For the first time in a very long while, I have a regular job. Not that I haven’t been working regularly since I graduated college (and way before) but what I mean is that I have now joined the ranks of the 8-5 masses. The age of shift work, or live-in 24-7 days have passed and I am finally seeing the routine of the ‘others’. Especially after the last three years of no personal/professional divide (as a college Resident Hall Director), it is glorious to know that at 5pm I will get into my car, be funneled into the nearest artery of traffic and arrive home with my lovely hubby to my welcoming comfy soft slippers, time for me and the occasional glass of wine. It may not sound like much to many of you but at this moment, it is just what I have been craving.
With this foreign routine, I am being challenged to rethink and organize my eating schedule for the day and as a result have been experimenting with new dinner, lunch and snack recipes. To save you all the non-essential details of my daily hunger cycle, I will basically say that I need something mid-afternoon to stave off the embarrassingly ravenous grumblings echoing around my office and capturing the attention of all the passers-by. I have been researching snack options and recipes from Pinterest and found some very helpful suggestions that are all working well. One of these were various kinds of home made granola, oat bar concoctions that all looked and sounded great. During my latest trip to the store, I had accidently forgotten to identify one recipe and add the necessary ingredients to my shopping list. So, in my usual spontaneous fashion, I decided to create my own version with all the things I love and below are the results.
What I enjoy about these is that the dark cocoa powder makes them really chocolatey without adding too much sweetness and you only need one or two to knock that hunger on it’s head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get these to photograph well so for now you will have to use your imagination! 🙂
Chocolate Coconut Banana Oat Drops
2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
2 tbsp of honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of oatmeal
1 mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup of dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup of shredded coconut (you can use sweet or unsweetened depending on your preference)
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
Melt peanut butter, salt and honey on very low heat in a medium pan. Add the oats and then remove from heat. This mixture will not really thicken or come together until right at the end so don’t worry if you feel like it looks a little dry. Stir in the cocoa, coconut and bananas one at a time making sure that each is mixed well before adding the next ingredient. Finally, pour the chocolate chips over the top and stir until they are melted through. (One important fact to note here is that I used good quality chocolate chips that were 66% cocoa. Semi-sweet don’t produce the same fudgey rich results but if you prefer the extra milky sweetness, by all means go with those.) It is at this point that the batter pulls together and begins to look like goey goodness. Let them cool for a few minutes and then spoon little drops onto a parchment lined baking tray. (Feel free to scoop with your clean fingers- the mess makes it more fun!) Place in the fridge for a couple of hours until hard. This amount of mix will make around 20 drops.
Here is my favourite part about this recipe, you really can’t mess it up too bad by changing any of the ingredients. For example, if you don’t like coconut, subsitute it for something else like cranberries or raisins. The peanut butter flavour is very mild so you can always add more or any nut butter of your choosing. It may be my recipe but it’s your tastebuds so experiment and have fun.