Recently I have had a lot of conversations with people that ask about my lack of sleep and schedule during the day. My schedule is pretty typical and routine for a full-time working mom, but seems to shock people that don’t have kids or have forgotten what it was like. The number one question I am asked is, how are you able to work out at 5 am after only a few hours of sleep? Really, there is no choice for me right now, so I just do. The next question is what do you eat for breakfast? I eat more like a hobbit than human with an early wake up call – breakfast, second breakfast and an elevensies. So it requires having a lot of food around. The easier it is for me to eat and the more filling, sustaining and nourishing it is, the better off I am (and less likely to reach for junk since I have a constant desire to eat). That’s what makes these energy cookies so good: rich with good fats and protein from a variety of nuts and seeds, fiber from oats and sweetened with nothing but banana, dates and bites of currants so I don’t crash.
I really don’t have time to cook – I just enjoy doing it and I require whole vegetarian healthy foods. I write this blog to keep me sane – I don’t have any other way to record my thoughts and recipes (and I appreciate you all reading especially given my lack of decent photographs and finesse). So it is important that I have some easy quick recipes that I can rely on to get me through the morning. These cookies are relatively simple and there are tons of different versions and recipes out there. I came up with these just by playing with a bunch of different flours, nuts, sweetners and such until I came up with something to my liking – you can use this recipe, another one or make your own. In the end, you only need something doughy that can be baked.
They are easy to modify to your liking and I modify them all the time. I use other spices like ginger or spice blends such as garam masala. Sometimes I add 100% cacao powder or extra salt. I once added cayenne. That was very delectable.
So you can modify the spice flavor profile, but there are other ways to change it up:
- I like oats for the fiber, protein, sweetness and link to anti-inflammatory properties, but if you don’t want oats, you can leave them flour-less or add almond or coconut or hazelnut flour instead.
- If you don’t want eggs, use flaxseeds in place of the egg (1 tbsp ground Flax seeds +3 tbsp Water =1 egg) or arrowroot powder (2 heaped Tbs arrowroot powder = 1 egg) or even an extra pureed banana as a binder.
- I like the combination of pistachios, walnuts and sunflower seeds with currants, but pecans, macadamias, cashews and many other nuts work well.
- If you want them to be more moist, add applesauce (add unsweetened unless you want the extra sugar) or silken tofu or yogurt.
- For sweetness, I chose banana and dates since they are whole foods, which means they will add the touch of sweetness along with fiber and thus will be low on the glycemic index (you won’t have sugar rush and crash), but feel free to use other sweetners.
- I also added currants as they have a nice sweet and tart bite – but you can use dried sour cherries, dried blueberries or something else. Please note that fresh fruit will change the moisture of the cookie.
You get the point – play with them. Modifications will change the taste, moisture and baking so taste as you cook and make test cookies before baking a batch. Also remember they don’t rise or change shape while cooking so shape them before you bake them.
My husband and I like them chunky with the nuts and seeds whole but I also make them less chunky so my two year old can snack on them as well – she calls them healthy cookies.
Chunky or not, they will be soft and spongy but will have texture from the nuts. These are good for 2-3 days at room temp. I also freeze them, pull what I need out the night before and let them thaw overnight so I can grab them before I go in the morning.
Makes about 25 cookies
- 1 ripe banana
- 8 dates soaked (overnight or in hot water for 15 min)
- 3/4 cup almonds ground into a paste or almond butter
- 1 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut
- 2 eggs (or flaxseeds or arrowroot)
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or 1 vanilla bean or 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachio nut meat
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried currants
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor place 3/4 cups almonds and grind for 10-15 min until it is sticky and pasty (taking time to scrap the almonds off the sides), otherwise place ready made almond butter in food processor. Add banana and dates and puree together until fully combined. Add, coconut shreds, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg salt and baking soda. Puree until combined and dough-like.
For chunky cookies, place oats, walnuts, pistachios,sunflower seeds and currants into a bowl and whisk together until combined. Fold in contents from food processor and mix together. For less chunky cookies, add all the ingredients into the food processor and mix until incorporated into a dough.
Scoop out cookies with an ice cream scooper or a spoon. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly with back of scoop or spoon to form a cookie shape (note that these do not change shape in the baking process so shape them in advance). If the dough is too sticky, oil the back of the spoon or scoop and gently press down into the ball.
Bake for 12-15 min until golden and throughly cooked.