I am so not a morning person. Never have been. Back in my teens and early 20s, I’d sleep til noon if I could get away with it. Of course, that all changed when Jillian was born. She’s the epitome of a morning person. As a baby, she woke up at 5am every single day. Still hasn’t slept past 8:30 in her entire life. Joy! And even now, at 9, she’ll wake from a dead sleep with big, bright eyes, a huge smile and a, “good morning, Mom!” Seriously. I’ve marveled at this for years. I just don’t understand.
I need quiet in the morning. As much quiet as I can get, for as long as I can have it. I’ve started waking up an extra hour early just so I can sit in peace and stare at Pinterest for a while until my brain decides to wake up. This works much better than my previous morning routine of trying to sleep until the last possible minute and spring right into groggy action getting dressed, picking out clothes for Trevor, making breakfast and lunches, etc. I did that for a few years, and it was misery.
A few months ago Tal (very much a morning person, like Jillian) suggested I try getting up at 6am instead of 7am and using that hour to adjust to the day, get a head start on my work, maybe even go for a bike ride. HA! Was he kidding?! Me? Get up an extra hour early??? Yeah, right! But… I decided to give it a try one day, and I haven’t looked back yet. He was right! Who knew?!
So yes, I do get up an extra hour early these days, but I’m still in no mood to make a big, healthy, filling breakfast by the time the kids get up. I’ll do it if I have to, but I’d much rather make something the day or night before, like my Banana Berry Baked Oatmeal.
And even better than popping pre-prepped oatmeal in the oven first thing in the morning, is having something all ready to grab and go. And that’s where these Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies come in.
This is a recipe I adapted from my very favorite vegan baker, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Some of her recipes I can make just as they are, but since I’m cooking nut-free and not just dairy- and egg-free, there are a few tweaks I occasionally have to make. Her version of these cookies includes walnuts, which would make them even more delicious and filling… if Jillian could eat nuts. Which she can’t. So we omit them… and replace them with chocolate chips! Yay!!! Everybody’s a winner when there are chocolate chips involved!
I shall list a few of the reasons we absolutely adore these cookies (and make them at least once a month):
~ Easy! They’re easy to make and easy to grab in the morning. And using our never-ending stash of frozen bananas to make them makes life even easier!
~ Healthy! With bananas, oats and craisins as the majority of ingredients, how could they not be?! Plus, we sweeten them with brown rice or maple syrup and agave nectar instead of sugar, so they’re lower in calories, carbs and sugars.
~ Portable! These guys make the perfect breakfast on-the-go!
~ Filling! Because they’re made mostly from bananas and oats, two cookies is all you need to keep you full for hours.
~ Delicious! Obviously, we wouldn’t be such huge fans of these cookies if they weren’t abso-freakin’-lutely tasty! In fact, as I was trying to get pictures of them this morning for today’s post, Trevor just Could. Not. Stand. the fact that he had to wait for his cookies. I had set aside a couple for him and Jillian to eat first, but he wanted his second cookie NOW! Probably has something to do with the fact that we added those chocolate chips. Mmmmmmm… It’s amazing I don’t have tiny hands reaching into all of my pictures.
The awesome thing about these breakfast cookies is that they are totally adaptable to what you’ve got in the house. Don’t have a nut allergy? Add nuts! Out of craisins? Try raisins or dried apricot pieces. You can make these cookies in so many different ways, it just depends on your mood and your pantry.
- 2/3 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small bananas)
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup*
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups quick-cooking or rolled oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- *can substitute 1/4 cup maple syrup for brown rice syrup