A few months ago, I started my search looking for a new snack. I wanted something healthy, delicious and easy to make. I tried so many things, and to be honest, most of the time it ended in disaster. Some things were tasteless, some things were stodgy, and some were just plain wrong! After a lot of experimenting, and a lot of failed attempts I was all but ready to give up my search. The best recipes are the ones that I create myself, so I decided to stop looking at other peoples ideas, and make up my own. So, I stopped my search for the perfect daytime snack, and began experimenting instead.
Originally, I was looking for a nice granola bar recipe. Something that you can have for breakfast, or just for a general nibble throughout the day. But they all seemed like they were packed full of flour and sugar, and that’s two things that I was trying to avoid. So, in the end I gave up on my granola hunt and instead thought I’d try something different. From there I sort of took the basic idea of a granola bar, and tried to develop it into a recipe that I would like. And voila… that’s how Oaty Bites were born.
I was looking into different ways to bake, and found out that mashed banana and applesauce could both be used as alternatives to butter. It was something that I really wanted to try, but honestly had no idea how. It turns out that you use the exact amount of applesauce/mashed banana, as you would butter. So just a simple swap is all you need. I really wanted to give this a go, and thought that this was the perfect opportunity to do so. I did a 50/50 split, and used half apple sauce and half banana. And it worked so perfectly! It helps to stick all the fruit and oats together, and helps to give it a nice sweet flavour.
There’s nothing worst then when you eat something which has absolutely no filling. You end up chomping on plain oats and it all gets a bit boring. So, when I make these I make sure that it’s packed full of fruit. After all, that’s the best part of it! It’s the same with my homemade muesli, I have to have it completely filled up with goodies, to help give it that extra flavour. I basically added in all the dried fruit that I could find… And I added a lot of it. Figs, dates, apricots, prunes, and my favourite cranberries! What goes in always changes because if I don’t have a certain thing, or if I want to try something new, I can just throw it in with the rest of the ingredients.
The best thing about this you can add whatever you like to it, and they’ll come out nice every time. And although I’m nut free so have never tried, I’m sure that adding a few nuts to the cookies would work well and taste great. Not to mention all the health benefits they would add. I also love adding a few seeds, just to give them a bit of texture, and to get them away being a big fruit ball. And of course, I just have to include my all-time favourite chia seeds and flax seeds.
The Perfect Snack
These bites are everything that I was looking for in a snack. They’re so easy to make and the whole thing can be done in around 30 minutes. The longest part about the process is cutting up the dried fruit, but I sometimes cut up a big batch and store it in the cupboard. I’ve used honey before to make these, but have found that maple syrup gives a better texture and overall taste to the cookie. And unless you add sugar to your applesauce, they’re refined sugar free, vegan and can be made gluten free, simply by using gluten free oats.
These banana bites have to be one of my favourite things to make. They’re quick, easy, absolutely delicious and 100% healthy. And when you put it like that, what’s not to love?
The perfect snack, anytime of day.
Oaty Bites Recipe:
Quick and easy to make, these are the perfect snack from morning all the way to pudding!
Yields: Roughly 18 Cookies
- 1 Cup Applesauce (Roughly 2 Bramley Apple)
- A Small Amount of Water
- 1 Cup Mashed Banana (Roughly 2 Bananas)
- 2 Tablespoons Honey / Maple Syrup
- 1 Cup Dried Fruit of Choice – Apricots, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Prunes EACH (Only 1/2 Cup each if adding a lot)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Pinch Sea Salt
- 1 1/2 Cup Oats
- 1/4 Cup Seeds of Choice – Pumpkin, Sunflower
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180 *c / 160 *c Fan / Gas Mark 4, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Firstly, make the applesauce.
- Peel and chop the apples into slices, and place into your saucepan. Fill the bottom of the pan with a small amount of water, just enough to cover the base. Bring the apples to the boil, then turn the heat down to simmer until tender and slightly mushy.
- Whilst the apples are cooking, chop up any dried fruit that you’ll be using into raisin sized chunks.
- When the apples have cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- In a bowl mix the applesauce, mashed banana and honey/maple syrup together.
- Add in the fruit, seeds and chia and flax seeds, and stir to combine.
- Place the cinnamon and salt into the bowl, then the oats, stirring until fully combined.
- Using a spoon, place them onto the pre prepared baking tray. As they do not spread, the mixture can be placed quite close together. I do a variety of different shapes and sizes, but aim for them to be roughly 1/4 cup size each.
- Put them in the oven for 12 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for another 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Take them out of the oven and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before removing them from the tray.
- Store them in an airtight container lined with baking parchment for about a week.
- Enjoy you’re guilt free snacking!
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