I’m a total sugar addict. Junkie, really. Which I used to be rather proud of, bragging about my love for skittles, red hots, hard candy of all kinds. Cake. Cookies. Cookies. Oh, how I love cookies. But it’s sad how little sugar loves me. As a child, I would sometimes get literally sick after eating cake at family birthday parties. Chocolate gave me hives. To this day I develop horribly painful canker sores after heavy sugar binges. Clearly, for my body, sugar = poison.
A stronger person than I would have simply eliminated this poison. But that didn’t work for me. It was too extreme. So I decided to compromise. I started trying recipes that call for alternatives to sugar, such as honey and maple syrup.
Yes, I know. Maple syrup is a sugar. But it is not refined sugar. There is a great deal of controversy on this topic. For example, this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) suggests that the enormous amount of sugar in the average American’s diet is the root cause of many diseases, including cancer. I don’t know whether t
hat’s true. But I do know that even if I binge on these cookies, which I often do, I don’t get headaches or start snapping at people or find myself helplessly in thrall of butterfingersnickersbabyruthmoundsm&msskittlesredhotsjawbreakerslifesaverstictacs and whatever other kind of candy I can lay my hands on, which is what happens when I eat refined sugar. So I like these cookies.
Here’s the recipe, which I’ve changed only by switching from canola to olive oil.
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. rolled oats (I use the old-fashioned)
2/3 c. brown rice flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened dried coconut
pinch of sea salt
1/4 c. semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips (since I’m not vegan, I normally use Ghirardelli, but I made these once with vegan chocolate chips and they were almost as good)
Preheat the oven to 350.
1. Mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Whisk the oil, syrup, and vanilla extract together until it becomes thick, and then mix it into the bananas. Add all of the dry ingredients to a separate bowl. Whisk until combined, then add the banana mixture. Stir until you no longer see any flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Drop the batter onto the sheet by tablespoons, leaving the mounds as is. Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
These taste best if eaten on the same day that they’re baked. But they also freeze really well. I’ve been known to eat them straight from the freezer. However, if you have more patience than I, try reheating in a toaster oven. They’re dreamy.
I can’t count how many times I’ve made these cookies since January 28, 2013. Obviously none of those times was remarkable. But today I tried something worth noting. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil, and I added 1 Tablespoon of Maca powder. Superfoodorama!! I just learned about Maca yesterday, when my acupuncturist recommended that I add it into my diet. Apparently my reserves are depleted and I need to build them up. Who knew? Not me. I don’t know whether this will really help, but it’s worth a try. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s an article that spells out the hype. http://www.naturalnews.com/027797_maca_root_hormone_balance.html