Vegan. Gluten free. No added fat. No added sugar. Sounds like a recipe for disaster…or the holy grail. I’ve tried many variations of nutritious cookies, and they’re either gummy door stops or no healthier than regular cookies. For a while, I thought these cookies  were the best I could do. Then I found a much better recipe  on Watching What I Eat, which I prefer over many traditional cookies. The ingredients don’t sound special, but give these a try, okay?
You may find that they replace your muffins, protein bars, and granola bars. These cookies have been lifesavers when I rush out the door in the morning. I time my commute by the minute; if I’m not at the train station by 9:06, there’s a good chance I’ll be late to work. So thank you, Cookies, for being my meal in my hand!
Feel free to make these cookies your own. I love coconut oil (it’s not as unhealthy as previously thought and may even be a superfood ), and it gives a toasty texture and flavor. Keep in mind that they’re faintly sweet, so do adjust your tastebuds. While traditional cookies should come out of the oven just when the edges set, I bake these to the upper limit so the edges are crisp and insides aren’t gummy. Be sure to try them fresh from the oven!
These cookies are endlessly customizable and can take your favorite ingredients and spices. To make these gluten free, use oats that are certified gluten free (regular oats are cross-bread with wheat or may be contaminated through handling).
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or greased foil. Preheat oven to 350° F with the racks in the upper and lower thirds.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the mashed banana, peanut butter, and coconut oil (if using) with a wooden spoon. Then incorporate the applesauce and vanilla.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients: the oats, salt, coconut/nuts, and chocolate chips/dried fruit.
- Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Drop the dough by hockey puck–sized spoonfuls and flatten to 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick.
- Bake for 20-30 min. (rotate cookie sheets after 10 min.), until golden brown on the edges. When completely cool, store in a cookie tin. The cookies attract moisture; you may need to store in the fridge after the second day.
Adapted from Watching What I Eat