This weekend I went out to my dear friend Rachel’s house in Connecticut. Rachel is the “I run a half marathon for fun” type… you know the kind. She eats very clean, and is incredibly disciplined with her health. The subject of cookies came up (I’ll give you two guesses who started it), and I mentioned these cookies. The next thing I knew I was insisting that we make them, as Rachel is also the type to want to contribute to any social function she attends. Baking a batch of these would allow her to not only arrive bearing homemade cookies, but even share in the pleasure of eating of them. Cookies and health CAN coexist, folks.
Here’s the scoop: These are butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and almost sugar-less cookies (the only sugar coming from the dark chocolate and bananas). Sounds just delicious right? Hello?
I could go into the ways that this cookie defies the odds. I could talk about the coconut hinting at the chewy texture of a macaroon and the bananas keeping the batter creamy and moist. I could describe the way the intensely bittersweet chocolate compliments the bananas’ mellow sweetness. I could give you a list of healthy cookie skeptics that these beauties have made believers.
But, I think most importantly, I wouldn’t share a recipe with you that didn’t really mean something to me. This one does, and soon it will for you.
HEALTHY BANANA OAT COOKIES WITH COCONUT AND DARK CHOCOLATE
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Yield: About 20-25 cookies
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond flour (or oat flour)
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 – 7 ounces dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in the top third of the oven.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond or oat flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect – just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.
*My Two Cents: I always store low-fat baked goods in the refrigerator to keep them from drying out. I suggest you do that with these, if they last that long.
If you want to use almond flour but cannot find it, simply grind almonds finely in a food processor or clean coffee grinder. That is all almond flour is.
Feel free to use regular, sweetened coconut flakes instead of the unsweetened ones called for here. Just be aware that you’ve upped the sugar content. If you’re okay with that, you should know that they taste even better that way! (No surprise there.)