I have a sweet tooth — just a little one, but a sweet tooth nonetheless. Growing up, my favorite desserts were anything with mousse or cream. My parents would buy pies from Baker’s Square, which back in the day used to be called Poppin’ Fresh Pies — anybody from the Midwest remember that? Well, I’d always ask for anything that was filled with cream and topped with more cream. French silk? Yes, please! Banana Cream? I’ll take a slice! Chocolate cream? Sure, why not!
However, in the past year or so, I’ve given up most dairy products (except for maybe a tiny bit of cheese on a pizza or a small spoonful of ice cream every now and then). Surprisingly and thankfully, I don’t really miss the cream pies and mousses I used to love, even to the point of now feeling guilty and uneasy while eating them. But having two hungry and growing boys in the house has made me realize how kids, in particular, love sweets and can eat a lot. Boy, can they eat a lot (especially the tiny little skinny one)! But instead of having junk food or processed snacks around the house, I try my best to train their palates and get them accustomed to eating healthy snacks and desserts. These banana-oatmeal cookies have recently become a favorite in our household, and I don’t feel a single ounce of guilt giving them to my family. I know they’re full of healthy ingredients and taste delicious, too. They’re also simple and quick to make! This recipe is adapted from Anja’s Food For Thought with some minor adjustments.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cup oats (gluten-free)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup mixed nuts (finely chopped by hand or in a food processor)
1 cup mixed dried fruit (finely chopped by hand or in a food processor)
3 ripe mashed bananas
1/4 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
1/4 cup oil (canola, olive, or coconut)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix all wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine the two, making sure all ingredients are incorporated well. Line a baking sheet with parchment and scoop tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet (you may want to press the cookies down slightly with your fingertips). Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Enjoy!