While I certainly love a slice of moist banana bread spread with a good layer of butter, with this weeks leftover bananas I was looking for something more wholesome. Looking through Pinterest for something a little different, I found these. They were the perfect base to work from. A wonderful little snack that can be packed for our next bike ride or picnic in the park and if you could have only been here to smell the warm oven air while they were baking. Pure American comfort.
Banana Granola Bars
Makes 14 snack-size bars
1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 ripe bananas
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, coconut, almonds, cinnamon, salt and allspice.
In another bowl, mash the bananas; stir in the oil and vanilla. Add to oat mixture and mix well. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread mixture and shape into a 3/4-in. thick rectangle.
Bake at 350°F (175°c) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Slide parchment paper off of baking sheet onto a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.