With school holidays underway, there’s now two of us in search of healthy snacks during the day (and one of us is a constantly peckish teenager…) which means lots of good grazing is suddenly required. On top of that, the seasons suddenly feel like they’ve taken a leap now that the clocks have gone forwards, making me look in the fridge and wish I’d planned some lighter evening meals when I did the weekly shopping.
Luckily my teenage daughter is more on the ball than I am when it comes to rustling up a healthy stop-gap…and this afternoon she knocked up these gorgeous banana granola bars in under twenty minutes and with no big fuss or mountain of washing-up. They are so lovely (and easy) I asked her if I could share them in my post so here they are.
First of all she mashes two medium-sized ripe bananas on a plate, then sprinkles a good heap of oats on top of that, adds some raisins (or whatever else she fancies) plus a shake of cinnamon, stirs it all together, shapes the mixture into bars on a baking tray and bakes in the oven for just under 20 minutes at 177° celsius. Voila – a self-feeding teenager with a stash of healthy snacks for the next day or so and we like them too!
So, that got us through our afternoon snack after our walk with the dog. Then, for a light yet filling evening meal, I rustled up this little number with ingredients straight out of the fridge – and had everyone mmm-ing this evening, especially over the sweet potato wedges. These were chunky chopped, sprinkled with cinnamon, paprika, rosemary and Himalayan pink salt and then roasted in coconut oil for an hour at 200° – without exception, the best seasoning we’ve tried on them so far and they were so deliciously sticky yet crunchy in the coconut oil.
Meanwhile, some organic chestnut mushrooms were quartered and sautéed in a squirt of extra virgin olive oil with some garlic, adding a pinch of fennel seeds, dash of lemon juice and some halved black olives towards the end; this is a really fresh and lovely combination of seasoning for mushrooms (have tried sage or cumin seeds in the past too).
Piles of organic rocket were then arranged on the plates with the cooled-down mushrooms, organic cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado (there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t eat avocado), steamed asparagus, a sprinkle of vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, a dash of extra virgin olive oil and a poached free-range organic egg balanced on the top. With the sweet potato wedges and a spoonful of mayo for dipping on the side, there it all was – a delicious, summery, light yet filling meal idea that I will definitely use again. A great start to the asparagus season too – this really is one of my favourite foods!
For our evening treat (must have caught a touch of my daughter’s bug) I knocked up some healthy nibbles while the sweet potatoes were cooking. Having just filled my cupboard with such delicious new and experimental ingredients as cacao powder and Madjool dates, I’d been itching to conjure up something like these healthy raw chocolate bites. With no particular plan or measuring device to hand, I threw the remains of a packet of desiccated coconut in a bowl, added a good scoop of hazelnut butter, a dessert spoon of coconut oil, heaped teaspoon of cacao powder, about five or six chopped up Medjool dates and a sprinkling of organic ground almonds. Into the food mixer it all went until smooth, then I rolled into balls and left these in the fridge to set. If I’d had any desiccated coconut left, I might have rolled them in it but not this time.
We just had one of these cacao-coconut balls (or am open to other name suggestions) with our post-dinner peppermint tea and they are so decadent and delicious that I almost can’t believe you can knock up food like this so quickly and easily using healthy ingredients and without any added sugar. The urge to play around with this theme, using chia seeds, quinoa, macca and a load more power-packed ingredients, is really growing in me so will share any successes along the way.