I’ve joined nearby gym Lijfkracht exactly one year ago, and the reason that I’ve managed to keep going there several time a week for the past year is in large part thanks to the helpful, skillful and friendly staff there. And so I thought it would be nice to thank them with some baked goods. To provide some guilt-free enjoyment, this had to be something without added sugars and as ‘healthy’ as possible. I am using the quotes here because when it comes to health effects of food, I believe that many warnings, claims and beliefs are exaggerated. Especially those about so-called ‘super foods’. For instance, whether the sugar is from sugar beets or from apples, doesn’t make any difference in how much weight you could gain from them.
But anyway, since the object here was to give something the folks at the gym could enjoy without guilt, I decided to humor the super food mania for once. And so these cookies are gluten free, without any added sugar, without butter, and I even used coconut oil! I did use regular table salt, but if you feel better about using Celtic sea salt (which is exactly the same sodiumchloride as table salt, but a lot more expensive), please feel free to do so.
These cookies were inspired by a post from Silva about a set of vintage recipe cards she had bought in an antiques shop in Boston, USA. Those cookies were made with banana, peanut butter, granola, and dried cranberries. Of course I didn’t want to use store-bought granola (muesli) and store-bought peanut butter, which would include a lot of ‘dangerous’ ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup. And so I decided to make peanut butter and granola myself, and even use organic ingredients. To make them even more ‘healthy’ I also made a batch where I replaced the maple syrup with stevia.
The cookies turned out delicious! The combination of peanut, banana, cranberries and maple syrup works very well. The oat flakes and banana chips provide a nice texture with a bit of chew. Of course you could cheat and use store-bought granola (muesli) and store-bought peanut butter, but making everything from scratch gives so much more satisfaction! Silva, ti ringrazio di cuore per l’ispirazione.
Shanna, I am expecting you to make these 🙂
Here’s what I did…
For 25 (small) cookies
1 ripe banana
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp ground cinnamon
90 grams (3/4 cup) dried cranberries
60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup (or 1/4 tsp stevia extract and 1/2 additional banana)
For the granola/muesli (substitute with 175 grams store-bought granola/muesli with fruit)
110 grams (1 cup) oat flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
40 grams (1/2 cup) banana chips, broken into small pieces
For the peanut butter (substitute with 150 grams (1/2 cup) store-bought peanut butter)
150 grams (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) raw peanuts
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F (fan forced). Spread out 150 grams (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) raw peanuts on a baking sheet, and toast them at 175C/350F (fan forced) for 8 minutes.
In the meantime, put 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil in a bowl, and melt it in the microwave (30 seconds or a bit more should do it).
Add 2 Tbsp maple syrup to the melted coconut oil.
Add 1/8 tsp salt as well, and stir until the mixture is homogeneous.
Put 110 grams (1 cup) oat flakes in a bowl, and add the coconut oil/maple syrup mixture.
Stir to mix.
When the peanuts are ready, transfer them to a blender and add 2 Tbsp of peanut oil and 1/8 tsp salt.
Blend until creamy. It may be needed to add a bit more peanut oil.
Spread out the oat flakes on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven at 175C/350F (fan forced).
Toast for about 25 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes or so.
Take the oat flakes out of the oven once they are golden brown.
You can skip all the steps up to here if you use store-bought peanut butter and store-bought granola/muesli.
Put 1 ripe banana in a large bowl (or 1 1/2 bananas if you would like to substitute the maple syrup with stevia).
Mash the banana with a fork.
Add the peanut butter.
Stir to mix.
Add 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and the seeds from 1 vanilla bean, and stir to mix. [Store the scraped-out vanilla bean in the sugar jar to give it a lovely scent of vanilla.]
Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup, or 1/4 tsp stevia extract.
Stir to mix.
Add the oat flakes and 40 grams (1/2 cup) banana chips, broken into small pieces [or the store-bought granola], and 90 grams (3/4 cup) dried cranberries.
Stir to mix.
Line a baking sheet with oven paper. Arrange the cookie mixture in 25 heaps with some distance between them.
Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes at 175C/350F (fan forced), or until they start to color.
Allow to cool to room temperature before lifting them from the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container if you don’t eat them all at once.
Risotto alla Bartolini is risotto with chicken gizzards. It is one of many tasty family recipes from blogging buddy ChgoJohn’s blog “From the Bartolini Kitchens“. He has now published the family history and recipes in a wonderful book that is available from Amazon for a ridiculously low price. (In other words: get yourself a copy!)