These scrumptious little snack cookies are the result of a handful of overripe bananas and a simple google search for “banana cookies”. (Heads up: I have a few banana-based recipes in the works right now, so get to ripening! Apologies, banana-loathers.) The recipe below is a complete bastardization of the original, but definitely found its inspiration there.
I obviously adapted them to be gluten-free, but also skipped the oil, added a bit of flax for binding/fiber/omega-3 goodness, and swapped the refined sugar out for pureed dates. That’s right, these cookies are made without refined sugar! Excepting the chocolate chips, of course, but you could easily use grain-sweetened chocolate chips or something else entirely if you wanted them to be totally refined sugar-free.
The resulting cookie is dense and hearty, oaty and vaguely cinnamony. The sweetness of the chocolate chips is balanced nicely by the lightly bitter nuttiness of the walnuts, and the hint of banana plays well with all of the above. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of scooping out individual cookies, the dough can be pressed into a baking dish and made into bars instead. These are a great afternoon pick-me-up, but could easily be breakfast alongside a cup of coffee—they’re loaded with oats, afterall.
And if that all weren’t enough, these cookies also have great potential for variation. Use raisins in place of the chocolate chips or sub in any nut you like for the walnuts. Chopped dried apricots and almonds would be a lovely combination. Or how about dried blueberries and pecans? Can’t do nuts? Use sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead. Omit the cinnamon. Try almond extract in place of vanilla. Make them your own perfect snack.
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Soy-Free Option, Nut-Free Option, Refined Sugar-Free Option, Gluten Option
These hearty little snack cookies (or bars!) are loaded with good-for-you ingredients. They're a great mid-afternoon nosh or on-the-go breakfast option, and endlessly customizable.
- ½ cup millet flour
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free certified if needed)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- 10 large medjool dates, pitted and halved (about ½ cup packed)
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the millet flour, brown rice flour, flax meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. (This isn't necessary, but makes the assembly process go more smoothly.)
- Add the dates to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the s-blade. Run the processor; the dates will become chopped at first and will then form a ball. Continue to process until the ball begins to smooth out and the dates form a very sticky paste. This whole process shouldn't take more than a couple minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl of the food processor and add the bananas. Process with the dates, stopping to scrape down the bowl as need, until the dates and bananas become light and fluffy. Blend in the vanilla extract.
- Stir the banana-date paste into the flour mixture. Once combined, fold in the remaining ingredients until evenly incorporated (you may want to use your hands to work it all together).
- Scoop packed, level tablespoon measurements of dough using a round tablespoon and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are browned and crispy.
- Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
- FOR BARS: Line an 8"x8" baking dish with a strip of parchment paper that fits the width of the bottom exactly and is long enough to hang over two sides of the dish. Press the dough into the pan and bake for 35 minutes, until golden on the edges and firm in the middle. Allow to cool and then use the overhanging parchment to lift the baked, uncut bars out of the dish. Cut into 16 squares.
Nut-Free Option: Use sunflower or pumpkin seeds in place of the walnuts.
Refined Sugar-Free Option: Use grain-sweetened chocolate chips (usually not GF) or sub dried fruit.
Gluten Option: Use regular all purpose flour in place of the millet and brown rice flours. Since these cookies are already sort of hefty, I imagine whole wheat flour may be nice as well.