and called out loud to be used. I decided to make granola bars. All other ingredients I chose from the the list of matching flavors in THE FLAVOR BIBLE, still my current favorite kitchen book. By the way, did you know that bananas and parsley were matching flavors? Can't really imagine a dish with those two right now.....
Anyway, the granola bars turned out very well. With the bananas being the binder, they got crunchy but still chewy and light on the bite. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!!

(Print Recipe)

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped
1 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 chopped dried figs, and 1/2 raisins)

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yields  ca. 15 bars/squares
Preheat oven to 175C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, pecan nuts, sesame seeds and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches.
In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Spread the batter evenly onto the baking sheet, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch high.
Alternatively, use a large cookie cutter and press spoonfuls of the batter into it. Remove cookie cutter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. The granola bars tend to get brown at the bottom first. Make sure not to burn them. Let cool completely, store in airtight container and keep in the fridge.

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs 

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