I love cookies. Warm vanilla, brown sugar, and butter all diffusing as each spoonful of dough bakes into the perfect bite-size treat. Who doesn't love finding a cookie in their lunch box? Or cooling by the coffee pot? Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter, chocolate crinkles, shortbread.... I love them all. We love them all!
But, these aren't cookies. They are made of fruit, not delicious layers of butter and sugar. They're a trick. See?
But, they are a trick I willingly play on myself. Inspired by Shape.com's so called Applesauce Cookies, these sugar-free, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free treats are, at the very least, cookie-like. I refuse to call them cookies, but I do dub them granola bites. For nearly three weeks, I've been totally gluten-free and soy-free while severely limiting sugar and dairy. (I'm not insane. I'm doing an elimination diet to identify food allergies... This weekend I'll reintroduced wheat back into my diet.)
Strawberry-banana bites have saved my life.
A guilt-free treat that I actually want to munch on. The bananas sweeten the cookie while slivered almonds give it a slight crunch. Fresh strawberries provide a twinge of tart. And, get this? As they bake, they smell like Quaker's Bananas and Cream oatmeal. If you are making them for kiddos or if you don't mind a bit of sugar, add 1/4 organic or brown sugar when you add the oats.
3 ripe bananas
2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
A generous pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 fresh strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 350°.In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add oats, applesauce, vanilla, spices, and almonds. Stir thoroughly.
2. Cut the tops off strawberries and chop fruit into tiny pieces. Add to batter. Mix until well blended.
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy with a cup of coffee.