Today, I thought I would share with you my recent recipe venture. As well as purchasing ‘Tanya Bakes’, I also purchased ‘Deliciously Ella Every Day: Simple recipes and fantastic food for a healthy way of life’. I have been dying to get my hands on this book for so long so it gives me great pleasure to look through the extensive recipes and choose which one I shall try!
I chose to try out the ‘Banana Breakfast Bars’ first because this seemed like a pretty straight forward recipe to begin with, I already had most of the ingredients including some very ripe bananas that needed to be used!
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 200g rolled oats
- 100ml almond milk
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I put less as I am not a huge lover of cinnamon)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- Coconut oil to grease the dish
Apart from the cashew butter and vanilla powder, all the ingredients are staple items stocked in my kitchen cupboards. I was intrigued to use the cashew butter as I have never tried it before. I have tasted and used almond butter, I do like it but I find it very salty whereas this cashew butter is a lot sweeter. You can buy various nut butters in a health food shop or I bought it from my local Holland and Barrett! On the other hand, I was not as successful in purchasing vanilla powder. After hunting around my local Waitrose, I finally found the powder rather than a liquid essence or extract. However, the powder was extremely expensive! It was almost £6 (reduced) for about 6 teaspoons! I bought a vanilla extract as a substitute for the powder but I was afraid that using a liquid essence rather than the powder was going to make the mixture too wet. However this was not the case!
The breakfast bars were extremely easy to make and very quick too! All you had to do was turn the oven on to around 180 degrees, mash the banana and then mix all the ingredients together. Then, place the mixture into a baking tray for 12 minutes and then leave to cool. Once cooled you then cut the mixture into bars and that’s it! Easy peasy!
If you are a lover of banana this is the treat for you! The ripe banana is the most prominent taste that comes through and the oats give the bar something to get your teeth into. I am a person who is constantly snacking so these homemade bars are a great treat to satisfy my sweet tooth and because they are relatively healthy and nutritious, I don’t feel bad when I pinch more than one bar throughout the day! Plus, they are very versatile. You can eat them for breakfast like the name suggests but they will be great to take with you to snack on during a busy day.
I have been really impressed with how easy this recipe has been. I do have some reservations with this particular set of instructions and the book as a whole. Firstly, the method for the breakfast bars were very clear although, at the end there was no description of how the bars should look like when finished or what texture you are supposed to achieve. There was an image but this gave little indication as to when the bars are fully cooked. I am raising this as an issue because I followed the instructions diligently but when I took the bars out of the oven they were still slightly squishy and I do not know if they are supposed to be gooey or if they should be much firmer. Secondly, I have flicked through the book several times and a lot of the recipes require a ‘powerful’ food processor. As I have mentioned countless times before if you have been reading my blog from the beginning, I am a student. Therefore, I will not be able to purchase an expensive food processor any time soon! I know this is how Ella would make her recipes but it would be really handy if there was an alternative or side note that suggested another electrical equipment or method that people could use as an alternative to a food processor.
Anyway, criticisms over! I am very pleased with this purchase and my first attempt at the ‘banana breakfast bars’ and cannot wait to get stuck in with another healthy and nutritious recipe!
If you have any cheaper alternatives to a ‘powerful’ food processor I would love to know your thoughts!