Malika Ameen's Healthy Oat Clusters

January 17, 2012 9:18:44 AM PST
Many have resolved to eat healthier in the New Year. Snacking during the day is an easy way to pack on the pounds. While it's almost impossible to avoid snacks, you can make healthier choices. Former ''cheftestant'' on Bravo's first season of ''Top Chef: Just Desserts'', Malika Ameen has some healthy homemade options including her healthy oat clusters. Ameen says the healthy snack is not only high in flavor, but it's also high in fiber. It's a great yogurt topper for breakfast or simply on its own as a snack throughout the day. The ingredients are also interchangeable and could be substituted with other favorite nuts and fruits.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

1 1/2 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract , mashed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup thick rolled oats
1/3 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons coarsely shredded tart apple, drained of excess liquid

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients from bananas through oil and whisk together. Add all dry ingredients and combine well. On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop dough 1 tablespoon at a time and bake for 10 minutes. Turn tray in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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