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  • Writer's pictureDawn Hames

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Bake

We seemed to go from winter to the shortest spring ever, and then straight into heat wave summer this year. I love this beautiful weather but I am hoping and praying for rain. We need abundant rain to put out the wildfires, and for the crops to grow. We have finished seeding, so that is always a relief, but there is still lots of fieldwork to do, and it’s time to start putting in the garden.

Here is an easy pan of oatmeal squares, that can double as grab-and-go breakfast bars, or to take for school lunches or out on the tractor. They are sugar-free and use monk fruit sweetener, but if you prefer regular sugar, go ahead, and use it. I used old-fashioned oats for this recipe. I do not know if quick-cooking oats will work. Depending on your dietary restrictions, you can use coconut milk or dairy.

A touch of dark chocolate combined with the oatmeal for their healthy heart benefits. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium. More heart-healthy fats are found in the nuts (I used pecans) and seeds and a yummy drizzle of more dark chocolate. Nut choices could be peanuts, walnuts, slivered almonds, or pecans. Oats, grown on the Canadian prairies have a lot of important health benefits such as: inhibiting heart failure and inhibiting cardiovascular disease by slowing down the buildup of plaque inside the blood vessels. Oats contain a special fiber called beta-glucan, which has been proven to have the beneficial effect of removing cholesterol from the digestive track, before it can enter the bloodstream. Research has discovered that a compound in the oats called avenanthramides, which helps to protect the good LDL cholesterol from oxidation for over 2 hours after you have eaten oats.

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Bake

1 1/3 cup oatmeal

1 cup milk of choice

4 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 ripe bananas, (mashed)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

Topping

A sprinkle of the following:

salted pumpkin seeds

sunflower seeds

nuts

3 tablespoons semi-sweet

chocolate chips

Combine the oatmeal, cocoa powder, sweetener, and milk and allow to set for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir in the mashed bananas, baking powder, and eggs. Pour into a 9 x 9 buttered baking pan. Sprinkle on top with your choice of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and / or nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate chips for approximately 25 seconds, and drizzle diagonally on top of the squares.

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