Healthy Junk Food: Banana, Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies

baking, cookies, healthy

My relationship with bananas is a bit unfortunate really. As a person who is quite into fitness, I come across approximately 832 recipes a week for post workout smoothies, oaty breakfast bakes etc; all of which are laden with banana. I’m not a fussy eater at all. In fact I’ll pretty much eat anything you put in front of me. Unless it happens to have the faintest trace of banana. I literally can’t bare it, and that fact irritates me. I want to join in on the one ingredient banana ice creams of the world. The sliced banana sandwiched with peanut butter dunked in chocolate. Oh cruel world, why did you curse my taste buds like this?!

With that in mind, it probably seems a bit odd that I’m posting a recipe for something with a banana base. This is explained by the simple fact that my boyfriend loves bananas, to the extent he buys 14 a week, and inevitably realises 5 days into the week that 2 bananas a day, every day, is a bit much even for a banana lover. Underneath bananas on my list of things I hate, is food waste. Overripe bananas shall not escape from this household regardless of my dislike for them.

Previously I’ve used leftover bananas to make a delicious chocolate and banana loaf cake, laden with cocoa powder, brown sugar, melted dark chocolate and an array of chocolate chips. But alongside my cursed taste buds, I was also gifted with a snail paced metabolism and an intense love for food, meaning the battle to not look and feel like a beached whale is quite the bloodbath for me. To combat my ‘cuddliness’, I try to eat healthy most of the time (she says, with a duck slow roasting in the oven). So instead I had a search for healthy banana bakes, and came across a recipe for oaty banana cookies. One of my favourite things about this recipe, is it only contains ingredients which you’ll probably have in the house anyway, so no going out to buy any ingredients especially. Yay!

The recipe and method are simple:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  • Use a fork to mash 2 very ripe bananas into a large mixing bowl
  • Stir in half a cup of peanut butter
  • Add a cup and a half of oats and a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Mix together until combined, then use a spoon to form ‘cookie dough’ balls
  • Bake on 180 degrees for 12-15 minutes (until firm)
  • Leave to cool on tray, et voila.

As a side note, I decided to whizz up a cup of the oats in the nutribullet to make a sort of oaty flour. I wanted these cookies to veer more towards the cookie side of things than the flapjack side, so I figured the smoother blitzed oats would help to achieve this. I also used 2 different types of peanut butter. Not might I add, before having to hoist myself onto our kitchen counter and clamber without the merest hint of elegance to my feet, in order to reach the peanut butter at the top of the cupboard. And here lies the problem with having a 6’6 boyfriend when you are 5’3. Anyway, once I finally reached the peanut butter, I decided to use a mixture – quarter of a cup of cinnamon and raisin flavour, and quarter of a cup of mighty maple. I’d come across a few recipes which called for cinnamon or maple syrup, so this was a handy shortcut. The peanut butter I use by the way (if you’re interested to know where such magical flavours come from), is Peanut Butter & Co .*

Obviously, my banana aversion means I can’t tell you from personal recommendation whether these were good or not, but given I was only able to photograph 4 of them (the others had mysteriously disappeared), I assume they’re pretty tasty. As a bonus, nutritionally the ingredients all point towards a great post workout treat. Oats contain carbs, peanut butter contains protein and banana has lots of potassium, so your torn muscle fibres will thank you for munching one or two of these after a heavy gym sesh. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

*Fun fact – I met my boyfriend online. When we met for the first time in person, he bought me a jar of their dark chocolate dream flavour peanut butter. A bit different to flowers, but it’s a year and a half later and we’re still together so…


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