Banana and oat cookies

I’m useless at eating bananas when they’re fresh and ripe and just the way I like them. I leave them too long and as soon as they get a little bit brown and spotty, I have to find an alternative method of using them up. Wasting food gives me guilt.

I had bananas in my vegbox this fortnight, and forgot all about them. Guilt.

I often turn old bananas into cake, but that’s usually when they’re good and black and have a lot of sweetness and mushiness to them. This time I decided to make a slightly less sinful treat, and combine them with oats, which are my friends (wheat isn’t really my friend…). I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back, and I’m still working on tweaks and improvements.

Banana oat treats

What’s even better, is that this recipe is vegan, which means my best friend can also enjoy them. If I decide to share them at all, that is.

Banana oat treats

They take hardly any time to put together and cook in 10 minutes, and if you make a double batch like I did this time, you end up with a quick and simple glut of 80(ish) calorie goodness…

Banana oat treats

Mmmm. Hello, darlings…

You will need:

1 cup oats (I use quick cook oats and they are just fine)
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp ground flaxseed (I use the ground flaxseed with extra berries and nuts added for some more flavour – if you don’t have any flaxseed, you could substitute with one beaten egg to bind the mixture)
1 cup flour (I use whole wheat self-raising flour, but any other kind would do)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup raisins (if you fancy)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, please. Unless you don’t have any whole nutmeg. In which case I’ll forgive you)
1/2 tsp each of salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder

Combine ground flaxseed with two tablespoons of water and set aside to thicken.

Combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking power, salt and spices in a large bowl. I adore spice and banana, so I throw in a bit of everything, but if you’re not sure about all the spices, go easy on the allspice and nutmeg, or leave it out. They give a lovely warm wintery taste.

If you’re adding raisins (or mixed fruit, or chopped nuts), stir them in to the flour and oat mix.

Add maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and mashed banana to the flaxseed mixture and combine well.

Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine.

Drop by heaping tablespoons on to greaseproof paper on baking tray and flatten the tops slightly. I usually get 12-15 cookies from a batch.

Bake at 190C/375F for 8-12 minutes until they are just golden around the edges. Set on a cooling rack to cool.

Perfect whilst still warm, with a cup of tea.

I have frozen most of this batch in bags of 6 cookies, in the hope that I won’t eat them all at once. I’ve never frozen them before, so I’ll let you know how they turn out once they’re thawed…

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