Sunday, July 5, 2015

Oatmeal Raisin Banana Bars - #SundaySupper

Generally, when it comes to baking for a crowd, I try to steer away from common allergies like nuts, dairy and eggs. Gluten and wheat are not generally a problem in our family or my workplace, with the exception of one second cousin, but I know of a few severe reactors to the other three in both camps. Being the only nutritionist - and certified baker - in the clan, I've been asked a few times to bring something everyone can enjoy when there's a birthday or potluck, and I'm always happy to oblige! I find that bar cookies are by far the best treats for parties, since not only are they perfect for making ahead and freezing, but they travel and hold exceptionally well too. In fact, I almost always freeze the pan of brownies or bars ahead of time and let it thaw out on the drive, ensuring that they are neither dried out, in the temperature "danger zone" or broken to bits by the time I arrive (the farthest we travel is about 2 hours away, for reference).

Oatmeal Raisin Banana Squares

Recently, these banana bars have been my go-to treat both at school and at home. The combination of toasty oats, brown sugar, melted butter and raisins bakes into something reminiscent of a butter-tart (coincidentally one of my mom's and my favourite desserts), while adding a mess of mashed bananas lends extra sweetness, moisture and an egg-like binding capability too. Both soft and chewy, they're perfect for every age - not to mention ideal for other additions if you care for them! I'm partial to sesame or sunflower seeds, but in the interest of simplicity I left them out of the below recipe. Plus, I never measure them...

Summer is in full swing. People are taking vacations, going to picnics and potlucks, or bringing food to those in need. This week, #SundaySupper is sharing recipes for food that travels well to a vacation destination, potluck party, or to someone who could use a good meal.

This event is being hosted by Marion of Life Tastes Good with help from Coleen at The Redhead Baker. Thanks, ladies!

Adventurous Appetizers
 
Destination Desserts
 
Mains in Motion
 
Sightseeing Sides
 
Traveling Treats

More Tips
Sunday Supper Movement 
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Oatmeal Raisin Banana Bars
Makes one 9x13" pan, 20 squares
4 large bananas
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup cup-for-cup stevia
¼ cup melted butter (or vegan buttery spread)
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup flour
½ cup oat flour or whole wheat flour
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups quick cooking (not instant) oats
½ cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and line a 9x13" pan with parchment.
  2. Mash the bananas with the sugar and stevia in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Add butter and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add the flours, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and oats. Mix just to combine.
  5. Fold in the raisins.
  6. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 156.8
Total Fat: 3.3 g
Cholesterol: 6.2 mg
Sodium: 57.4 mg
Total Carbs: 34.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 2.5 g