Healthy Banana Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe has changed my life. Seriously. The past seven weeks I've adopted a new healthy lifestyle, cutting out refined grains and added sugars, and eating more fruits and vegetables. And these cookies are still totally legal. You can make them and eat the entire batch for breakfast and not even feel bad about it (that's what I just did, actually). Nutritionally, this is like eating a hearty bowl of oatmeal, minus the milk. These totally satisfy my craving for a warm, soft, chewy cookie with absolutely none of the guilt after I eat six of them. I am so happy about this I want to sing!

The other nice thing about this is it's totally adaptable. You can put whatever you want in them. The first time I made them I only used a banana, oats and chopped walnuts and they were still good!

Are you ready for the best part? If you make these as described below and eat the entire batch, it's only about 400 calories (a perfectly acceptable breakfast, if you ask me). The walnuts also add essential omega 3 fatty acids, and you're getting a serving of fruit from the banana, and whole grains from the oats. Leave out the add-ins and you're at about 240 calories. I know. I know. You can thank me later.

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Cookie base:

1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs quick oats

The above ingredients are actually all you need, but I added a few extras:

dash of salt
splash of vanilla
2 Tbs chopped walnuts
1 1/2 Tbs craisins
1 1/2 Tbs shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together ingredients. Form into cookie shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray (they will stick if the pan is not well-sprayed). These don't change shape, puff or rise while baking, so form them into the shape you want them to end up. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Makes six or seven cookies.


Asian Bell Pepper Soba Noodle Salad

I had some bell peppers on hand and had a stroke of genius and decided to make them into a salad using soba noodles. I LOVE soba noodles. They're whole grain and they are so tasty. I loved how this salad turned out.

Asian Bell Pepper Soba Noodle Salad

6 oz soba noodles, cooked and chilled (run cold water over after cooking)
3 bell peppers, red, yellow and orange, sliced thin
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped small
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
4 cups baby spinach

1 whole Lime, Juiced (1 Tbs bottled lime juice)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/3 cup honey or 2 Tbs Agave nectar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped

Mix up the dressing, pour it over everything else. YUM!

Curried Butternut Squash Apple Soup

I love the addition of curry powder but if you're not a fan you could reduce it. This recipe made a TON of soup. I took some to a friend and her family for dinner and had plenty leftover for myself. If you're not cooking for a crowd, half it.

Curried Butternut Squash Apple Soup

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large)
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups good apple cider or juice

    Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.
    Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.
    Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, apple cider and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup with a blender. (I used my blendtek and it worked great. Just don't over-fill it - you don't want hot soup splattered all over your kitchen. And wash it out right after. I let my blender soak overnight and it is now stained orange. Great.)
    Pour the soup back into the pot. It should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.

    Thanks, Ina.