About to tackle the second week back at school and the Easter holidays seem like a distant memory, entangled as we are, once more, with Biff and Chip and PE kits and morning rush hours and after-school clubs and snack boxes.
Packed lunches are a somewhat contentious issue in our house. The junior takes one most days and the infant is a seething mass of envy that she is compelled to take advantage of her free school meal. I try to placate her with a break time snack that will not only satisfy her, but also the healthy snack police, should they be patrolling the playground. In fact, their school takes a less stringent stance to mid-morning sustenance than the school in which I teach, but I’m terribly law-abiding and old habits die hard.
These banana biscuits are a good healthy option and often find their way to school with my girls. They’re no lookers (the biscuits, not the children), but they’re pretty popular, and I have been making some variant of them for years. For someone who is, at best, ambivalent to bananas, I seem to have developed rather a lot of banana-based recipes, mostly, if I’m truthful, to deal with poor household management and the resulting frequent surfeit of browning bananas. These are probably the quickest and easiest biscuit in my biscuiting repertoire, don’t need to have any added sugar – though I usually include chocolate chips – and are essentially porridge, so a perfectly acceptable breakfast food, with a glass of milk. Or a cup of coffee, indeed.
- 200g oats
- 3 small, over ripe bananas
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil/melted butter (approx 50g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (just leave out if you haven’t got any in)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp of cocoa powder/cacao
- (50 g dark chocolate chips – optional, but nice)
How to make them
- Mash the bananas thoroughly in a large bowl. I use a fork.
- Add the porridge oats, baking powder, oil/butter, vanilla and cocoa/cacao and mix until it all looks evenly unappetising and brown and lumpy.
Depending on the size and ripeness of your bananas, you may find that your mixture is very wet. It shouldn’t be stiff, by any means, but you want it to be able to hold its shape more or less when you dollop it out. If it’s looking too runny add a tablespoon or two more of cocoa or plain flour.
- Add in the chocolate chips, if using and then dollop out tablespoons of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet. They don’t spread much so a small gap between them is ok. Expect to make 12-15.
- Bake in the oven at 170°C for about 10-12mins, but check after about 8 mins. The top starts looking quite dry once they’re done but the colour won’t change significantly. They are quite moist anyway, even when cooked.
They don’t keep brilliantly, as the moisture content means they go mouldy if left unsupervised for a few days, so if you’re not going to eat them within 48 hours or so, I would pop them in the fridge, or indeed freeze some.