Filled with wholesome ingredients like oats, nut butter, bananas, and flax seeds, and very little added sugar, these hearty cookies are healthy enough to be enjoyed for breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up, yet so delicious you’ll also want to eat them as an after-dinner treat.
This post is part of the Recipe Redux monthly challenge, a recipe challenge focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you.
When I saw this month’s theme “Kids that Cook,” which asked us to share a healthy recipe that we used to cook as a kid, my mind immediately went to cookies. I know; not exactly healthy, but stay with me. I have very few memories of being in the kitchen as a kid that doesn’t involve baking. Whether it was with my mom or friends on play dates (apparently my love for being in the kitchen started at a young age), I baked a lot of cookies growing up.
One of my all-time favorite cookies are Monster Cookies. I’m actually not sure where this recipe came from, but they have pretty much everything that could taste good together all in one cookie — oats, peanut butter, butter, 2 types of sugar, chocolate chips, and m&ms. And they live up to the name — they are BIG. What’s not to love?
While I’m in full support of the occasional indulgence, these are far from anything I would consider healthy or that I’d keep in the kitchen on a regular basis. My love for freshly baked cookies has not wavered one bit, and the fast-approaching cooler months means baking season in my house, so this month’s challenge inspired me to bring you a healthier version.
I used many of the same ingredients, but I’ve swapped in mashed, overripe bananas for the butter and most of the sugar. I also replaced one egg with some ground flax to boost the healthy fat and fiber content. I’m skipping the m&ms here, but wouldn’t dare leaving out all of the chocolate. I suppose the chocolate is optional, especially if you plant to eat them first thing in the morning (though there is nothing wrong with a little chocolate for breakfast in my humble opinion). You could probably sub dried fruit like raisins or cranberries if you wanted.
I’m calling them breakfast cookies because you really could eat one for breakfast and feel well-fueled for the morning. They are hearty and filling. But they also make a fun afternoon snack (especially for after school play dates!), post-workout snack to refuel, or a healthy dessert. I actually am planning to make a large batch of these and freeze them to have as snacks or ready-to-go breakfasts when I’m on maternity leave and expect I’ll be needing quick fuel while feeding the little one.
You can make them “monster” sized as the recipe calls for, or halve the size for a smaller treat (especially if you’re feeding smaller bellies!).
Tell me: what’s your favorite memory of cooking or baking from childhood?
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies
You can swap any nut butter for the peanut butter; almond butter or sunflower butter work well.
Makes: 16 large cookies
- 1 large overripe banana, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp ground flax
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups oats
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Beat banana, eggs, flax, maple syrup, and vanilla until well blended.
- Stir in oats, peanut butter, and baking soda until mixed. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed through batter.Do not over mix.
- Using a 1/4 cup measureing cup, scoop a heaping scoop of the batter onto a parchment-lined (or use a baking mat) baking sheet. Flaten the cookies down a bit with the back of the measuring cup. For smaller cookies, fill only half the measuring cup or use a heaping tablespoon.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies start to get a golden brown edge. Smaller cookies will need less baking time, so check after about 9-10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight containter on counter for up to 3 days or in freezer for up to 2 months.