Friday, June 22, 2012

Banana Oat Trio

I will say that I truly appreciate how the whole-foods frame of mind has a way of tapping into a creative, resourceful part of one's brain that never would have gotten some use otherwise. I see now how relying on the same old staples that some box spit out for me sapped a lot of the brain work out of my meal preparation. Cooking from scratch and trying to eat all my precious leftovers in a timely manner, however, takes the culinary part of the noggin to a whole new level!

For instance, Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Banana Oat bar recipe turned out to have 3 neat uses and each one of them was yummy!

I first made the bars as the recipe instructed and took them with me on a retreat. I really enjoyed them and the husband gave a good review, too (always a plus!).

I wanted to be able to share the goodness with more people, and it dawned on me that I could simply reshape the oat mixture into cookies (renders approx. 12) and offer them when I'm entertaining!

And then, when I ended up with leftovers and realized they would need quick eatin', it was a simple sidestep to discover that I could break a few of the oat cookies up into little pieces, throw them in a bowl with some fresh fruit, ground flax seeds, and cold plant milk and enjoy a delicious homemade cereal for breakfast!

Mmmm. One easy recipe. 30 minutes to bake. Oats of all shapes and sizes to last the week!

Yummy Banana Oat Bars
From Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Eat to Live

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon date sugar (I would use 7-8 dates worth of date paste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients into a large bowl (adding oats last). 

For bars:

Press dough in a 9“X 9” baking pan (lightly greased) and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. When cool, slice into squares or bars and serve.

For cookies:
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of "dough" onto sheet and shape into cookie shapes with wet fingers. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until brown around the edges.

For cereal:
Break up 3 cookies into a bowl. Throw in your favorite fruit and enjoy!

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