Banana Oat Cookies

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In contrast to my opening statement in my last post (DiGirolamo Cookies), this is absolutely not the “cookie of my childhood.”  As a matter of fact, my grandmother, Little Nonni, might be looking down from heaven and wondering how I could possibly even call this a cookie (biscotto).  “There’s no sugar, flour or eggs so how can it be a cookie?” she’d be muttering in Italian.  Well, Little Nonni, welcome to 2014!  It’s all about health and diet, and yes, even I sometimes look around for a cookie recipe that might save on calories and fat.  As a matter of fact, that’s exactly how I came upon this recipe.  I combined several “healthy” cookie and snack bar recipes, and came up with this.  The first time I made it, I was a bit leery of how it would turn out, but surprisingly, it was quite delicious.

What makes this cookie so good for you and low on calories?  Well, for starters, I use oats instead of flour, making them whole grain and gluten-free. Then I use agave, which has a low glycemic index,  instead of honey or sugar.  Mashed bananas moisten it without using butter, oil or eggs so they are Vegan.   But the real key to keeping the calorie count and fat level low and the protein high, is my secret weapon, PB2.  Let me share this “find” with you.  PB2 is powdered peanut butter that is 85% less fat calories than traditional peanut butter.  The only ingredients are roasted peanuts, sugar and salt.  2 TBSP are only 45 calories as opposed to 190 in regular peanut butter.  There’s even one with chocolate, and still only 45 calories.  I’m in love with this stuff!  It’s easy to mix…..just 2 parts powder to 1 part water.  Even if you use regular peanut butter or almond butter in this recipe, this cookie is still good for you and full of protein, but you will add calories and some fat.

Enjoy these as a great mid-day snack, or even as breakfast with some yogurt.  They fill you up, while keeping your energy level high. There’s no sugar crash.  However, they’re not my grandmother’s biscotti!  But then again, they don’t pretend to be.

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RECIPE:  makes 12-13 large cookies

2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

2 1/2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup Agave

1/3 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup slivered almonds (optional)

1 cup PB2 ( I sometimes use 1/2 cup PB2 regular and 1/2 cup PB2 chocolate ) or any prepared peanut butter or almond butter

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2.  If using PB2 mix 1 cup of powder with 1/2 cup of water.  Stir well, until it looks just like regular peanut butter.  Add a bit more water if need to get the correct consistency.

3.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  The dough will be quite thick.

4.  Each cookie will be about 3 Tablespoons of dough.  Place them on prepared cookie sheets, and flattened to desired thickness.  They will not spread in the oven.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, but checking after 10.  It is difficult to tell when these cookies are done, as they are dark, so they don’t brown, but edges will get slightly browned, and that is when they are done.

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