Say No to Choc?
Give up chocolate? Does the idea send you running to the nearest Creme Egg or Fruit ‘n’ Nut, murmuring ‘my precious’ and snarling at anyone who comes within a ten foot radius?
If so, a dechox is just what you need. Tough love, I know, but it will do you good – and you can do good for others at the same time.
It’s all the British Heart Foundation’s idea. Their March challenge urges us to elbow the eclair, give chocolate the finger and generally say no-no to cocoa – while raising money for heart research.
Last year’s chocolate-dodgers raised £1 million: an impressive amount for a good cause. But could you join in without falling off the Wagon Wheel? (sorry)
Step forward my Nutty Banana Energy Bars, traybake extraordinaire, bursting with enough oaty, fruity goodness to distract even the most hardcore chocaholic. Let’s cook up a batch this week and see how we get on.
By the way if you want to join in the challenge, all the details are here.
Nutty Banana Energy Bars
Serves 8 • Ready in 30 mins
1 tsp mild olive oil
170g (6oz) porridge oats
30g (1oz) ground almonds
60g (4 tbsp) protein powder (hemp)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50g (1.8oz) dried cranberries
3 bananas, peeled and mashed
2 heaped tsp peanut butter (no added sugar)
2 large eggs, beaten
• Line a 20cm (8in) square baking tin with a layer of baking parchment. Rub the tsp of mild olive oil over the base and sides of the tin.
• Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan/325F/Gas Mark 3.
• Place the oats, almonds, protein powder, baking powder, salt and dried cranberries in a mixing bowl. Stir together.
• In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas together and combine with the peanut butter. Add the beaten egg a little at a time until well mixed. Add the banana and eggs to the dry ingredients and mix to make a batter. You may need to add a little water if it is too dry.
• Press the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins. Leave to cool completely in the tin. When cool, carefully lift out of the tin and transfer to a chopping board. Cut into 8 bars.
SERVING & STORAGE
Wrap individually in cling film (wrap). Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or store in the freezer.