This version of a granola bar is made with lots of oats and seeds/nuts, which release their energy slowly, balancing the naturally occurring sugar in the dates and bananas. Add as much cinnamon as you like – another natural way to keep blood sugar levels on an even keel. Keep the bars wrapped in the freezer, which makes them the ultimate grab-and-go snack.

300g pitted dates
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
350g GF oats
120ml coconut or olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin) and nuts (e.g. pecan, walnuts)
2 bananas, mashed (overripe bananas from the freezer work well in this recipe)
1-3 tsp cinnamon

• Heat oven to 150C/gas 2. Put the dates in a saucepan, add the bicarbonate of soda and enough water to cover the dates and cook them until sticky and mushy – this will take approx. 20 minutes.
• When the mixture is ready, add the coconut or olive oil, vanilla extract and mushy bananas, and blitz the lot in a blender until smooth.
• In a large bowl, mix it with cinnamon, oats and seeds/nuts.
• Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture out on it, pressing it into the corners.
• Bake for 20-30 minutes, then allow the bars to cool in the tray before slicing and freezing.