This comes from a recipe that gained popularity several years back, called “Nikki’s Healthy Cookies.” They’re bite-sized chewy cookies that could also be baked in a pan and cut into chewy bars. I don’t think adding an entire bar of chocolate to a batch of cookies is particularly “healthy,” and even after cutting the recommended chocolate by half, Derek thought the chocolate was still a bit much. (I took the photo from the version with more chocolate. The outcome of this recipe is just as beautiful, with fewer chocolate bits.)
So here’s my contribution to a healthy, sweet recipe with tweaks that still make for a delicious result. The sweetness comes from the ripe banana (the shredded coconut is unsweetened), and the tiny cookies are packed with healthy fats from the coconut and coconut oil and with protein and fiber from the oats and almond meal. Save the scant chocolate, there is no added sugar.
These freeze well and taste best a few days after baking. We think it’s a perfectly sweet treat that combines healthy ingredients that we eat almost each day, anyway. I hope you enjoy!
Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid or soft (so you can mix and mash it into the other ingredients)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal**
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 or 3 ounces chocolate chips or about 1/4 dark chocolate bar chopped
**You can make almond meal from whole almonds in your food processor. Just keep an eye on the pulsing because you don’t want to end up with almond butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
1. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside.
2. 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.
3. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it.
4. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes.
I try baking these for as long as I can without burning the bottoms.