Monday, May 2, 2011

Banana Cookies... hmmm? healthy or not?

A few weeks ago I had lots of overripe bananas. I wasn't in the mood for banana bread and I really didn't want to just toss them in the freezer, because truth is, then I forget them and they sit there for years and when I finally do try to use them I don't like dealing with the slimy-ness of thawed bananas. :)
So I went online to try to find some banana cookie recipes.
I was in luck. There were several that I found. First I decided to try the 'healthy' one. It actually did sound really good and was only 44 calories per cookie. It was made with bananas, oats, and not much else. It called for dates but I used cranberries. It didn't have any sugar or flour.
Now you know I love cookies, so when a recipe is called a 'cookie' there is a certain expectation. Well, when u are expecting a 'cookie' this recipe does not deliver :(    If it instead were called 'banana oat blobs' it probably would have been better. They actually taste fine, but they just have no cookie texture. They are super moist (possibly I put too many bananas or didn't cook them long enough), but anyway it was almost a gross moistness because it was like oats in applesauce almost.  Anyway, I didn't like them (and no one in my family did either) so I threw out the recipe.
So the next day I tried another recipe I had found. These had sugar and flour and therefore were more 'normal cookie-like". These wound up being absolutely delicious! In fact my youngest daughter kept referring to them as breakfast cookies and eating them constantly (actually I did too) they were good :)
They are certainly more than 44 calories apiece, but next time I make them I may make some modifications with flax seed, whole wheat flour, apple sauce, and Stevia which will make them more healthy. But truth is, with all those bananas they HAVE to be sort of good for you (right?)  (hopefully)

Here is the recipe (requested by my friend Min who happens to have a recipe blog site you may enjoy)...

Banana Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar  (in other cookie recipes I use 1/2cup sugar + 5 packets Stevia + 1/4 cup turbino sugar)
                                  (but I haven't tried this modification yet on this recipe)
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 large bananas)
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use more)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn't used this bc a lot of reviews didn't like it, instead I used 1/2       teaspoon of allspice)
1 cup pecans or walnuts
(I also tossed in a handful of choc chips=about 1/2 cup)

Preheat ove to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add egg and continue to beat till light and fluffy.

In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.

Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until  just combined.

Fold into the batter the nuts and chocolate chips if using. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Yum Yum Yum!

Again, I'm not sure if they are really 'healthy' but they sure are good. And considering they really do taste like cookies (cake-type texture) they have got to be healthier than cookies that don't have bananas in them right?
Hope so  ;)