Porridge topped with banana and drizzled with honey, or with a sprinkling of cinnamon is one of my absolute favourite breakfasts. Huge bags of porridge oats were one of the only things I could find that was remotely English when I first went to China a couple of years ago, and it was always so comforting and eased the homesickness whenever I made it.
However like many, I don’t always have time in the morning to sit and eat breakfast properly or to wait for porridge, and when I have a 9am lecture and a 45 minute drive, it’s just not going to happen. I wanted to make something that I could take with me and eat when I got there, but still had all the goodness of a bowl of porridge. I looked at a few recipes and put together the bits I liked from each and worked the method from there. I mentioned last week how I love using up over ripe bananas in baking and this is another simple way to do so.
I’m not claiming these are the healthiest breakfast bars you could ever make as they still contain butter and brown sugar but I’ve used Agave Nectar (which is an all natural and organic refined sugar substitute) where golden syrup would usually be used, just to make these a little more breakfast friendly and a little healthier.
100g light brown sugar
2 heaped tablespoons agave nectar
350g porridge oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
1) Preheat the oven to 180 oc/Fan 160 oc/Gas 4 and grease a 9x13in traybake/brownie/swill roll tin (whatever you like to call it, but you know what mean).
2) Measure the butter, sugar, and agave nectar into a large saucepan and melt together over a low heat.
3) Once melted, take the mixture off the heat and stir in the oats and cinnamon. Mash the bananas and stir into the mixture until all the ingredients are combined.
4) Turn the mixture into your prepared tin and flatten with a metal spoon (it will stick to a wooden spoon or spatula) until the surface is level
5) Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, when the edges start to look golden brown. These flapjacks stay softer than other recipes even when cooled due to the banana, but should still be fairly firm to touch when cooked.
6) Transfer the tray onto a wire rack and leave to cool for a few minutes, then cut the flapjack into bars while it is still soft. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
I’m always a bit unsure about how pricey substitute ingredients will be or where to find them, but the agave nectar was the around the same price as a bag or sugar or jar sugar golden syrup, and can be found in the sugar or home baking isle of supermarkets… enjoy!