13 April 2015

Eats: easy banana oatmeal cookies

I’ll be honest here up front: I’m going to spend some time here, in this post about cookies, talking about boobs. It’s going to happen. I’m sorry.

See, Baby P is what the internet message boards call “EBF”. That stands for exclusively breastfed, meaning I’ve basically kept a tiny person alive with nothing but my boobs. It was extremely hard at the beginning, but by now, things have become relatively routine and, if not easy, a more surmountable challenge. I’m ecstatic that nursing has gone so well, but I confess... I still obsess over ways to keep supply high. There are legit ways, like drinking lots of water (I down twenty ounces of water every time I pump. Every time!) and herbs (which I haven’t tried... yet). Then... there are the old wives’ ways. Eating oatmeal is almost certainly in the latter category, but hey. Anything to help me feel like I’ve given it all I’ve got!

And so! That is why I was inspired to make these super-easy – and healthy – banana oatmeal cookies. They use overripe bananas (you know me and my never-ending overripe bananas!), they’re crazy simple and fast, and they can satisfy my snacking urge in a healthy way that makes me feel like I’m doing good for my baby. What’s not to like?!

We start with those overripe bananas. I had three, so I made three bananas’ worth of cookies.

Then mash ‘em up! Mine were actually less ripe than when I normally make a dessert with overripe bananas, so I had to get out the ricer.

If you’re really dedicated to neglecting your bananas until they’re almost black, though, you could just use a spoon!

Then I added 1.5 cups of quick oats. I think they were quick oats. I don’t have the package since I redid my pantry and became nuts about decanting.

I also added 1/3-cup of walnuts (or so) and a sprinkle of cinnamon, as you can see. Now mix!

At this point, you can just taste the mixture and see if you like it – the only difference after baking is that it’ll be stuck together and, temporarily, warm. So if you don’t like how it tastes, make adjustments! I wanted a bit more sweetness, honestly. (A bit of brown sugar would be soooo goooood.) But I resisted! Instead I added this stuff:

I was going to add vanilla, but saw this when I reached into the pantry instead. So be it!

Then I dropped them with my cookie scoop onto a greased pan (I accidentally bought the cooking spray with flour, which is why it looks all thick and gross):

I actually squished them down a bit (though it’s hard to see in the photo), and you should too – they really won’t spread at all. Whatever shape they have when they go in the oven, they’ll pretty much keep that shape.

Then pop them in a 350-degree oven for fifteen minutes or so. When they’re done... well, they look exactly the same! But trust me, they’re done!

Considering there’s no flour or butter or egg in these guys, it makes sense that they don’t really have the texture of a typical cookie. They’re definitely softer and chewier. The bottoms barely even browned, so don’t expect a nice crisp cookie:

I’ll be honest, these don’t taste like anything but healthy cookies. You’re not going to bring them to the next calorie-laden free-for-all party, at least not if you want to make new friends. Even with chocolate chips, it’d be wishful thinking to call these the tastiest cookie you’ve ever made.

But! On my maternity leave, these were the cookies that I could make for myself and leave out on the counter. They became go-to snack, and having them around ensured I wouldn’t forget to eat breakfast (it was just too easy to grab one or two in between dealing with Baby P). Oatmeal is good for the nursing mom, of course, but everyone can use a healthy snack that you tell yourself is a cookie. And that’s a good enough reason for me to make them again – and you can too! They’re cookies and they’re healthy. Embrace them and enjoy!