When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Healthy Banana Oat Cookies (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free)

The March Break has flown by all too quickly, and after a week filled with fun activities and a good dose of relaxation, it's back to the regular routine tomorrow morning for all of us. That means I'm back to packing school lunches and snacks for the boys this evening, a task that's been made a little easier by the multiple batches of baking I did during the week when I had some extra time. The boys always love getting a special little homemade something in their lunch bags, and I like knowing exactly what went into the snacks they're eating, as it's important to me that their bodies and minds are fuelled by healthy foods during their day at school.

This recipe for banana oat cookies is a slightly modified version of one I got from a like-minded friend I was chatting with recently about nutritious, kid-friendly foods for school. (Thanks, Joanne!)

Healthy Banana Oat Cookies

2 cups whole rolled oats (I use certified pure gluten-free ones)
3 cups rolled oats, ground in a food processor
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder

 4 large, overripe bananas

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the whole oats, ground oats, sea salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the bananas, maple syrup, vanilla, and grapeseed oil and process on high speed until smooth. 

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden.

(These cookies are also very good with frozen blueberries added into the mixture at the end.  Or, the boys really enjoy them with a few squares of finely chopped dark chocolate sprinkled and stirred into the batter before baking.)

The wonderful thing about these snacks for our family is that they don't contain any wheat flour, eggs, or butter like so many other baking recipes do, and so they're safe for both Noah and Will to take to school.  My boys and I are really happy to have found out about these easy-to-make little bundles of goodness. I hope you will be, too!

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