How To Make Healthy Breakfast Cookies With What's Already In Your Kitchen

Photo: Heather Crosby

Breakfast cookies are the best because, hey, it's cookies, but it’s also grab-and-go food you can feel great about. Here are two new recipe ideas to try based on the "Breakfast Cookies" template in my new book, YumUniverse Pantry to Plate.

The templates in the book are a guide to help you figure out how to cook something without a recipe and with whatever you have on hand. Here's the simple formula for creating your own breakfast cookies:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Spice
  • Fruit purée
  • Natural sweetener
  • A little texture
  • Chocolate of choice (If you’re already having "cookies" for breakfast, why not realllly go for it and make them chocolate-inspired!)

Try this combo

  • ½ cup raw, unsalted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao/cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dried, unsulfured cherries, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped dairy-free dark chocolate (about one 3-ounce/85-g bar)
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Or pick a few of these

  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cardamom
  • Lime zest and juice
  • Orange zest and juice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Banana
  • Honey
  • Coconut (pre-toasted for extra flavor)
  • Dried pineapple
  • Dried mango
  • Chopped white chocolate bar (optional)

What to do

Mix your desired ingredients together in a bowl until well-combined and bake at 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Here's a step-by-step recipe that uses this simple cookie equation:

Banana Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies

Photo: Heather Crosby

The comfort of banana bread and a bowl of warm oatmeal with extra texture from toasted coconut and dark-chocolate chunks—always a winning combination.

Makes 12 to 14

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (70 g) raw, unsalted almonds, chopped into tiny pieces
  • ½ cup (40 g) flaked or shredded dried coconut
  • 1 cup (80 g) rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground psyllium husk
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup (110 g) mashed banana
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) dairy-free milk or water, gently warmed
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, gently warmed to liquid
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (90 g) chopped dairy-free dark chocolate (about one 3-ounce/85 g bar)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and spread the chopped almonds in one layer on the sheet so they have room to roast mostly untouched on all sides. Pop in the oven for 7 minutes. Transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl and scatter the coconut on the sheet; roast for 3 to 4 minutes, until starting to brown, and add to the bowl with the nuts. Set the lined baking sheet aside.

2. Add the oats, cinnamon, psyllium, and salt to the mixing bowl and stir until well-mixed. In a small bowl, stir together the mashed banana, warm dairy-free milk, warm coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until well-mixed. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients, and then fold in the chopped chocolate until thoroughly incorporated.

3. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to place 2-inch (5-cm) dollops of dough on the lined baking sheet. Press flat if you like or keep in macaroon shape—the shape won’t change as it bakes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven; cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in the fridge in an airtight glass container for up to two weeks.

Recipe excerpted from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate by Heather Crosby, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Copyright © 2017.

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