Do you remember chocolate no-bake cookies? I did not have them in childhood, but in graduate school. There, at Indiana University, they were (and still are) a favorite offering at the Sugar & Spice bakery.
Recipes for chocolate no-bakes vary, but most follow this basic format:
- Melt peanut butter, margarine, canned evaporated milk, a bit of cocoa powder, and a truckload of white sugar in a saucepan.
- Add a few oats to promote solidification of said sugar concoction.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper to cool.
I like the combination of chocolate and oats, but decided to make a better option. Namely, a healthier, more-chocolatey cookie with a fraction of the sugar. I like my sweet tooth; I’d rather it not fall out.
They’re my Chocolate Banana Oat Cookies, and they’re pretty great!
These healthy chocolate lovelies are:
*Gluten-free (use certified gluten-free oats, as needed)
*Refined sugar free (sweetened with a banana and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar)
The cookies are not no-bakes; I tried, but each batch produced mounds of oatmeal. Not bad, but also not cookies. I recalibrated and made a baked cookie, instead. It is still very fast and easy and begins much like a non-bake chocolate oat cookie.
First, make a chocolate fudge base with the following ingredients: 1/2 cup mashed (very ripe) banana, 1/2 cup water, 2 and 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or sweetener of your choice), 1 tablespoon creamy nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, cashew, sunflower seed),and optional 1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (if using; it adds a big flavor boost, but no worries if you do not have any on hand). Add 1 cup of oats and stir until blended.
I prefer the texture of quick-cooking oats in this recipe, but old-fashioned work perfectly, too.
Let the oat mixture stand for 5 minutes, to thicken, and then stir in 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Stir vigorously to evenly distribute the baking soda.
I used my small cookie scoop to create 12 cookies; a small spoon will work, too. Last, I dotted the tops with a few miniature chocolate chips.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 9 o 10 minutes, just until the surface of the cookies appears dry and set. The cookies will look more dry when they first emerge from the oven, but they will take on a warm, slightly glossy hue as they cool.
Each cookie is 56 calories, with only 3.7 grams of sugar–great for snacking, dessert, or even breakfast.
BTW: If you are not a banana fan, or have a banana allergy, don’t worry: I have an applesauce option in the recipe notes.
Minimalist, yet magnificent, chocolate banana oat cookies! Healthy, vegan, gluten-free and oil-free, they are also low in sugar and only 56 calories each.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) mashed very ripe banana
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons (13 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon smooth nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, almond, sunflower seed)
- Optional: 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (90 g) rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, whisk the banana, water, cocoa powder, sugar, nut butter, and (optional) salt until blended. Bring to a low boil, whisking, over medium-high heat; boil 1 minute longer.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in (optional) vanilla and oats. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the baking soda until completely blended.
- Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the dough into 12 equal mounds onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Sprinkle tops of cookies with a few chocolate chips.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes until surface of cookies appears dry. Transfer cookies from sheet to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months.
Banana options: Replace the banana with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. The applesauce is less sweet than bananas, so increase the sugar to a total of 2 and 1/2 tablespoons, or to taste.
Sweetener Options: An equal amount of other granular or liquid sweetener can be used in place of the coconut sugar.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 56
- Sugar: 3.7 g
- Sodium: 43 mg
- Fat: 1.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 10 g
- Fiber: 1.2 g
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg