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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cranberry Coconut Granola Cookies (gluten, dairy, egg, and nut-free)

This past week I went looking for inspiration for some new, healthy snack ideas for Will, as he seems to have grown tired of several of the usual options in our allergy-friendly rotation.  When I saw the recipe for these breakfast cookies made by Gretchen @ kumquat, I knew I had found something wonderful to work with.  I played around with a nice bunch of nutritious ingredients (gluten-free oats, coconut, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and bananas) to come up with my own version of the cookie, and ended up with a delicious, satisfying, naturally sweet treat that has protein, fibre, and healthy fats, is quick and easy to make, and is safe to send to school.  Yes, please!

Cranberry Coconut Granola Cookies

1 1/2 cups certified pure rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries (I use ones sweetened with fruit juice rather than sugar)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, coconut, chia seeds, sea salt, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries.  In a smaller bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix everything together.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.  Spoon the cookie mixture into the muffin cups and press the mixture down with the back of the spoon so that all of the tops are flat.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are golden brown.  Cool the cookies, remove the paper liners and serve.

These cookies are one of my favourite healthy and allergy-friendly baked treats yet!

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