Warm, gooey, perfectly sweetened by nature – these are the ultimate chocolate chip cookies! Not only are they delicious, but they don’t contain any refined sugars or flours and as long as you use gluten free oats they are safe for those with sensitivities. Yay! Do you have some ripe bananas? Then go make some. Now!
I eat a lot of bananas. I mean…A. LOT. OF. BANANAS!!! And of course you know I want them super ripe because they are the most delicious that way. Not only are ripe bananas super sweet (natures perfect sweetener), but they offer health benefits as well.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RIPE BANANAS
These are one of the few times when we love to see brown spots on skin. 😉
Did you know that ripe bananas contain way more anti-cancer properties than underripe bananas? It’s true! Ripe bananas contain something called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a substance excreted by the immune system that helps fight off abnormal cells in the body.
Increased antioxidant levels
Once bananas become fully ripe they reach their max antioxidant levels, so put them in the fridge to stop the ripening process. When they start to ripe further their antioxidant levels begin to drop, so you want to maintain that perfect level of ripeness until you eat them. A good way is to peel and freeze them at the perfect ripeness. That way you’ll always have frozen banana ready for smoothies, “nice” cream, baking, or whatever and they’ll be loaded with healthful antioxidants!
But aren’t ripe bananas higher in sugars?
Umm….no. Think of it this way. You cannot change one type of molecule into another. If there are a certain number of carbohydrates in a given banana, they will remain that until it is eaten. Period. I mean, who the heck came up with absurd statement anyway? Where do the extra sugars come from? Do they just magically appear during the ripening process?
Maybe this assumption came from the whole idea of glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load GI)? Well, consider this: Bananas are a low glycemic load food. And even though fully ripened bananas have a slightly higher GL than underripe bananas, they are still considered a low GL food. Bananas have gotten a bad rap for way too long and it’s funny because that fat free piece of bread you ate for breakfast has much more of an effect on your blood sugar than a banana would. Even a super ripe, super sweet one! Don’t be confused by the ingredient label of bread (no sugars listed). All carbohydrates turn to sugar in the blood once you consume them!
So now that I’ve gone on and on talking about the almighty banana, let me just say a few words about the other ingredients in this recipe.
Rolled oats. Not the old fashioned kind that take 5 minutes to cook, but actual rolled oats that take 12 to 15 minutes to cook. They give these cookies the perfect texture. Mmmmm. Not only that but they contain a variety of micronutrients including a specific kind of fiber called beta glucans that help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Scientific research shows that when rolled oats are included as part of a healthy diet they may help to reduce risk for cardiovascular diseases (i.e., high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, etc.) and certain types of cancer such as colorectal cancer.
Peanut butter. Do I even need to say anything? Everyone loves peanut butter, right? Combine it with bananas and chocolate and you have a girls dream cookie! Just make sure you either make your own or buy all natural peanut butter. CHECK THE INGREDIENTS LIST! There should be peanuts and maybe (hopefully not) some salt. NOTHING ELSE. NO ADDED OILS – ESPECIALLY HYDROGENATED OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS!
Dark chocolate. Everyone knows I’m a chocoholic. I adore chocolate. I mean, I could put it on everything and eat it at every meal. Love it. LOVE. IT! And it’s healthy. Yay! Dark chocolate, chocolate that contains at least 65% cacao solids and has no added sugars or dairy fats is what you want to look for. It is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and flavanols, substances that help fight off cellular damage, repair damage, and enhances vascular health (i.e., reduces blood pressure, improves blood flow to the brain and heart, and keeps blood platelets from becoming sticky and having the ability to clot).
PEANUT BUTTER BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Makes: About 26 cookies
- 3 large very ripe bananas (about 360g peeled)
- 1/2 cup (128g) all natural peanut butter, or other nut butter
- 1 tablespoon (16g) organic coconut oil, liquefied
- 2 tablespoons (42g) organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (200g) rolled oats (gluten-free if preferred)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 ounces (112g) dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Stir in the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
- Add the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the top of the bowl with tin foil or plastic wrap in place in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned. Don’t over-bake. Let cool on baking sheet for two minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
If you have some ripe bananas that need to get used and you’d rather make some delicious cookies than freeze the bananas, TRY THESE! You can even eat the dough raw because they are vegan! And oh my is it good cookie dough. Holy man, I’m telling you, if you have a craving that you just need to satisfy, MAKE THESE!
I hope you like these as much as I do. I’m pretty sure you will.