Friday, December 14, 2012

Healthy Cookies

These are called "healthy cookies" because that's what my daughters call them (even though they're more like muffins). This recipe is adapted from Dreena Burton's "Banana Oat Bundles" recipe which appears in her cookbook, Vive le Vegan! If you enjoy baked goods, she is by far the best vegan baker I have found. The things I've made from her cook books are better than anything I've ever gotten at a vegan bakery. Personally, I don't like sweets or baked goods but my kids do and they love these.

Most of the time baking has to be done with exact measurements, but this recipe is very forgiving. If you have huge bananas use a heaping cup of flour, if you have small bananas use a scant cup of flower. If you like cinnamon or vanilla, put more in. You can add the vegan chocolate chips, or carob, or dried fruit, or nuts, or leave it all out and make them plain. In the original recipe you're supposed to grind quick oats in a coffee grinder. I just use oat flour and it works perfectly fine.

1 c. oat flour
1 c. rolled oats or quick oats
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips (or carob, dried fruit, toasted nuts, etc.), optional
2 bananas
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract, plus an extra dash for good measure

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly oil them, and set aside.

2) Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl (except for the chocolate chips) and mix with a wire whisk to incorporate the baking powder well. Add the chocolate chips and mix again.

3) In a separate bowl break the bananas into pieces and puree them with an immersion blender. Or use a fork or potato masher, but make sure they are pureed.

4) Add the oil and vanilla extract to the pureed bananas and stir to mix.

5) Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to mix well (you know the drill - don't over mix it, just get the dry stuff wet).

6) Using a large soup spoon, plop blobs of the dough evenly onto the prepared baking trays. There's no need to be fancy about it, just make them all the same size.

7) Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms are browned. Remove with a spatula and place on a wire rack to cool.

This makes 10-15 cookies depending on how big you make them, I almost always end up with 14. They keep in a sealed container on the counter for about 4-5 days or up to a week in the fridge. Eat them for breakfast or dessert or as a snack.

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