Moving into Winter

The past few days have been cloudy and short, and I have been busy at the computer. Other than my weekly trip to Santa Cruz for the farmer’s market and other errands, and walking and interval running around our land, I’ve been inside, quietly working away on projects. I have had less holiday baking inspiration than usual. There were years that I began my holiday baking spree right after Thanksgiving, freezing and storing goodies to put in baskets (or plates, or colorful kitchen towels, or other creative containers I came up with over the years) for friends and relatives. There’s still time, and I have a little list of possibilities, some tried and true, others new and interesting. We’ll see what I manage to produce in the next week! Meanwhile, I’ll share one of my favorite snack recipes – any of you who’ve been following my daily food collages will have seen these squares. You can see one on 12.13.2011, just below, next to the carrots in Meal 2. I’ve been baking them with dried fruit, but the original inspiration for them, Clotilde Dusoulier’s Chocolate & Zucchini blog, used chocolate chips and I’ve made them that way as well.

Here’s the latest version:

Banana Oat Almond Plum Apricot Bar

16 oz ripe bananas
60 grams almond butter (60 g)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
200 grams rolled oats (2 cups)
60 grams ground almonds (a.k.a. almond meal)
3 serving protein powder (Show me the whey)
30 grams coconut, dried, unsweetened, low fat (1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
60 grams dried plums
60 grams dried apricots

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, almond butter, and Greek yogurt. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, protein powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the dried plums and apricots.

3. Spread into the prepared baking dish, level the surface, and slip into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is set and golden-brown. Let cool completely before slicing into bars. If you’re not serving all the bars at once, I suggest you cut out only what you need. Cover the rest with foil and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

Servings: 16

Calories 141.2, Calories From Fat (33%) 46.09, Total Fat 5.49g, Saturated Fat 0.98g, Cholesterol 0.94mg Sodium 163.59mg, Potassium 144.05mg, Total Carbohydrates 17.71g, Fiber 2.25g, Sugar 7.13g
Protein 6.67g