Oh my! May I just say these bars are a nice change of pace! If you have never combined cranberries and bananas, you haven’t lived. For some silly reason we always think of cranberries in the fall around Thanksgiving time. I am sure it is because cranberries ripen and are harvested in the fall. But really, I just don’t get it. We eat strawberries all year and they ripen only seasonally. We consume tons of apples every year and they too only ripen seasonally. The next time you are pushing that grocery cart through your store and you see those little ruby gems of cranberries all neatly bagged up in 12-ounce packages, grab a few and toss them in your freezer. Cranberries keep at least a year in your freezer. You can treat yourself to these nutrition-rich, antioxidant-laden fruits whenever you want! Just make these bars and you will see how delicious they are!
2/3 cup sugar
1 very ripe banana
¼ teaspoon salt
Grind the cranberries in a nut grinder, food processor, or finely chop them with a sharp knife. Add the sugar and salt. Mash the banana until it is creamy and mix into the cranberry. Set aside.
1-cup brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-cup steel-cut oats
1-teaspoon baking powder
Heat oven to 370 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Mix all the dry ingredients for the crumb mixture. Grate (my favorite method) or chop the cold butter into little pieces and mix into the flour mixture. Using a fork or pastry blender work the butter into the flour mixture until you have even-sized crumbs.
Pat 2/3 of crumb mixture into baking pan and lightly press into place.
Into cranberry mixture blend in one well beaten, whole egg. Spread cranberry mixture evenly over crumb mix in pan.
Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture onto cranberry filling.
Bake for 40 minutes or until evenly baked and lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting.