Banana-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Made With Almond Butter

Banana-chocolate chip oatmeal. Made with almond butter.

I have made cookies like this off and on for years. I used to make them when I was vegan – mainly just banana and quick cooking oatmeal, sometimes with peanut butter, sometimes with other goodies thrown in.

But I stopped when I went gluten-free. Because gluten-free oats were hard to find. And expensive.

But… Kai wanted oatmeal, to see what it was like. We got some, gluten free, and it’s… not his thing. Not as breakfast cereal, anyway. But not expensive either. I mean, they’re more expensive than regular oats, but not like some gluten free items are. (For the record: I use Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten-free oats.)

Recently, a Lifehacker post reminded me about these cookies. (They do something a bit different, but very similar.) I decided to try them again.

There’s no real recipe. It’s more like a formula.

First, the oatmeal: if it isn’t quick-cooking, you’ll want to blend about half of if in the blender until it’s powder. (Money-saving hint: if you were to just scoop this stuff into plastic baggies, you’d pay a lot less for “instant oatmeal”. Add some flavoring-type-goodies and you’re set. But I digress.) Tonight, I made twelve big-ish cookies and used two cups of oats (I added more towards the end… you’ll see). I powdered about half of that and dumped it and the unpowdered oatmeal into a big bowl.

I added a cup of Pamela’s baking mix, which, for those of you who can eat real food don’t have a bunch of silly allergies, would be similar to baking mix. Before I was gluten free, I’d do this with a cup of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder. But last week I left the flour out entirely. So, you know. Whatever floats your boat.

Then, I grabbed some bananas. Tonight, it was three. I got the “reduced for quick sale” bananas which are VERY good for this. Just make sure your bananas are starting to brown up. They’re super sweet that way. I threw them in the blend with some vanilla extract. (Btw… am I the only person whose mother used the cap as a measuring device for extract? I didn’t realize until I was an adult that some people actually measured theirs.) I added two eggs .Blend until liquidy. When I made these last week, I did NOT add eggs. I think I added a bit of water, but mostly, I just blended, scraped, blended again, etc. Bananas are a good substitute for eggs, by the way. As is flax meal mixed with some water.

Now, really, you do not have to make these with bananas. I’ve made them with applesauce. I’ve made them with pumpkin. I’ve used babyfood (fruit, you know? I bet you could do it with veggies though.)

At this point, I looked over at the oven and silently cussed at it: not on. You want to preheat to 350F.

Dump your “blended fruit” into the bowl. Mix together.

Add nut butter! This gives it some protein and fat and helps things stick together. I used almond butter because Kai always looks at it suspiciously when I put it on a sandwich, so it sits in my fridge and I try to use it when I can. Plus almonds are good. They’re also less likely to trigger an allergic reaction that can kill someone (airborne, anyway) – unlike peanuts, which I have become increasingly paranoid about eating in public due to the whole “peanut allergies don’t joke around” business. I would say I probably used half a cup. But my almond butter is really really REALLY runny. You could use less if it were a thick nut butter.

And then, for fun, I like to add chocolate chips. Because it makes Kai more likely to eat the cookies. And I like chocolate, too. A lot.

Stir that stuff up. Tonight, mine was, for whatever reason, fairly runny. So I added more oats until it “seemed right” – about a minute. You should be able to scoop it up with a wooden spoon.

Put on a cookie sheet. You can see that I line mine with parchment paper – I spray that with cooking spray usually. Two reasons I use parchment: I used to not have a cooling rack, so this made cookies easier to slide off the pan so they didn’t burn. But! The reason I use them now is because I do not have a Silpat. If you’ve never used one (I used to use them in culinary school), those things make sure your cookies don’t stick. So does parchment paper.

Bake these cookes for 10 to 12 minutes.

Then, tell yourself it’s a healthy cookie. A healthy breakfast cookie. Well, it’s healthier than most muffins or sugary breakfast cereals, anyway.

Please note: I have to give credit where credit is due. A long time ago (ugh… a very long time ago now), I used to buy the “Cheap Vegan” zine. WONDERFUL vegan zine. There was a recipe in one issue called “Pick-Yer-Poision” cookies. You can find the recipe here. These cookies are what developed out of that recipe for me. I do not know if there is anywhere to buy these zines and that, my friends, is a very sad thing. She had several different “Pick-Yer-Poision” recipes, like quickbreads and such (I think). Mine are… long gone. Sadly. Anyway, thanks to Stephanie Scarborough for the basis for this wonderful recipe (which I do often make vegan… just not tonight).

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