Once upon a time I used to be someone who said that they only wanted to enjoy baked goods in their real, sugary, buttery form. If I was going to have a piece of cake, then gosh darn make it a real decadent piece. Just not too often and only as a special treat. However, Joe and I have found our taste buds changing lately. Joe has never been the one with a sweet tooth (that would be me) but lately I’ve found my sweet tooth fading and my ability to enjoy a super sugary dessert is long gone.
I didn’t talk all that favorably about our cleanse, and I’m afraid that I only highlighted the things that I didn’t enjoy about the experience. However, one of the best things about the cleanse was the removal of all sugar (other that natural sources) from our daily routine. At first I really missed my nightly dark chocolate, but after a couple weeks, I found that healthier treats, like tofu pudding or a little whipped coconut milk with fresh berries was more than enough to satisfy my craving. In fact, after the cleanse ended I went out to buy dark chocolate. But the dark chocolate has sat unopened since I bought it. I just don’t crave it like I once did.
These cookies fall squarely into the “less sweet” dessert classification. I’m not sure they can relaly be called healthy since they do contain their fair share of butter and some regular old sugar, too. But they are not nearly as sweet as a traditional cookie and contain a whole host of good-for-you ingredients like banana, almond meal, oat bran and whole wheat flour. They have a soft, cake-like texture that Joe and I loved and they stay soft and moist for days after baking, similar to banana bread.
I’ve been putting one of these cookies in Joe’s lunch as a treat each day this week and enjoying one after dinner now and again. They also taste great crumbled atop yogurt if you’re looking for a little something special at breakast.
Healthier Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies
Makes 18 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (I used creamy natural from Trader Joe’s)
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon banking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
Heat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, peanut butter, egg, banana, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla. Stir until well combined and smooth. Stir in the almond meal, oat bran and whole wheat flour until well combined.
Spoon dough by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet. Press down in a criss-cross pattern with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and puffed up. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.