Granola Bars. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
- Serves: 9
- Cooking Time: 50 mins
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 300g pitted dates
- Pinch bicarbonate of soda
- 2 plums, stoned and chopped
- 120ml coconut or olive oil (I used coconut)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 500g rolled oats
- 200g seeds (mix of sunflower, pumpkin) and nuts
- 2 bananas, mashed (I used over-ripe ones from the freezer)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat an oven to 150 degrees/gas mark 2. Put the dates in a saucepan, add the bicarbonate of soda and enough water to cover the dates and cook them until sticky and mushy – this will take about 20 minutes.
A chemical reaction occurs which means you’ll see green froth bubbling up, but just ignore it. When the mixture is ready, add the plums, coconut or olive oil and vanilla extract and mushy bananas, and blitz the lot in a blender until smooth.
Next, take this sloppy mixture and, in a large bowl, mix it with the cinnamon, oats and seeds. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture out on it, pressing it into the corners. Bake for 20-30 minutes, allow to cool in the tray, before slicing and and freezing.
These thaw out in no time, so are handy to stash in batches and can be snatched and eaten to your heart’s content.