One thing I have come to notice about little man is that he is a better snacker than meal eater. Probably not that uncommon for a 14-month old, but makes it a little trickier for me to make sure he is getting all of the nutrition he needs throughout the day. One of his "quirks" is that he will eat more of what he is eating is portable - he is not the biggest fan of being strapped into the high chair. But if he can carry it around, he's happy. And he'll eat a bit more.
So I have been on the lookout for somewhat healthy snack-type foods that he'll think are snacks, but that I'll know are not bad for him.
So when I came across a recipe for something called "Banana Breakfast Cookies," I knew I'd be giving them a try.
The basic cookie is very simple.
Oats (old fashioned, in my case, but you can use quick, if that's what you have) are put into the food processor (or blender, or whatever you've got...)...
...and turned into a coarse oat flour, kind of like this:
The oats are then combined with baking soda, cinnamon and a bit of salt.
In a separate bowl, I then took several very ripe bananas and turned them from this:
Then the bananas were added right into the oats, along with some vanilla and a bit of maple syrup.
A quick stir with my spoon, and the batter was done.
Now, the recipe did call for all kinds of fun things like nuts seeds and dried fruits to be added to the mix, which I am sure would be amazingly delicious. But remember I was making these for a one-year old, so I just skipped the mix-ins. I simply dropped the batter by heaping spoonful on my silicone mat covered baking sheet, and we were good to go.
I baked them so that they stayed nice and soft, so they'd be easy for the little guy to bite and chew.
Little miss tells me that she is not a big fan of these cookies (I think she was hoping for more of a sweet, dessert-y cookie...), but little man gobbles his up, so I am counting these as a score.
I am excited to play with this recipe a bit - try different fruits, see what else works.
So score one for the healthy snack!
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
(slightly adapted from The Alchemist)
4 large very ripe bananas (previously frozen is fine, just thaw them first)
2 cups oats-old fashioned or quick (just not instant), ground into a fine powder in a blender or food processor
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, (160 degrees Celsius)
In a large bowl mix together the ground oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Using a fork mash the bananas (or feel free to puree them in a blender, this just makes them more liquidy).
Add the mashed (or pureed) bananas, the vanilla and the maple syrup.
Stir together to combine well.
The batter should be the consistency of soft cookie dough, not too stiff. You want to be able to scoop it onto cookie sheets and have it not spread out. If it is too thin, you add some more oats (you don't have to grind them) until you get the right consistency. I didn't need to do this.
Scoop the cookie dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or a silicone liner, using your spoon or an ice cream scoop. I made nine good sized cookies.
Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until done in the middle. Store in an airtight container when cool. Wrap them individually with Saran wrap and place in a zip-top bag in the freezer if you'd like. They will keep in the freezer for months.