First of all, the wet mixture for this recipe is INSANE. It’s so good. I wanted to eat all of it right out of the mixture. I have big plans for it in the summer! (And have since posted the recipe for these healthy peanut butter banana popsicles) It’s still way too cold to carry those plans out now though. (I wrote plants instead of plans first. It’s also too cold to carry any plants outside.)
When I say these banana protein cookies are sugar free, I mean it. All my recipes are refined sugar free, which means sticking to more natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Raw honey, obviously, is a very natural sugar, but it’s just not the same as using fruit. I’ve used bananas and dates here for a nice subtle sweetness, and the peanut butter helps in that department.
Chocolate chips don’t hurt either. This is a great snack to help you through the day, and I promise they won’t fall apart in your bag. They are not light and fluffy little treats. You’re looking at dense, protein + nutrient packed, and ultra tasty little bombs. Homely little guys.
The base is made of oats, nuts, and chia, for a high protein snack without any weird powders. You can easily sub sunflower seed butter for a nut-free alternative, and they’re just as delicious that way as well. These are one of my absolute favourite snacks and I make them at least 2-3 times a month. It makes for a great on the go breakfast or mid-morning snack.
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- 2 large, overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup dates, packed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural peanut butter*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cook oats*
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts*
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If you have a food processor, whiz up the bananas, dates, peanut butter, and vanilla until completely smooth. Otherwise, mash everything very well with a fork. Soak the dates beforehand if they aren't very soft, especially if you're not using a processor.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, chia, chocolate chips, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the banana mixture and mix until fully incorporated. It's pretty hard to mix, don't give up!
- Take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and shape into rough balls with your hands. Place onto the baking sheet about an inch apart. They don't spread very much, so don't worry about that.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack for a couple of minutes, or until the bites can be handled. Remove and cool completely on the rack. Keep refrigerated or frozen.
1. If your peanut butter has salt listed as an ingredient, cut the amount of added salt in half. 2. To be guaranteed gluten free, make sure your oats say that they are. Oats are naturally gluten free but are often contaminated by wheat in processing facilities. 3. Use whatever nuts you have on hand. I used pecans, but I think walnuts would be really nice too.