Daily Archives: April 14, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oat Squares

Now that I am mostly on the straight and narrow with my eating, I figured it was time to give up my nagging cookie habit.

A cookie is okay.

Three cookies are not okay.

Ya catch my drift?

So I set out to make a snack that is sweet like my beloved cookies, yet hearty enough to keep the tummy grumbles away. I wanted it soft, thick and baked. Something like an oatmeal muffin, but with a boost of protein. I wanted it to have chocolate. And banana. And peanut butter. Is that too much to ask?

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The cast of characters, set out beautifully for your viewing pleasure.

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unflavoured soy protein powder (or regular flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups milk (start with 1 cup, add more as needed)
  • 6 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 egg whites (or one whole egg)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit of choice (I used banana)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or 1/4 cup syrup
  • nuts if you want ‘em! (I didn’t)

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Notable is the type of protein powder I use for baking – Purely Bulk unflavoured soya powder. I believe this is available only in Canada, but I find most unflavoured soy powders bake the same. Whey powder turns baked goods into rocks. Don’t go there.

If you don’t do the protein thing at all, add some flour instead! Or oat flour! Or coconut flour! Or any flour-like substance you like, really.

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On the left side, we got the wet ingredients: milk, PB, egg whites, brown sugar. Again, you can use a whole egg if you like. Maybe almond milk. Or maple syrup instead of brown sugar. I always encourage improvisation in the kitchen!

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Now, combine the two. If you need more milk, add it now. This should have a consistency of muffin batter. It’s always better to add less liquid to start, then add as you need it. Runny batter is bad batter.

If you’ve never made muffins and don’t know what their batter is like, you’re screwed.

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Take half the mixture and spread it evenly on the bottom of a greased 9×9 baking pan.

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Dried bananas are the only dried fruit I had on hand, so I opted to create a layer of them in the centre. You can go the layered route, or just mix everything in willy nilly. Your call! You could even put real sliced bananas in the centre. Just don’t freeze them after.

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I couldn’t stop there though. In order to complete the banana & peanut butter flavour, chocolate was needed.

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In an ideal world, I would have done a layer of chocolate chips. This chocolate syrup was the best my father’s cupboards could provide. Good enough!

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After a healthy dose of chocolate syrup, layer the remaining oat mixture on top. Give a little extra sauce for good measure.

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Bake in a 375F oven for 25-30 minutes until the edges start to brown.

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Et voila! The perfect just-sweet-enough, oaty, hearty, banana-y, chocolate-y, peanut butter-y treat. I loved every bite. Take that cookies.

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Cut into 16 squares, here are the nutritional stats for my version:

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The point of this post is to inspire you to take a basic recipe and run with it. I used to be terrified of improvising with baked goods. However some recipes, such as this one, are really difficult to screw up. And if you do, they’ll make for a great yogurt topper!

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Just don’t use whey protein powder. Kapeesh?

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