Sep 21, 2011

High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies Recipe Healthy (GF, low Sugar, low fat )


I've been dreaming of cookies lately and how to make healthy ones so I can have as many as I want.  In my quest for finding a GI (Glycemic Index) friendly, low carb cookie I found this recipe from 101 cookbooks it's called Nikki's Healthy Cookies Recipe.  It does not use flour, sugar, eggs, or butter.  Hmmm could this really work?  Since I had 3 bananas I needed to bake with and was feeling like making cookies I figured why not?  It did but I felt I could do better, so I tinkered around a bit and boy did I create a great healthy cookie! 
How Are These Cookies Healthy?
After making these cookies in 2011 I decided to call them breakfast cookies because they are healthier than most breakfast. To put this to the test I searched for the nutritional info on two well known breakfast cereals one kind of bad Cocoa Rice Krispies, and one healthy good old Cheerios.  How did my cookies compare?  Well one of my breakfast cookie and less calories and sugar, more fat, and more fiber and protein than Cocoa Krispies, not bad I think my cookies win here.   Cheerios did beat my cookies with just slightly more calories, less sugar and fat, equal protein, and more fiber.  So in conclusion these cookies are not as healthy as eating a bowl of Cheerios, but they are way healthier than eating a slightly bad sugary cereal like Cocoa Krispies. 

Since making these breakfast cookies in 2011 they have exploded online.  I doubt I was the first to coin the term, but I actually hadn't ever heard that term before first writing this post.  I'm so glad this has taken off who doesn't want a healthy cookie after all?

In creating this recipe I had to ask myself, "What makes a cookie a cookie?"  My answer was it's basically butter and sugar mixed with flour, a little flavorings, and eggs, but mostly butter and sugar.  No wonder everyone loves cookies?  Not healthy at all! So how do you replace fat and sugar in a cookie when that's mostly what it's made of?  Well the banana and apple sauce help replace some of the fat and sugar and adds extra fiber and vitamins and minerals.  I initially made this recipe with 3 bananas but it turned out to bread like and tasted to strong of bananas, so I replaced some with unsweetened apple sauce which was much better.  I also replaced almost all sugar with stevia, an all natural no calorie sugar alternative.  I tried it without added sugar, but it just didn't taste right since stevia can taste a bit bitter it needed a little bit of real sugar to balance it. Basically, I had to find the line for least amount of fat and sugar needed to make a cookie still taste good and taste like a cookie.  I'm all for healthy but it still has to taste good. 

These cookies are low in sugar and have enough fat, protein, and fiber to balance what is in it so you don't have insulin spikes, or in other words is more GI friendly.  This recipe was also designed to keep you fuller longer with both protein and fiber, which have been shown to satisfy our appetite more than carbs or fat.  Whey protein adds extra protein to this cookie along with peanut butter, eggs, oats, and millet.  I added fiber with psyllium husks, adding fruit (bananas and applesauce), oats and millet, and peanut butter.   It's also made with gf whole grain flour, which I think is still a good idea even if your not gluten sensitive.  While they are very healthy by cookie standards I would limit yourself to just a few, since it is still a cookie!

These are great for kids who don't eat breakfast, a quick breakfast on the go, a healthy lunch box treat, or to snack on during the day. 
 
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 22-28 cookies

Ingredients
1 large or 2 small ripe bananas mashed (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic (so it's not GMO) brown sugar (can sub honey, or maple syrup)
1/4 cup of Stevia (or 1/3 cup of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1 cups organic rolled oats (certified gluten free if you need GF)
1 1/4 cup millet flour (can sub coconut flour, gf flour, almond meal nor flour, or whole wheat flour)
2 Tablespoons organic unsalted peanut butter (can sub unsalted almond butter)
1/3 cup unsweetened organic apple sauce
1 teaspoon pink salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoon whey protein powder (optional if you want to add protein)
2 large organic egg (optional will still work without)
1 Tablespoons Organic Psyllium Husks (optional increases fiber and adds gluten like qualities)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped (can sub with organic raisins)


Instructions
  1. Place 2 cups of oats in food processor run until it turns to flour 
  2. Add eggs and bananas to the food processor and process until mixed
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips and process until all ingredients are mixed, then fold in the chocolate chips and then place in the freezer (only in a freezer safe container) for 15 min or longer, if your not able to place in the freezer put in the refrigerator for 30 min or longer.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease baking sheet if not using parchment paper.
  5. Drop dollops of the dough each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.


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