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Culinary Adventures in a College Kitchen

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bars

I often wonder how some people got into college.  I'll be sitting in class and someone will say something that makes me stare at them and think, "Were the admissions people high or did you just have a really good letter of recommendation?"

In my fiction writing class, I think this a lot.  My befuddlement is pushed even further as I begin to peer edit my classmate's pieces.  I realize that not everyone is eloquent; refined speech does not necessarily mean intelligence.  Nor does intelligence necessarily mean refined speech.  You'd think, though, that the people taking a fiction writing class would at least be fairly proficient in writing.


I thought this would be the case, until I spent thirty minutes yesterday trying to sort through a piece with so many grammatical and structural errors that I felt like I was reading something by a grade schooler.  The formatting was all wrong.  Misspellings were rampant.  And he practically threw Webster's dictionary to the wind by using words in any way he pleased--even if they made absolutely zero sense in context.

His poor piece looked like a Jackson Pollock when I was finished with it.

I'm not looking forward to when we discuss his piece, purely for the fact that I think we will be hard-pressed to find anything positive to discuss.  And we already had to deal with the creepy character sketch guy last week who proclaimed after our discussion, "I can write conflict.  I just wanted to do something different."

This, after our professor went on for no less than four weeks about how the root of all fiction is conflict.  Once again, how do some of these people get into college?!  Luckily, I have some delicious granola-bar-cookies to get me through awkward peer editing discussions.

(Like that transition there? It's clunky and effective!)

These can be made in either bar or cookie form.  I chose cookie because I am driven purely by laziness and didn't want to wash a baking dish.  Yes, I realize I am ridiculous.  The ingredients list is short and wholesome.  They're vegan.  They're tasty.  They're simple.  Need I give you any more reason to make them?

Banana Oatmeal Bars

Sorry for the awful photo -- but these are too delicious not to share!


2 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup appleasauce
2 cups oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut
dash of cinnamon
chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mash the bananas.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.  Scoop generous portions onto a prepared cookie sheet, pressing the dough into a flat disk.  Bake for 25 minutes, until the edged are slightly browned.

Serve with a smear of peanut butter for an added protein boost!

Source: A Modern Gal


  1. I remember how awkward peer editing was! I hated every second of it. I totally feel your pain.

    Love these...they look dessert-ish without being full of sugar. I love it.

    1. It really is awkward! You don't want to be mean, but when there are such major writing issues you sort of have to address them. Ahh, that class will be lots of fun Tuesday, lol.

  2. anything banana + peanut butter + oatmeal is a massive win in my book!!!

  3. I can only imagine what professors thinks of some of the students work. It amazes me how some college students still don't know the difference between to, too, your, and you're. Simple, simple things!!

    1. Completely agree! I can't get over how many errors you find in papers, too. It boggles my mind, because these papers are being read by the entire class. You'd think they would at least proof read.

  4. I think you are being a touch too harsh -dare I say maybe even a bit judgmental with the issue of the peer editing stuff. I agree its not easy reading stories that aren't grammatically correct and have other issues, but I feel like you should take other accounts into high consideration. Such as where they may have gone to school, lets not be the first to ignore that our public school system is broken. Not just chicago public schools but other places as well.

    With that said, I know you recognize this but I dont see why a student who wants to better themselves should be withheld from taking the fiction writing class. Isn't it the point to take a class to better ones skills even if they are crap at it? I dont think you should put them totally at fault. They probably do recognize their incapabilities in writing or they may not. The point is as long as something is taken from the experience of being in the class.

    Give some of em a break :)

    1. I don't think they should be kept from the class at all. I do think, though, that if you are at a university you should have a basic grasp of grammar and syntax. They have freshman writing seminars that all students are required to take particularly for this. I do agree, though, that students come from a variety of different backgrounds and all come into a class with different strengths. And no one in a writing class is perfect--we all need work.

      I'm sorry if I came off as judgmental and I hope it didn't put you off too much. Thank you for your feedback! Always happy to hear readers' thoughts!

  5. Ohmygosh I'm in love with these bars!

    I'm known for jackson pollock-ing up everyone's work that I edit - It happens! Hopefully it helps them grow =)

    1. Thank you!! They're the perfect afternoon snack. And glad to hear I'm not not alone with my editing!