After Finn was born my pregnancy appetite disappeared immediately – it actually took me a few days to regain much of an appetite at all. As I adjusted to breastfeeding my appetite settled into a happy place slightly above my pre preggo hunger norm and way below the non-stop snacking of my insatiable full-term cravings. Now that Finn is weaning off of breast milk though I find myself facing another shift in my appetite. I still find myself dreaming of cookies and chocolate, both things that are fairly new loves, but in my desire to be eating healthy foods more often is returning.
Carrots and apple slices are returning to the snack rotation and salads are again my standard lunch. I decided a few weeks ago to try to come up with a healthier solution to my cookie hankering and turned to oatmeal for my starting point. I’ve made a lot of batches trying to find the right balance of sweetness, toothiness and flavor and I’ve settled on the recipe below. There are a lot of ways to make these your own, from the fruit to the way you cut them up and I encourage you to play around to find your favorite. I actually end up cutting them into 1.5″ cubes and pop one as a treat when I need a little something sweet. My husband takes larger pieces and gives them a schmear of peanut butter for his breakfast. Go ahead and give these a try and let me know what kind of adaptations you come up with.
Granola Breakfast Bars
2 large very ripe bananas
3 cups original rolled oats
1 cup chopped dried fruit (my favorite combo is unsulphured dried apricots, whole cranberries and dates)
Preheat oven to 350˚
1. Place the chopped fruit in a bow cover with boiling water, the fruit should be a little more than covered. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
2. Coat a 6×6 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl mash up the bananas until there are only a few lumps left.
4. Stir in the oat until the banana is evenly incorporated.
5. Add the chopped fruit and water and stir until the fruit is distributed throughout the mix.
6. Pour the bar mix into the prepared pan and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until there is a slightly browed crust.