7 Ingredient Cacao-Banana-Nut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies.

Alone, banana and chocolate are superb. But, when paired together, it’s like the interlocking of fingers between two soul mates… in food form.

IMG_4740Today I made these chocolate-banana-peanut butter-gluten free-oatmeal cookies. I know, quite a mouthful to say, but ridiculously simple to make and undeniably delicious. I seriously can’t believe I made these using only 7 ingredients! None of which, might I add, are butter, sugar, or eggs! The absence of refined sugars and reduction of saturated fats in these nutritious cookies makes me feel less guilty indulging in more than just one.

IMG_4714I initially didn’t know what I was going to make; it could’ve been bread, scones, granola… I really just wanted to bake something using the ingredients I had on hand. Little did I know that I was going to make some super delicious, moist mini cookies! This just goes to show how flexible baking can be and it also reminds us to be creative and willing to experiment with recipes.

IMG_4754IMG_4758Sure, these might not look like your traditional cookie, but I can vouch that they are equally as delicious as any chocolatey, sugary, buttery cookie out there! The texture of these are very reminiscent of banana bread. The outer shell is firm and the insides are plush, moist, and bursting with flavour.

IMG_4727As always, I used dates as my sweetener instead of refined sugar. I cannot stress how great incorporating dates into your recipes is. Per 100 grams, dates have 105 less calories, 8% less carbs, and 32% more dietary fibre than white sugar. If that’s not reason enough to switch to using dates instead of refined sugars, I don’t know what is!

IMG_4721Rather than my usual almond butter, I grabbed the almond-hazelnut butter last week at the grocery store and my oh my, this stuff is life-changing. I kid you not, almond-hazelnut butter tastes like liquified Ferrero Rocher!!! Though, I guess it makes sense since Ferrero Rocher is a hazelnut cream-filled chocolate. But you guys need to try it! It adds something different to the cookie rather than just strictly using peanut butter.

Ingredients:

(Yields ~ 40 cookies)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup almond-hazelnut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Place oats in a blender and pulse until milled into a fine, flour-like texture. It’s perfectly fine if there are a few larger pieces of unground oats- it will give the cookies more texture. Place ground oats in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Soak dates in 1/2 cup of warm water. After 5 minutes of soaking, transfer the dates with the water to the blender and blend until the no large chunks of date are visible and the consistency of the mixture is like a thick paste. Transfer paste into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the bananas and mash them in the bowl with the date paste. Keep mashing until no large chunks of banana are visible.
  5. Add the peanut butter and almond-hazelnut butter into the banana-date mixture. If you can’t get your hands on hazelnut-almond butter, feel free to substitute with equal parts of almond butter or more peanut butter. Once the nut butters are added, mix until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Add the cacao powder and baking powder to the mixture and slowly add the ground oats. Keep mixing and adding more oats a little at a time until all the oats are incorporated and everything is well mixed.
  7. Spoon the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. These cookies don’t spread out as they bake, so you can get away with arranging the cookies closer together/fitting more into one baking sheet.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once they’re finished baking, let them cool for 5-10 minutes, then they’re ready to enjoy!

IMG_4766 I couldn’t be more happy about the way these turned out. I even put them to the test with my anti-health food friends (friends who think anything I make is made out of grass) and they really enjoyed them! They were surprised at how sweet they were despite not using any sugar. They also made a note that these would make a great on-the-go breakfast. The nut butters definitely gives you the protein you need and the oatmeal provides the bulk that’ll make you feel full!

IMG_4733Baking these was such a great way to spend my Saturday evening! I hope you guys give these a try and please let me know if you do! Anyway, hope you’re making the best of your weekend and I’ll talk to you soon!

Love,

Amy

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread

Though the weather has been completely awful here in the frigid north, I really enjoy days like today where I can stay toasty indoors in my worn-out sweater, catch up on Grey’s Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries, and conjure up something spectacular in the kitchen!

I found a recipe for gluten-free banana bread on Tumblr and thought I’d take a shot at it!

IMG_4659

The original recipe called for brown sugar and since I refuse to buy processed sugar, I substituted with dates! I also didn’t have a loaf pan available, so I made do with a muffin tray.

I’m not a gluten-free advocate of any sort, but I do really enjoy trying recipes that mimic kitchen classics without the unnecessary fat and sugar. The bread is very moist with the perfect amount of sweetness and banana flavour peaking through.

I’ve worked with rolled oats many times before, but usually in it’s raw form in granola clusters, granola bars, oatmeal etc. Grinding it into a fine powder and using it in place of wheat flour is genius! The larger pieces of oatmeal also add great texture to the bread.

As mentioned above, I used dates instead of brown sugar. Dates are one of the best natural sweeteners out there and have 98 less calories than brown sugar per 100 grams! It’s also a great source of dietary fibre, so using dates in place of refined sugars is a great way to make any recipe better!

IMG_4665

To make the bread even better, I decided to add some chia seeds and milled flax seed. These two powerhouse seeds are essential in my pantry! I always put them in my granola bars and morning smoothies to add texture and extra nutrition. Both seeds are high in Omega-3, which is important for neurological and cardiovascular health, and dietary fibre, which we all know helps make going numero 2 a much more pleasant experience.

Okay so without any further ado, here’s the recipe! It’s simple, nutritious, and freaking delicious so I definitely recommend giving it a try! Also, next time I venture on a baking escapade, I will try to take photos during the process. Anyway, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized ripe bananas
  • 2 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Take some olive oil on a paper towel, run it over the surface of your loaf pan/muffin tray, and set aside
  3. Place oats in a blender/food processor for ~30 seconds until it turns into a powder texture. It’s perfectly fine if not all the oats are finely milled- larger pieces will add great texture to the bread. Set oats aside.
  4. Chop dates into smaller pieces and place into a blender/food processor with 2-3 teaspoons of warm water if the dates are dry. The water will help the dates come together, forming a paste. Set date paste aside.
  5. Peel the two bananas, cut them into coins, and mash them using a fork until there are no longer any chunks.
  6. Combine the banana, oats, dates, peanut butter baking powder, chia seeds, and flax seeds together in a large bowl. Fold the mixture with a spatula until everything is well mixed.
  7. Add the almond milk to the mixture and mix well. The texture of the ‘dough’ should be similar to that of regular banana bread, but slightly drier/less liquidy.
  8. Pour mixture into loaf pan/muffin tray and bake in the oven for 25-27 minutes. Check on it at the 25 minute mark and if the top is firm and golden, you’re done!

Now you can enjoy this delicious bread in the mornings for breakfast or whenever you need something quick to fill up up! Store them in the fridge using saran wrap and whenever you want to devour one, heat it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds so its nice and warm.

Okay, so I guess that’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy!

Love,

Amy

Click here for the original recipe.