What do you do when you’ve got a serious chocolate craving?
You have one of my Double Chocolate Chip Oaty Banana Bars of course!!! 😉 One of these will definitely cure any chocolate craving, and with no refined sugar, gluten, dairy or eggs, these really are a naturally sweet, guilt-free treat!
I’ve got a serious sugar addiction . . . I think it developed when I was young . . . We ate a lot of sweets when we were children – we were given sweets as a reward, as a comfort, after our meals; we were given sweets when we visited relatives, when we went to parties and round friends houses, and also for no reason other than we wanted them!
I now find it extremely hard to resist the temptation of a sweet treat! If it’s in the house, I will eat it! Easter was a nightmare!! I told my family to not buy me any chocolate, but I’ve got kids, and THEY had chocolate!! It was in the house, and even though it was my kids, I still ended up eating it.
That’s how you know you’ve got a problem. When you can’t even stop yourself from eating your own children’s chocolate. Once I get the taste of it, I carry on craving it for weeks after. So, how do I combat this . . ??! I make my own sweet treats!
Nowadays, it’s hard to not eat sugar everyday! It’s in everything! From things that you would expect it to be in like sweets, ice-cream, fizzy drinks, fruit juices and cakes; to stuff you wouldn’t expect it to be in; like bread, cooked deli-meats, breakfast cereal, ready meals, crackers, yoghurt, sauces like tomato ketchup and instant gravies, soup (I could go on, but I think you get the idea!) – we really have got NO chance!!
Sugars are a form of carbohydrate found in a whole range of foods, including fruits and vegetables. Since the start of agriculture and the industrial age, consumption of sugar has increased rapidly, leading to an epidemic of obesity and other illnesses. There really is no need to consume refined sugars at all.
All the sugar the body needs can be found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes, but we’ve all grown-up believing fat to be the enemy – not realising that food with fat removed has even more sugar added, and now our palate is so sweet that foods that don’t contain added sugar tastes bland to us.
Excessive consumption of carbohydrates and sugars can lead to type II diabetes, and cancer. We can wean ourselves off sugar – we British consume 700g of it a week – that’s an average of 140 teaspoons per person!! Recommendations from The World Health Organisation say that adults should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day – SIX!!!
We need to be more savvy when it comes to our food choices. Check the labels on food, go for food with 10% or less (preferably 5%) sugar per 100 grams, try to limit our intake of processed food, and takeaways, do not add sugar to cups of tea or coffee, cut-down on fizzy drinks, have a protein-rich breakfast like eggs, and stay away from breakfast cereals!
Make your own sauces and gravies, stick to berries when you eat fruit – make your own baked goods, and sweeten them with natural sweeteners like fruit, maple syrup and coconut sugar – and start adding less so you can reduce your need for sweetness in your diet!
Enter my Double Chocolate Chip Oaty Banana bar recipe . . . !!
The Banana + Chocolate Chip Oaty Breakfast Bars were such as hit that I thought I’d produce another!! I used white chocolate chips (for contrast!) in the banana bars, and for the drizzle over the top. You can use dairy-free chocolate chips if you are a vegan, and gluten-free oats if you have a gluten intolerance. Delicious straight out the oven – still warm!
- 3 medium to large ripe bananas
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup honey (maple syrup if vegan)
- ½ cup unsweetened cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon aluminium-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup vegan white chocolate chips
For chocolate drizzle:
- 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
#1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
#2. Spray 9×9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
#3. To make oat flour: Place oats into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until the oats look like flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
#4. Transfer the oat flour to a medium bowl; whisk in cacao powder, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.
#5. Place bananas, vanilla, and honey into blender; blend 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add to oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
#6. Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with rubber spatula. Bake for 15 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool 10-15 minutes on wire rack.
#7. Prepare drizzle by adding 2 tablespoons of white chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30 seconds intervals until all the chocolate is melted; stir well to combine then drizzle over the top of bars. Cut bars into 16 squares and enjoy!
Extra ripe bananas are best for this recipe. They will stay fresh for up to a week in a air-tight container – if they last that long!!
Here’s the macro-nutrient information for these bars:
If you’ve got a sugar addiction and want to learn more about it, take a look at this video.
Jo (yummy!) Matthews xx 😉