Image: Golden breakfast-y goodness.
Author: Melody Menu
Recently, I got the call that I would be lucky enough to start a brand new job this week. Excited at the prospect of learning a bunch of new skills and working in a new environment, I began preparing almost immediately – by baking up a storm of stodgy slices to keep my stomach fed and brain active for days and weeks of training. I used this as a good excuse to get creative, as I had wanted to experiment with an oat-based slice for quite a while as I used to love the pre-packaged oat bars, before learning just how much sugar and junk was in them.
I combined an oat bar base with a teff and peanut butter biscuit mix I had made previously, as well as throwing in a couple of bananas that I had lying about, which were getting a little too soft to eat on their own. And lo, the peanut-butter-oat-teff-banana breakfast bar was born.
For those unfamiliar with the ingredient, teff is an ‘ancient grain’ native to East Africa. It is gluten-free, and was first introduced to me by a gluten-intolerant, baking-inclined friend as a great textural ingredient for GF baked treats. For gluten-free baking, it is often best to combine a few different GF flours, such as rice flour and coconut flour, or almond and other nut meals. While this recipe is not technically gluten-free – many people contest that oats contain gluten – but if it’s just straight wheat flour that you avoid, then these bars will be up your alley.
For seemingly disparate ingredients, the bananas, peanut butter, oats, teff and honey go together really well in this recipe. The peanut butter and oats create a cake-like texture in the breakfast bars, the banana binds it all together, and the teff gives the bars an amazing brown sugar-like sweetness and golden crunch – without the sugar! Some nuts and/or seeds would be a good addition to up the protein, and I would probably add these in future. But for the moment, I was happy to experiment with a stripped-back breakfast bar, and let the teff be the star ingredient.
Vegan Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars | Yield: about 30 squares
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup teff
- 2 overripe bananas
- 2 Tbsp honey (more if the bananas aren’t overly ripe)
- ½ cup milk or water (I used rice milk)
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180 °C.
- Prep a baking pan with baking paper.
- Mash the bananas and combine with the peanut butter and honey, stirring well.
- Fold in the oats, teff and salt.
- Splash in the milk and stir, allowing for all of the ingredients to be stirred through.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tray and pop it into the oven.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Soundtrack: For this one, I couldn’t get past the golden hue of the bars, and the caramel crunch of the teff.
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