Gluten-Free Pick-Me-Up Granola Cookies
and dairy-free and get this… no added sugar either! Well, what do these cookies have, you may ask and ask you should… these cookies are positively packed with flavor. They are chewy and filling, yet surprisingly light. The sweetness comes naturally from dried fruit and mashed banana. The cookie is highly versatile and allows you to try different seeds, nuts or fruit. For this version, I used dried sour cherries and golden raisins. Have fun varying the ingredients – think of color and flavor and texture. Try using dates, raisins, cranberries, or figs for the fruit.
Basically the cookie is a really delicious granola bar in cookie shape.
Who can resist a good cookie?
It has no trace of that cloyingly sweet flavor you find in store-bought granola bars. But I’d like to get something straight right here-right now.
I, Judy, creator of bumbleberry breeze, by no means profess to live a sugar-free existence. Nor is this a sugar-free blog. I feel that excellent, really-worth-it desserts are essential to a life well-lived (in my own very humble opinion… did that go without saying? alright I won’t bring it up again). For me, that includes homemade brownies, chocolate chip cookies, blondies, apple crisps, bumbleberry coffee cakes, chocolate, coffee ice cream… and can anyone in LA direct me to the best eclair-filled with the most seriously excellent custard- this city has to offer?
To think, years ago (in another chapter of life) when I was an over-worked teacher of hearing-impaired pre-schoolers, I didn’t see the point in spending a lot of time baking. Not when I enjoyed cooking. Wasn’t the meal the most important thing? Why waste time on the superfluous stuff? But seriously, who was I kidding? Myself, apparently. It took a few significant health hurdles, I’m actually totally serious here, to arrive at the profound realization that it is a VERY Important Thing to include DESSERT in my Activities of Daily Living. Of course, as the wise doctor Maimonides once said, “Moderation in all things.” OK, not so simple. But definitely a worthy goal.
Which brings us back to the issue at hand. Our granola cookies.
Step this way, please…
How many of you out there are familiar with the concept of creative accounting? Move the funds from here where you don’t want them present, to over there where they make better sense! Same theory with sugar, guys. Why do we need a boatload of sugar in something like granola bars? It is so dopey that all the store-bought brands seem to use the word “healthy” at least once on their labels while they have the noive (Bronx pronunciation of “nerve”) to list sugar as a first or second ingredient.
So let’s make these very pleasing pick-me-up granola cookies for that middle-of-the-day slump and save the sugar for that special little dessert later on.
Gluten-Free Pick-Me-Up Granola Bars
with gratitude to Anja’s Food for Thought and her Banana Pecan Granola Bars (check out her site!!)
Ingredients:1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal (aka regular rolled oats) 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes 1/2 t. salt 1 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. allspice 1/4 c. almond flour 1/2 c. pecans, chopped (or walnuts or pistachios or almonds) 1 c. dried fruit (I used half dried tart cherries and half golden raisins) 3 ripe bananas, mashed 1/4 c. canola oil 1 t. pure vanilla
Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats with with nuts, almond flour and coconut flakes. Sprinkle in cinnamon, allspice and salt. Add dried fruit and mix until combined.
In a second bowl, mash bananas with oil and vanilla. Pour this mixture over oat/coconut/fruit & nut mixture. Stir thoroughly.
Lightly form balls with the palms of your hands (about golf ball-size), place on baking sheet and flatten slightly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Makes about 14-16 cookies, depending on size.
Try using chopped apricots or dates or figs… or try dark raisins or cranberries
Swap the almond flour for sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds
Keep in a covered plastic container in the fridge OR wrap individual cookies in plastic and store in freezer for a quick and easy on-the-go snack or breakfast.