Friday, November 7, 2014

Anytime Oatmeal Cookies

I have a confession to make.

The first time I tried these cookies, I thought they were gross. And so did my kids. I was encouraged to make them by my good friend and Health Coach Sharon McRae whose family was loving all over them. I was really bummed that they didn't work out for me and my family, and I didn't make them again for a very, very long time.

Until I hosted a HUGE women's only, 40th birthday, pot luck at my house (and not a plant based one). The theme of the meal was salads (I can only stray so far people!). Someone, I don't even know who, brought this big plate of cookies and they were being devoured. My nine year old was loving them. I was loving them.

I took one look at them and I knew--they were THOSE cookies. The ones with just two ingredients: bananas and oats.

I was so happy! Maybe my attempts at changing our taste buds were paying off! So I set about to find the recipe for these "Just Banana Cookies" (I suspected they were an Internet sensation) and I made a batch with chocolate chips. We've been loving them ever since, making them at least once a week. All of our brown bananas are being saved from a lifetime in the freezer. Even my nine year old can make them without my help. And she has!

The basics are this:

Mash two very ripe, brown skinned bananas. Stir in one cup of rolled (aka Old Fashioned) oats. If your bananas were large and the mix seems to goopy, add a little more oats. Add in whatever else you want (think flax meal, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, other dried fruit) in the proportions that you like and bake.

And the really good news is that you can eat them anytime you want, guilt free! Last night I made a 12 banana batch--half chocolate chip and half cranberry, walnut and flax. I think I might even like the Cranberry Walnut Flax ones more than the chocolate chippers!

Cranberry Flax Walnut Anytime Cookies
Vegan, whole food, sugar-free

print me!

2 very ripe, medium bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp flax meal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mash two very ripe, brown skinned bananas (or however many brown bananas you happen to have on hand).

Stir in one cup of rolled (aka Old Fashioned) oats for every 2 bananas you used. If your bananas were large and the mix seems to goopy, add a little more oats.

Stir in your mix ins of choice. In this example, I used flax meal, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts and I loved the results. But you could mix in just about anything!

Now here's the key with these cookies--spoon each cookie out onto a baking sheet. I like to use baking sheets lined with a Silpat mat, but you could use parchment paper if you don't have those. When you scoop out one cookie's worth of batter from the bowl, compress the batter with your hand and the spoon into a rough ball shape. Place the "ball" onto the cookie sheet and then gently press down on the ball with your dirty hand until the cookie is flat on the sheet, about 1/2 inch high. This will make your final product a lot more like a cookie and less like a foreign object that no one recognizes!

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cookies cool a few minutes before taking them off of the baking sheet with a spatula. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Have you made "just banana" cookies before? Do you have suggestions for add-in combinations that you loved?
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