Note: My friend Jill of Ayurveda Alchemy reminded me this week that honey, when heated, does not digest well and becomes a toxin in the body. She recommends maple syrup, or you can always go with brown rice syrup as the original recipe suggests. She also notes that the ground flax seeds may be problematic as flax OIL will create free radicals in the body- I suspect you could probably use chia seeds instead. Would love to hear if anyone tries that substitution.
After spending all day yesterday practicing, teaching and talking yoga at Down To Earth Yoga for a super Yoga Fest, I knew my body needed a break this morning. It’s a gorgeous October day and the weather is perfect for baking… and perhaps a little visit to my friends Barkin’ Bones Bakery at the Stuart Downtown Green Market, where I could share cookies (a favorite activity) and pick up some homemade snacks for my fluffy friends.
(I love, love, love, waking up in the morning and having only fun things to do. 🙂 )
This morning, I knew I wanted to make another batch of an unlikely cookie. To be honest, I did not want to like these cookies. In the morning, you see, I want to eat big old cinnamon rolls, and French toast, and lots of decadent sugary things. This cookie was intended to be a compromise, and I felt resentful. The ingredient list is just so… wholesome. It felt like a chore of a cookie, a deprivation cookie. A cookie for people who don’t know what real cookies should be.
So last weekend, I baked the cookies for the first time. I gave some away (mostly to yoga folks, who seemed the most likely to appreciate the virtues of a banana-oatmeal-goji-berry-pumpkin seed cookie). To my great surprise, of the cookies I’d given them that day (including a chocolate-cappucino cookie, a decadent cinnamon-chip oatmeal cookie, and these carrot cookies that everyone loves so much)- this homely, wholesome, hippie little cookie was the overwhelming favorite.
I sampled the cookie again and had to agree that, despite its staunchly nutritious pedigree, the cookie had won me over. I needed a new batch for myself. Will you be a convert as well? Here’s the recipe:
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- 2 smallish ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 T ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup nondairy milk
- 1/2 cup oil (peanut oil or coconut oil work well)
- 1/2 cup honey (or brown rice syrup, which is vegan, delicious, and more expensive)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 t pure vanilla extract (when you’re tired of messing around with cheap vanilla, buy this one)
- 2 C white whole wheat flour (you could use white or whole wheat pastry flour, but WWW flour offers the benefit of whole grain flour in a lighter texture. I love this one).
- your choice of spices: for the last batch I used 1.5 t cinnamon, 1.5 t ginger 1/4 t ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon allspice.
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 cups oats (I like rolled oats, not quick-cooking; they are chewier. Either work)
- 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or toasted walnuts, pecans, or other nut or seed
- 1 cup goji berries (or dried cranberries, or any other dried fruit)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine banana, flax seeds, and “milk” and mix until smooth. Add oil, honey or brown rice syrup, agave nectar, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Stir well using a whisk or fork- you could sift, but it’s not mandatory.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until just combined.
- Add oats, nuts/seeds, and dried fruit. Again, combine well, but be mindful not to over-mix. It will be thick and sticky.
- Drop scant 1/4 cups of dough onto baking sheets about 2″ apart. Gently press the cookies down to 1″ thickness. If you prefer a more uniform, rounded cookie, use moistened hands to loosely roll the dough into balls, rather than just dropping.
- Bake 14-16 minutes, or until edges begin to turn brown.
- The final texture will be really muffin-like; don’t fight it, just enjoy it. Cookies keep awesomely in the freezer. Defrost on counter for 20 minutes or in microwave for 20 seconds.