Just occasionally, I need a mid-morning snack before going out to do something energetic, such as a long walk or a session of lifting and carrying crates of food at the local Food Bank, where I do some volunteer work. In my normal daily routine, I'm quite happy to go without breakfast and have a early lunch at noon, but if I'm using extra energy I need food beforehand. I usually have a banana topped with a couple of tablespoons of natural yogurt, a sprinkling of granola and a drizzle of date syrup.
As I don't eat bananas at any other time, I sometimes end up with one that needs using up, which is what happened here. It's difficult to find recipes using one banana - banana breads, cakes and muffins seem to need a minimum of two - so I decided to add it to a batch of flapjacks. I followed my usual recipe but reduced both the butter and sugar slightly to allow for the banana although I wouldn't claim it made the flapjacks any healthier!
125g unsalted butter
50g golden syrup
80g caster sugar
200g rolled oats
50g desiccated coconut
100g golden raisins
1 ripe banana, mashed
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm square baking tin with parchment.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved - the mixture will feel smooth under the spoon with no grittiness from the sugar - and the mixture is just beginning to bubble.
Meanwhile, weigh the oats, coconut and raisins in to a large bowl.
Tip the hot butter mix over the oats and mix together thoroughly, then stir in the mashed banana.
Transfer the oat mixture to the baking tin, spread evenly and press down firmly. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool for 10 minutes then mark into bars or squares while still warm. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
These were delicious, with a good balance of flavours between the banana and coconut. My only criticism would be that although 25 minutes is the right time to bake my usual flapjack recipe, these were underbaked and a little too soft. Another 5 minutes, to compensate for the additional moisture from the banana, would have made them a little firmer but still chewy. If you like crisper flapjacks you might need 35-40 minutes baking time, but watch they don't get too brown.