Got over-ripe bananas?  Try this one!  Make sure you roll these in desiccated coconut before baking to add some texture to the outside; it really makes a difference to the appearance, and adds a bit more delicious coconut-y flavour!  Yum!Coconut

Ingredients (makes 10)
1 ripe banana, mashed
Approx. 10 tbsp rolled oats
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp peanut butter (I used smooth, but you could use crunchy)
1 tsp mixed spice

For decoration… 1/2 tbsp desiccated coconut, on a plate

Preheat the oven to 180c.
Stir your the oats, coconut and peanut butter into the mashed banana.  The amount of oats you need depends on the size of the banana you’ve used, so you may need more/less than the 10 tbsp.  Maybe start by adding 8, and then see how the texture is.  You need to get a dough that you can shape with your hands that doesn’t stick too much.
Form the dough into ‘balls’ using your hands.
Roll each ball through the desiccated coconut to coat
Place each ball on a baking tray, lined with baking paper.  They don’t expand in the oven, so you can line them up quite close together.
Cook for 5 minutes until firm.  They should still be slightly squidgy inside.
Cool and serve.

Top tips
You can add all sorts of added extras to these balls to make them extra yummy.  Why not try chopped apricots, raisins or chocolate chips?  The flavour of these balls is subtle, which makes them perfect for baby-led weaning.  Toddlers and older children might find they need an extra kick to them… so mix it up and get creative!  You might even find that your baby wants some extra flavour too… go for it!

Storage instructions
These keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.  You can freeze any leftover bars and use within 1 month.

I make this slightly smaller than a golf ball.  They fit in the palm of my baby’s hand, which i’m happy with.  If you feel uncomfortable giving these to your baby in the size specified, feel free to make them into the bar shape (as the banana oat bars – just follow the cooking instructions on this recipe), or simply cut these in half/quarters and go from there.  Trust your own instincts.

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