The smell and taste of banana bread always takes me back to my Great Grandmother’s kitchen. As a little girl it seemed as though she spent every waking moment in there. I know this isn’t true, just the perception as little girl who use to bounce around her feet just like a puppy dog waiting for crumbs of food. She made everything from scratch and prepared every meal we ate. I can really only remember eating out once in all the times that I stayed with my Great Grandparents.
It was pretty much a given that no matter what she was making, she would give me a small portion of the batter, dough or whatever it was so I could play with it and make my “mini foods”. Back then and even today I have always had a fetish with trial sized items. It didn’t matter what it was.
When I stayed there they would give me a handful of coins and with much excitement my friend Bonita and I would ride our bikes into town (a VERY small town in North Dakota). I would stand in the aisle of Ben Franklin’s contemplating what I wanted to buy. It was always a toss between a goldfish and a trial sized item from the travel section.
Anyway, back to the kitchen. Whenever she would make banana bread she would always hand over some of the batter and some miniature bread pans so I could make my own little treats for my girlfriend Bonita and myself. I love all those cherished memories. That is why when I fired up my dehydrator and the warm air combined with these amazing ingredients…I was transported back in time. I hope this recipe brings you as much pleasure as it does me.
In the food processor pulse the walnuts, breaking them down in medium-sized chunks and place in a large bowl.
Pulse 4 cups of apples in your food processor and transfer to the bowl with the walnuts.
In the food processor, blend together; 3 cups of apples, 2 bananas, sunflower butter, vanilla, honey, flax meal (**make flax meal by grinding the flax seeds in a coffee grinder of a Bullet) , and cinnamon until smooth and creamy. Pour into the large bowl with the pulsed apples.
Stir in the; oats, walnuts, raisins, 2 diced banana, and chocolate chips.
To press into bars: I used a large cookie sheet that had a lip. I lined it with parchment paper and then spread the bar batter evenly, covering the complete cookie sheet.
Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and using the same sized cookie sheet I placed another on top and pressed down firmly.
Place the cookie sheets in the freezer to firm up the bars for approx. 1 hour. About the time it takes to clean up the kitchen. :)
Remove the bars when nice and cold, this will help you score them into the desired shapes.
Remove the top cookie sheet and flip the batter onto the counter top. The batter should still be sandwiched in parchment paper.
Using a knife (be sure to protect your counter top) cut through the parchment paper, cutting the bar batter in half.
Remove the top parchment paper and using either a knife or cookie cutter, score the bars into the desired shape. Cover with the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator (this works perfectly with the Excalibur Dehydrator) and then place the tray on top of that. Now flip the tray over, holding on top the bottom parchment paper. Still with me? Sounds complicated but it’s really easy. Once flipped over the batter should now be on the mesh sheet. Peel off the parchment paper.
Slide the tray into the dehydrator and dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for approx. 16 hours.
Store in an air tight container and place in the fridge. These will freeze well too.
Option: You could make cookie shapes with this batter as well. Using an ice scoop in any size. Follow the same directions for dehydrating and storing. One other option is to spread the batter out thinly on the non-stick sheets that come with your dehydrator and make a granola out of it.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
Raw honey isn’t vegan but I still use now and again. Read (here) why I like to.
Learn about the wonderful characteristics of Raw Coconut Nectar (here).
Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon? Click (here) to learn why.
What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
Are oats gluten-free? Yes, read more about that (here).
Are oats raw? Yes, they can be found. Click (here) to learn more.
Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats? Not required but recommended. Click (here) to see why.
Learn how to grind you own flax-seeds for ultimate freshness and nutrition. Click (here).
Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.