Peanuts and peanut butter
What’s a baker to do when she suddenly gets faced with the ultimate challenge...diet restrictions!
With the small exception of those 9 (long) months of no unpasteurized cheeses, alcohol, and the usual list of pregnancy no-nos, I’ve never been one to limit what I eat. It helps to have been blessed with a body that tolerates all the typical allergy culprits: eggs, dairy, peanuts, etc…so when you suddenly can’t eat a good chunk of your regular grocery list, it’s like a swift slap in the face.
You find yourself eating an apple instead of a bowl of ice cream on a Friday night. Come the next morning, you glance longingly at the all-purpose flour and yeast. They bat their pretty eyelashes at you like a former mistress across the room. They taunt you with their familiar aroma. They even blow you a kiss to see if you blush. But you don’t submit. Because you’re on a mission. A mission to be healthy and pain free again. Healthy and pain free, but with a belly full of cookies.
I’d have to wrack my brain to think of a cookie I’ve made without both butter and sugar. Cookies without butter and sugar would put these and these out of the picture. Even my favorite macaroons are butter-free, but they still have plenty of sugar. There are hoards of recipes out there for cookies sweetened with honey, maple syrup, and most recently, agave nectar, but most of those still contain rich, creamy butter. With such limitations, it almost seems like a quest not worth seeking out.
A quest not worth seeking out unless you stumble upon this recipe for cookies sweetened with over-ripe bananas and “fattened” with coconut oil. Yea, coconut oil. With a little almond meal, oats, and dark chocolate, they're Good Girl Diet appropriate- not a trace of butter and only a smidgen of sugar (from the dark chocolate).
And, might I note, for people with the extreme misfortune of having a diet even more restrictive than my current one, this recipe contains no eggs or flour, so they’re actually vegan and glutton-free. How ‘bout them bananas?
I'm not going to lie and say that these are just as good as sugar-packed cookies. They're not. But they are sweet, have a nice texture, are a bit reminiscent of banana bread, and quite frankly make a mean early morning breakfast with a cup of coffee.
*Almond meal (or almond flour) can be found in health food stores, Trader Joe's, and under Bob's Red Mill label in the U.S. Alternatively, you can take out your food processor or clean coffee grinder and pulverize some blanched, unsalted almond until a fine powder is made (be cautious NOT to pulverize to the point of creating almond butter!). Also, without the dark chocolate, these babies are completely sugar free.
Good Girl Cookies
Recipe from 101cookbooks.com
*Makes 3 dozen dainty cookies
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups (170 g) rolled oats
2/3 cup (120 g) almond meal*
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
* optional: 6 ounces (170 g) chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F/175 C degrees, racks in the top third.
- 2. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside.
- In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. If using, fold in the chocolate chunks/chips. The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch (2 cm) apart, onto a parchment- lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.