I’m going to be honest. These were a bit of an experiment. I had an overripe banana and some figs and the desire to whip up a high-energy snack for the 3pm slump at work. The result was pretty good so I’d thought I would share the recipe with you. However, it could be improved, and when I have some time, I will try it again with some tweaks with an aim to get a better result.

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I think the reason why I like but don’t love these bars is because they’re not overly sweet, and I have a sweet tooth. However, the bonus of them not being too sweet is that they are not overly moreish, so one is enough. Another bonus is that they’re full of energy and goodness. They’d be the perfect pre- or post- gym snack.

If you’re not vegan you can always make them a little sweeter with a bit more honey, but give them a go as they are and let me know your thoughts.

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Total cooking time: 40 minutes

Yield: makes 12

Ingredients:

1 ripe/overripe banana

2 figs (peeled and chopped)

2 cups oats

½ cup pitted dates (chopped)

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)

2 figs and agave nectar for decoration

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C and line a small baking tin with grease-proof paper. Grease the paper with coconut oil.

In a mug, stir up the chia seeds with the water for about a minute and then leave to one side.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the banana with a fork until smooth.

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Add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the chia mixture) to the bowl and mix together thoroughly by hand.

Add the chia glue and mix again thoroughly. Taste the mixture and ensure you are happy with the flavour. Add more dates/agave/vanilla to your taste.

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Transfer the mixture into the baking tin and spread out evenly and press down to about 2 cm thickness. Peel and thinly slice the 2 figs and decorate the top according. Drizzle with a little more agave and place in the oven.

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Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown. The middle should remain fairly moist but still be cooked.

Leave to cool before slicing.

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