It’s autumn in the U.S., and zucchini abounds in gardens, grocery stores, and recipes… especially snack recipes: zucchini bread, cake, muffins, fritters… the list goes on and on.
But here in Philippines, it’s just typhoon season, and zucchinis are imported and expensive. So we’re gonna have to make our snack food out of something else.
Enter the humble banana: always plentiful, always delicious, and always cheap- the local ones, anyway. I learned early during my stay in the tropics that there is more than one variety of banana! In addition to the American Cavendish that I grew up with, I am now privy to several other varieties, including our hardy and local favourite, the “Lacatan.” These bananas take their time ripening and have a strong, sweet banana flavor. When they eventually do go brown on the counter (after about a week or more,) they are perfect for mashing and baking up with oats and chocolate chips.
On Thursday, my children informed me that they had gone all week without dessert. Can you even imagine?? So deprived!
So this afternoon when my bananas were finally ripe enough, I whipped up these snack bars, hoping to finish and put the ingredients away so that the kids wouldn’t be suspicious that their dessert was anything other than “normal,” as in,
“Momma, can you please just make us a normal dessert sometimes??” Ahhh, life as the kids of a dietitian…
So! These perfectly normal snack bars are in fact vegan and gluten free and made with only a tiny bit of oil. But the best part is that my children all face-planted into them without ever even bothering to question me about their ingredient content! This was a great endorsement for me… or maybe it was the chocolate?? I don’t even care.
These gorgeous bars are made with oat flour and coconut flour, which provide not only a subtle nutty flavor, but also fiber, protein, and vitamins that white flour cannot even dream about. I sweetened them with maple syrup, but you can use honey if you are not strictly vegan. The moisture is provided by the bananas (obviously,) as well as almond and flax meal, the latter two of which also contribute healthy fats. The only added fat is one tablespoon of coconut oil, just to add to the flavor a bit. The fudge-y texture of these bars really works… especially with all that chocolate oozing out of it.
Enjoy! You won’t even have to lie to your children about what’s in them.