Today is a very exciting day, the explanation of which can be summed up in one word: SUNSHINE!
After hiding behind gray clouds for weeks, the sun is bathing our fair city in golden rays, and, with apologies to my friends in Northern climes, it is a blissful 50 degrees here in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Sigh.
Since I cannot send each of you bottles of sunshine (Apple is working on that for 2017; perhaps available via the cloud?), I offer instead cookies. They are guaranteed to cheer no matter what the weather.
Better still, these cookies are designed to keep you on track with all of your 2015 healthful eating plans and fitness goals! So, for example, you can curl up under a blanket with a cup of tea, a few of these cookies, and a good read, and then head out the door an hour or two later, energized and ready to go work up a sweat. These are cookies with power.
The starting point for this particular recipe was my 2-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies. They are a perfect treat, but I decided to play around with a higher protein option using vanilla pea protein powder. It took a few (very wonky) batches before I got these right, but my triumphant version (banana bread buttons 6.0) tastes like mini bites of moist and decadent banana bread. Even Kevin, who has declared on more than occasion that he does not vegan protein powder, made a point of telling me that these are delicious (and ate three before we headed to the gym).
Above are the only ingredients you need: vanilla pea protein powder, rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking; they work equally well), 2 large, very ripe bananas (to equal 1 cup of mashed puree), and coconut oil.
Please leave the oil–a mere 1 tablespoon– in! Those wonky batches I mentioned above? They were made without any fat. Bleeeakch. Fat-free works fine in the 2-ingredient cookies, but not here. You can use any variety of fat you like–olive oil, melted butter, or another neutral oil–but if you think food should actually taste good, leave it in! (I’m watching you…)
The cookies are great plain, but add a bit of chopped dried fruit or chocolate (I chopped up a few small pieces of Christmas chocolate; did I mention my New Year’s resolution to eat more dark chocolate?!) You only need 2 or 3 tablespoons to yield a big punch of flavor.
Now for heaven’s sake, eat some cookies, brave the cold/savor the sunshine/or both, and head out for a walk, run or ride on this beautiful January day!
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray (or for easy cleanup, line sheet with parchment paper--still spray with cooking spray or the cookies will stick!)
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats and protein powder. Add the banana and coconut oil, stirring until well blended (dough will be stiff). Add stir-ins, if using.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoons (or use cookie scoop) onto prepared sheet, spacing about 1-inch apart; gently press down each cookie using a fork.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown at edges. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely.