Cookies for Breakfast? Why Not?
One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing is taking traditional recipes and trying to re-do them in a healthier way. Not to say there isn’t room in a Positively Healthy life style for a really good, buttery, sugary cookie now and then, but because … well sometimes I just like the challenge. And other times I want to have some of that satisfaction of the not-so healthy food a bit more often.
Being single, I’ve also played around a fair amount with smaller portion recipes… including for things like desserts. It was a bit over a month ago when I really wanted an oatmeal raisin cookie, but honestly, it’s hard to find a decent one in the stores. I wasn’t about to make a big batch of cookies… because… well, I would eat them all. So I started thinking how I could break it down to a small batch, then as I was thinking about it I figured, why does it need so much sugar and such? Well, one thing led to another, and this is what I came up with.
Originally, I was looking to sub chia seeds for the egg, thinking I didn’t want to use just part of an egg. For those that aren’t aware, both chia and flax seeds can be used as an egg substitute in baking, and are often used in vegan recipes. But in the end, I went with the extra moisture, protein and even fat provided by using a whole egg.
I didn’t want an overly sweet cookie. I knew the dried fruit would add some sweetness, so to add both some creaminess and some sweetness I decided to go with some mashed banana. And while I’m not anti-butter, by any means, most recipes like this call for about 2 tablespoons, which I think is a tad much, especially when I was leaning towards making this a breakfast item. So instead of butter I decided to use up some of the ripe avocado I had in my fridge. Along with the chia or flax, it adds some nice healthy oils, and also contributes a bit more creaminess to the texture. Getting the egg/banana/avocado mix very smooth could take a bit, it wasn’t enough to use in a blender. The more ripe the banana and avocado are, the easier this part will be.
I used whole wheat flour with a bit of baking soda to give it some rise, and the final product came out almost a bit cake-like. Which was good. In the future, I may try doing it without and see what the difference is. You could use white flour if you don’t have wheat on hand.
When it comes to the oats, please don’t buy “instant” oats. in fact, if you can find them, thick-rolled oats are even better than typical “old-fashioned” oats – but they can be hard to find. I do need to do a posting one of these days that describes the differences. At some point, I might even try doing this cookie with some steel cut oats – we’ll see.
Of course, raisins are the typical go-to for oatmeal cookies. This morning, I did mine with dried cranberries. While cranberries won’t add sweetness themselves, most of the ones you buy do have sugar added… so keep that in mind.
Around Christmas, I saw a lot of these baking gift sets with cookie or brownie mix and these little cast iron pans. I actually found mine at Goodwill, and being an overall fan of cast iron, I picked it up. It’s the perfect size for something like this… otherwise, using a cookie sheet may let the dough spread more and give you a less cake-like cookie.
Another thing I may look at doing, is adding a bit of unflavored protein powder, bring up the overall protein content. As it is, without plugging it in to a recipe calculator I’m guessing it’s around 10g – maybe 12… the majority of which is from the egg. And while mine didn’t last much past me getting it out of the oven and taking the photo… you could do this up the evening before, maybe when you have the oven on baking something for dinner so you have it ready for breakfast the next day. I would also think you could mix it up the night before and have it ready to just pop in the oven in the morning.
Like most of what I tend to cook, there are lots of options for variety here – be it in the fruits you used, maybe some other seasonings besides cinnamon, or maybe next time I’ll use peanut butter instead of avocado. I’m just hoping I inspire you to try. And if you try your own variation, let me know what it is and how it turned out in the comments below!
Yes, I already have an update – I made one yesterday, substituting 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for the avocado and it turned out wonderfully. And I went more traditional with some raisins this time, as well as a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips. The chocolate may disqualify it from a good breakfast option, but I also added some unflavored protein powder – I am thinking this will be my new snack bar to bring with when I go on hikes.