Introducing the banana oatie. I came across the idea when I was looking for a homemade rusk recipe for my first child. The great things about this recipe is it is really easy, requires no measurements, is processed sugar free and suits kids of all ages. My biggest challenge in finding suitable ‘healthy’ treats for kids is the sugar content. We are trying to keep their exposure to sugar very limited.
I gave them banana oaties from around 9 months. I used organic oats and whizzed them up in the food processor to make the final product easy to chew. I make them in little bars that are either a bite size snack for me or an easy to hold mini meal for bub. As they progressed in age I did not worry about whizzing the oats and just used rolled oats straight up. I started to add other ingredients.
Wholemeal rolled oats
Optional: Dried cranberries, currants, apricots, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg
Mash 5 bananas.
Add oats until you have a good consistency.
Add other ingredients if desired.
Shape into bars and place on baking mat.
Bake at 180 celeius for 15-20mins.
Bake less for chewy bars and longer for crunchy.
I have included instructions for 5 bananas but of course you can use however many you have on hand. We eat a lot of bananas here and occasionally some start turning black. Perfect! Throw them in the freezer skin and all. Once you have 4-5 collected take them out and put them in a bowl in the fridge overnight to defrost. Drain off the juice then peel each banana. Alternatively you can use fresh bananas.
Depending on the squishiness of your bananas depends on how many oats to add. I just keep adding until I get a consistency I can easily mould into bars. Not too sticky, not too dry.
I use a reusable baking mat so I do not need cooking spray or single-use baking paper.
Cooking times will vary depending on your preference for chewy or crunchy. Cook for less time for chewy and longer for crunchy.
Cool on a rack and transfer to a container to freeze. They will last a few days in the fridge. I tend to keep 2-3 in the fridge then freeze the rest. Using 5 bananas as per instructions below makes about 25 bars. I freeze in a square cookie tin.
You could try to bake this as a slice then cut into bars. I have not tried it though. I like shaping into bars before cooking as it makes it quicker to cook (I assume) and means I don’t need to do anything after they are cooked. Great if you are likely to get interrupted. Also you would need cooking spray or baking paper with this method. You could also try them in silicone cupcake moulds.
Please use your own judgment when feeding food to your infant and make sure you supervise little ones.