Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Banana Granola Breakfast Cookies

I'm not the biggest "breakfast" person. It's funny, because when I was growing up my days were all about breakfast - whether it was greedily eating dry Shredded Wheat and calling it "hay" (I ate - and still eat - all cereal sans milk), sitting down to Sunday morning French toast, pancakes or waffles, or even nuking a bowl of leftover spaghetti with butter and cheese before going off to school. These days, the thought of eating before 11AM or so turns my stomach - I just can't deal with a full meal when I wake up!

That said, I totally get the importance of eating breakfast, especially as a teacher. No way am I going to head to the masses of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and energetic children every day without sustenance. So I made myself a compromise: breakfast cookies. They're a breakfast that I can tuck in my bag and eat while sitting in traffic (or while typing at my desk on the weekends). It's small, portable and buys me a little more time in the morning - plus I pack two of them so that I can enjoy a "second breakfast" at morning break.

My habit seems to be influential on the other staff (and my classmates) too: some of these Banana-Granola cookies wound their way into the bag of a co-worker, the rest went to the staff room and disappeared! They are moist and rich-tasting thanks to a boatload of mashed bananas, with a little crunch from granola and extra interest from dehydrated bananas. Of course, being breakfast, I wanted them to have some semblance of health too, so I opted for a mixture of dark brown sugar, maple syrup, Truvia and Pure Via Turbinado and Stevia Blend for a well rounded but lower-sugar result. Spelt flour amped up the fibre, and a few dashes of spice jazzed things up. 

Banana Granola Breakfast Cookies

You can opt to bake them all at once (keep them in the freezer though unless you're feeding an army) or do what I tend to do: make the batter, scoop out portions onto a wax or parchment lined baking sheet and freeze. Transfer them to a ziploc bag and keep in the freezer, then pop out one or two as needed and bake them while your coffee is brewing, you're in the shower, you're watching the morning news show... whatever. Just add two minutes to the bake time and you're ready to go. If you're really pressed for time in the morning, bake them the night before and place them on a plate covered with a napkin. No excuse for missing breakfast when it's sitting right in front of you!

Banana Granola Breakfast Cookies
Makes 20 cookies
½ cup coconut oil
8 packets Truvia (or 2 tbsp Truvia Spoonable)
12 packets Pure Via Turbinado and Stevia Blend
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg
½ tbsp vanilla
1 cup well-mashed bananas
1 ½ cups spelt or whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup granola (use your favourite, I love Love Crunch® Dark Chocolate & Red Berries from Nature’s Path)
¼ cup chopped dried bananas (not banana chips that have been fried)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the coconut oil, Truvia, Pure Via, brown sugar and maple syrup until well blended.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, beating well.
  4. Beat in mashed bananas.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix in thoroughly.
  6. Fold in granola and dried bananas.
  7. Scoop onto the sheets and bake 15 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets (if you're baking 2 at a time, you can toss the small baking pan in the freezer to cool just until firm enough to handle. Wrap in the parchment and go!).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 140.0
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 9.3 mg
Sodium: 16.2 mg
Total Carbs: 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.1 g