This past week, our snack cabinet was pretty bare. I thought I would make a moderately sweet treat in a manageable portion size. I had an overripe banana but knew my husband would appreciate cookies more than a batch of muffins. So I decided to use the banana to make his favorite type of cookie – oatmeal raisin. Even if you’re not a fan of bananas, you can hardly taste the one that’s used in this recipe. Instead of changing the flavor, the ripe banana acts to replace some of the butter that’s used in traditional cookie recipes. These cookies are cake-like and chewy instead of crispy. But they retain the perfect spice and sweetness of a classic oatmeal raisin cookie. And they have less than half the calories, fat, and sugar of the packaged version.
- 2 Tbsp. raisins, chopped into small pieces
- 1 large banana (very ripe), mashed
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp. granulated ginger
- 2 cups quick oats (not instant)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Soak chopped raisins in warm tap water for at least 10 minutes, until plump. Drain and dry with a paper towel.
- Combine mashed banana with butter and sugars, mixing well until smooth.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, soda, spices, and salt. Add in banana mixture, mixing only until combined. Then fold in raisins and oats.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Space about 1 inch apart and flatten slightly (they will not spread much while baking).
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Then transfer to cooling racks.
Makes 25-30 cookies.
Approximate nutrition information (per cookie): 80 calories, 2 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 1.5 grams protein
Soaking the chopped raisins makes it easy to use less. The whole-wheat flour and oats add fiber. I’ve had success using a melted “light butter” spread instead of regular butter. That saves about five additional calories per cookie. You could also add chopped nuts or chocolate chips if calories are not a concern.
Although these aren’t a perfect substitute for a bakery cookie, they are much easier to fit into a well-balanced diet!
Would you rather make a healthier version of a dessert, or just eat a smaller portion of the real thing?