Honey, bananas, apples and melted dark chocolate – a fibre-filled end-of-January treat

The end of January approachesand, while you might still want to be healthy, I’m sure you’re due a treat. With natural sweetness – from honey, bananas, apples, dried fruit and even a little dark chocolate – and plenty of fibre, ladies and gents, I present you with the power-up bar.

Power-up bars

I find a potato masher is a useful tool for pushing the mixture down into the tin (which makes for compact bars).

Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Serves 8-10

100g blanched almonds
75g unsalted butter 
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
5 tbsp runny honey 
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 granny smith apples, peeled and grated
375g rolled oats 
½ tsp ground cinnamon 
75g raisins
75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm rectangular cake tin with butter and baking parchment.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment, roughly chop and lay out the almonds, and bake for 15 minutes, giving them a good shuffle halfway through. Once roasted, set aside to cool.

Reduce the temperature to 160C (140C fan)/gas 3. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, peanut butter and honey until melted. Add the mashed banana, grated apple and 150ml boiling water, and mix well.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, cinnamon, raisins, apricots and roasted almonds. Pour in the wet ingredients, then stir well, until everything is coated. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and level it out, squashing it down to make the bars as compact as possible.

Bake for one hour, or until the top of the mixture is golden brown. Leave in the tin to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (making sure the water is not touching the bowl). Stir the chocolate occasionally, until it has melted.

Dip a spoon into the melted chocolate and squiggle it over the top of the baked mixture. Leave to cool and set, then slice into portions.