Technology and social media have their pros and in my mind massive cons (but I will leave that debate out of this blog!). Nevertheless, I am ever so guilty of indulging in the phenomenon that is the short food videos from the likes of Tasty, Tastemade and Goodful. I find myself waking up in the morning and watching them before I have even properly woken up! Recently I have been coming across a lot of healthy snack ideas, made with banana and dates to substitute sugar, which is an interesting concept.
So sometimes I think I am a little late to the show. I have just discovered Deliciously Ella, how I don’t know, when she has millions and millions of followers…! I’m not sure I buy in to the whole concept, mainly because I love eating meat and carbs but I am happy it works for other people. The reason I mention this is because I stumbled across her energy balls in Starbucks and absolutely fell in love with the hazelnut and raisin flavoured one. What also impressed me was that she gives the recipe at the back of the packet, which obviously meant that I had to give it a go.
As I am always trying to be healthy and lose or keep my weight balanced I thought that these snack ideas are a good option to have in the house so I don’t reach for a biscuit. I am not going to burst the bubble by giving you a calorie count for some of these snacks, but let’s just say that even though these are healthy and wholesome foods, they are not the types of food you should be eating if you really want to lose weight as these are still high in natural sugar. But that hasn’t stopped me giving some recipes a go, even if it’s just a one off!
Having watched a couple of these short food videos, I decided that I wanted to create my own recipe for a healthy flapjack style tray bake. I wanted to incorporate the following ingredient, banana, dates, oats and almond butter. Originally I tried to make them into biscuits but they turned out too dry, which is why the tray bake concept was conceived. Tray bakes lend themselves nicely to wet mixtures which would help me ensure a moist outcome.
Here is my recipe for the Healthy Flapjack Style Tray Bake.
1 ripe banana
10 pitted dates
100g almond butter
25g oat bran
2 handfuls of mixed berries and nuts (I used Toppers from Costco)
25g sliced almonds (optional)
Turn oven on 180⁰
Soak the pitted dates in boiling water, just enough water to cover the dates in the bowl. Set aside.
Mash the banana and almond butter. Mix in the oat bran and oats and optional almonds.
Once the water that the dates are soaking in has cooled down, pour 2 tbls away. Then remove the skin off the dates. Mash the dates with the water/juice, but not too well and add the banana and oats mixture and mix well.
Pour mixture into a tray bake container and sprinkle the mixed berries and nuts on top.
Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Wait 5-10 minutes till it’s cooled and slice into squares.
Note: These will keep for a maximum of 2 days in air tight container. My suggestion is to freeze and take out when needed.
Now for Deliciously Ella’s Hazelnut and Raisin Energy Balls. These were so easy, you just put all the raw ingredients into a blender and blend them till they make a sticky mixture and then roll them into balls. However next time I make them I will put the hazelnuts in first as I ended up with some slightly larger pieces of hazelnuts than I originally wanted.
Also with Pesach (Passover) just around the corner these are the ‘healthier’ version of the traditional cinnamon ball, and I think just a tasty! But don’t worry I will still be making cinnamon balls as it’s not officially Pesach without them!
2 ½ dates
¼ tsp cacao
¼ tsp cinnamon
A pinch of cardamom
p.s I actually quadrupled this mixture.
p.p.s Here is the link to her video.