These are the most positive cookies I know.
Are they allergy free? Yes!
Gluten free? Yes!
Easy to make? Yes!
Low in sugar? Yes!
Made with healthy ingredients? Yes!
Will my kids eat them? Yes!
Can I eat them? Yes!
And not feel guilty? Yes!
How about for breakfast? Yes!
So can I have another one? Yes! YES!! YESSSSSSSSS!!!
On second thought, maybe these should be called 'When Harry Met Sally' cookies?
Whatever you want to call them, these addictive little balls of joy are perfect for back to school. They're easy to pack for lunch, and a great option for school functions. Not only are they free of the top eight allergens & gluten free (so just about everyone can enjoy them), but the teachers will love you for keeping the sugar content to a minimum. The kiddos will get a nice little energy boost instead of a sugar buzz (and crash!). The teacher will be happy not having to deal with meltdowns, the kids will be happy they got a tasty treat, and mom will be happy because the cookies are made with healthy ingredients. What more could you ask for?
The recipe is adapted from Heidi Swanson's Nikki's Healthy Cookies, which I tweeked to make them allergy free. The result is bite-sized bombs of awesomeness. I've been making this recipe for years now and always with great success.
Keep in mind that the flavor of the cookies will vary depending on the ripeness of the bananas. You'll want to use fruit that has browned quite a bit (but not rotten) to take advantage of the natural sugars. The darker the banana, the sweeter it is. I find that bananas with a good amount of spotting, but still mostly yellow, are perfect for my taste. Ideally, Ilike them to be just a smidge more brown than in the photo above, but experiment a bit to find your own 'sweet spot'.
I use a small scoop (pictured above) to form the cookies into uniform little balls that are about a heaping teaspoon in size. Feel free to use a small spoon or teaspoon instead, being mindful to keep the cookies all the same size so that they cook evenly.
My secret weapon for perfectly browned cookie bottoms is aluminum foil. Don't ask me what the science is behind it, but I've been lining my pans with tin foil forever and have yet to burn a batch of cookies. Just sayin.
The recipe will yield about 4 to 5 dozen bite-size cookies. It was difficult to get an accurate count because the finished cookies kept falling into my mouth.
*The following recipe can easily be made 8SAFE if you follow the original recipe and only use processed ingredients that are free of gluten & the top eight food allergens.
The 8SAFE processed ingredients I used in this recipe were: Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil, Simply Organic madagascar pure vanilla extract, Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Garbanzo & Fava Flour, Let's Do Organic 100% Organic shredded unsweetened coconut, Rumford Aluminum Free Baking Powder, and Enjoy Life semi-sweet Chocolate Mini Chips.
3 over-ripe bananas (mashed into a paste)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups Gluten free Rolled Oats
2/3 cup millet flour or rice flour
1/2 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 cup allergy free mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Mash the bananas in a large bowl until smooth. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract (wet ingredients). Whisk together until well incorporated. Set aside.
In another bowl combine the oats, flour, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt (dry ingredients). Stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Gently fold in the mini chips.
Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Place spoonfuls (about a tablespoon in size) of the dough, about an inch apart, onto the cookie sheets. Bake on middle or top rack of oven for 12-18 minutes, until the bottoms are browned but not burned.
Let cool for 5 — 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Always use safe handling practices when preparing an 8SAFE recipe:
Wash hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer does not remove allergens).
Wipe down all surfaces; use clean equipment; and
Avoid cross contamination of ingredients not called for in the recipe. Be mindful that allergens can become airborne in flour or powdered form. Preparing 8SAFE recipes before ‘regular’ recipes will help prevent cross contamination. Do not share equipment among recipes (For example: If you cook regular pasta alongside 8SAFE pasta, use a dedicated spoon for each. Do not use one spoon to stir both pots.)
Clean your grill thoroughly beforehand (or use a clean grill pan or tin foil on the grill) when preparing an 8SAFE recipe.
Dedicate individual serving utensils for each dish. Allow food sensitive guests to serve themselves first to reduce risk of cross contamination from serving utensils.
When in doubt, snap a photo of the ingredient list of any processed items you use for an 8SAFE recipe. You can then share the information with your guests to confirm that it’s safe.