Allie and my mom are victims of the Harris Teeter reduced rack. Sadly, I don't have one here - but this summer my mom and I bought our fair share of spotted bananas.
The second I saw Allie's Banana Oat Bites I thought "Look ma! Something else to do with dead bananas!" because pretty much all we could think of this summer was banana bread and/or smoothies.
I took three of my own "past-due" bananas out of the freezer and had the bites made in less than 24 hours after seeing Allie's post.
On a pretty funny side-note, when I printed out the recipe, for some reason it printed microscopic! It's all there, perfectly intact, just micro sized! Johnny and I were cracking up.
I made a couple variations to her recipe, since it is so easy to play around with. You can swap out any dried fruits, nuts, seeds, or spices!
3 ripe bananas (fresh, or thawed frozen)
1 cup chopped, dried fruit (I used raisins)
2 cups oats
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg (trust Alton Brown, it makes a difference!)
Begin by chopping the dried fruit so it gets sticky and place in a small bowl with a splash of hot water to slightly rehydrate.
Next, mash the bananas in a large bowl with a fork. Add the oil, extract, seeds, nuts, and spices. Last, add in the dried fruit and the oats, mixing until everything is incorporated. Let sit about 15 minutes for the mixture to moisten, which will let the oats soften.
Form the mixture into patties (I got 16 out of my batch) and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
First of all, these smell delicious throughout the entire process. While mixing, while baking, and fresh from the oven.
I love that they have a crunchy, textured exterior, but the inside is still moist and chewy. The darker bits of the seeds and nuts give terrific depth to the flavor. Johnny thought they tasted like a cross between a cookie and a bran muffin. I agree, they are very chewy, that's why I called them "chewies" instead of cookies, so you don't make them with the wrong idea in mind.
In the future I'm going to play around with more dried fruit, nut, and seed combinations. I am also going to try adding maple syrup because I think that would be a great flavor with the oats as well!
The best part is that these are vegan and if using gluten-free oats, can be safe for those with Celiac. They'd be great to bring to a group event, where they'd be safe for virtually everybody!