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Gluten-Free Pick-Me-Up Granola Cookies

February 27, 2013

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.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

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.

Granola Cookies line up for tanning session

Granola Cookies line up for tanning session

Step this way, please…

oatmeal and coconut make friends

oatmeal and coconut make friends

no sugar and some spice

no sugar and some spice

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.

granola cookie dough

granola cookie dough

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.

golden granola bars

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!!)


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.

Freeze us and grab us for quick & energy-giving snacks

Freeze us and grab us for quick & energy-giving snacks

  1. Lynn Stevens permalink

    Dear Ms. Bumble….
    Can’t wait to try these out on my soon to be daughter-in-law who must remain egg-free, and my son who is gluten free – yes!!!! Thanks again for your creative and amusing blogs.

    • What’s going on with all these food sensitivities? All the more reason for the bb kitchen to continue experimenting with different flours and alternate ingredients. Also, thank you – I like being called Ms. Bumble. When anyone around me gets out of line, I can retort, “That’s MS. Bumble to you!”

  2. Hannah Simpson-Grossman, Israel permalink

    Judy, these look great, thank you!
    Not sure I’ll get to try them before Pesssach – I’ll see how we progress with finishing our existing baked goods.
    And your post has raised a discussion re gluten free oats over here in Israel – apparently we have only one kind, which is difficult to find.
    Have a great week!

    • Definitely empty your freezer out first, this recipe will wait for you for after Pesach. And speaking of after Pesach, there are two wonderful companies to tell you about. You raise an excellent point about gluten-free oats. It is not always easy to find oats that have been processed without exposure to wheat. Check out Bob’s Red Mill in Oregon, and King Arthur Flour in the northeast. Both have online stores. I love these two companies. Chag sameach, Judy

  3. Hannah, Israel permalink

    As promised, here are my questions:
    I’ve made them yesterday.
    The Batter seemed to crumbly and wasn’t getting bound together. I’ve managed to create cookies but it was pretty difficult.
    The cookies came out good but not as soft and sweet as I had expected. How did yours come out?My husband said: “they are a great healthy snack but don’t call them “cookies” as people will get disappointed”. I tend to agree with him.
    So, firstly, if I recall correctly, bananas in the US are much bigger than those over here in Israel. Can you tell me how much does one banana of yours weigh, approximately? This might be the solution – more banana mash=more softens and sweetness.
    Secondly, most of my kids still don’t like nut so I’ve substituted nuts with puffed rice, which is less rich and flavorful. This might have contributed further to the lack of flavor.
    I loved the idea of using bananas instead of butter, eggs and sugar and would love to hear your thoughts and make them again.
    Sorry for the long comment..

    • Not a long comment but a very thoughtful one and it got me thinking…I believe you’re right about the bananas- maybe use 4 or even 5- the next time I make them I will weigh the bananas and report back! Also, try using seeds -pumpkin or sunflower or a combo-to replace the nuts. My cookies stayed together but I think worked well that I refrigerated them. I will experiment on these again- thanks for the follow-up

  4. Hannah, Israel permalink

    Looking forward to hearing the conclusions of your experiments..

    I’ve tried Deb Perelman’s Almond Breakfast Bars today (a healthier version of her/King Arthur Flour Companies’ chewy and very sweet ones, using olive oil, almond butter- haven’t tried them yet, might be a winner.

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