Monday, May 23, 2016

Healthy Oatmeal Banana Breakfast "Cookies"

We're kicking our butts in gear this month by doing another round of Whole30. Over the past few months, it's been one holiday after another (Valentine's, Easter, Tom's birthday, Maddie's birthday) and our junk food consumption has been at an all-time high. We're currently on Day 20 and still hanging in there.

In "real life" Maddie eats the same things we eat, but cutting out bread/grains and dairy for a healthy growing toddler doesn't sound like a great idea to me. Especially when she weighs in at a mere 24lbs (10th percentile, but get this, she's in the 88th percentile for height)! With the amount of energy she has, I figure she needs every carb and calorie available to her. I'd say she still eats about 75% the same things as us on Whole30, but then I'll also make her something else I know she'll eat - grilled cheese, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. in case she isn't really into whatever new dish we're trying. The main change for her has been cutting out all sugary processed foods. Goodbye fruit snacks, marshmallows, and chocolate teddy grahams!

For over a year now, I've been making Maddie oatmeal banana "cookies" for breakfast and snacks. They are NOT Whole30 because of the oatmeal and vanilla extract, but they are delicious! When we're not doing Whole30, I like to make a batch, eat some fresh out of the oven, put a few in the fridge, and freeze the rest to use over the next couple weeks. I've tested several recipes and combined my favorite parts into the cookies I make now. When I first started, I would smooth the batter into one giant piece on a baking sheet and then cut it into bars after it baked. I soon realized that was more effort than necessary, because I could more easily just spoon the batter into individual cookies and voila!

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

Healthy Oatmeal Banana Breakfast "Cookies"
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 15 mins
Makes 16-20 small cookies (or 15 large cookies)

3 tablespoon coconut oil, softened
2-3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups quick cook oats
¼ cup apple sauce
Handful of blueberries or raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil and mashed bananas. If your coconut oil is really solid, microwave it for a few seconds until it is soft, then add the bananas and mash.
3. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Stir until combined.
4. Stir in the oats and apple sauce, mixing until all of the oats are moist.
5. Fold in a handful of blueberries or raisins.
6. Scoop like cookies onto baking sheet, flattening to about ¼-½ inch thick. The cookies will not rise or spread so you can place them close together.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes for soft cookies or 15 minutes for slightly crispy edges.

Note that the cookies do not have any added sugar, and therefore aren't super sweet. Luckily Maddie doesn't know that I'm fooling her by calling them cookies ;) The riper your bananas, the sweeter your cookies. I suppose you could use sugar-added applesauce too but I haven't tried it. Adding raisins or cranberries will make them sweeter too, but be careful, some dried fruits have a lot of added sugar. Sometimes I'll add sunflower seeds to give them some crunch. And for a special treat, I once swapped the fruit for chocolate chips!

Per usual, I have some awesome (read: terrible) old iphone photos to share with you. These seem to raise a few questions. Why is Maddie stirring with forks while sitting on the counter? and why would I put my mixing bowl on the stovetop? We may never know. Live and learn, folks.


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