Spring Clean the Kitchen: "Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Give tips on how to make a healthy dish out of whatever you have on-hand."
These oatmeal raisin cookies are more naturally sweetened thanks to the use of banana, applesauce and maple syrup instead of refined white sugar. They're also richer in nutrients and higher in fiber than traditional oatmeal raisin cookies due to the incorporation of whole rolled oats, chia seeds and walnuts. I keep most of the ingredients for these cookies stocked in my pantry regularly, and particularly like to make them when I have overripe bananas that I need to use up. For this particular batch I actually made additional substitutions (noted below) to use up other needed items in my pantry for the purpose of spring cleaning and making room to restock my shelves.
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. chia seeds
1.5 c. whole rolled oats (uncooked, dry measure)
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. walnuts, roughly chopped (lightly toasted, optional)
1 c. ripened banana, mashed (1.5 - 2 bananas)
1/2 c. applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in one bowl. In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry. Then mix in oatmeal, walnuts, raisins and chia seeds until well combined. Place onto cookie sheet, approx 2 tbsp batter per cookie. Bake at 350 F for 10-14 min, then allow to cool for approximately 5 min.
These work well with Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour and GF oats if you desire Gluten-free cookies. For this particular batch, I used 1/2 c rice flour and 1/4 c almond meal/flour which is what I had on hand. I also used molasses in place of maple syrup (to boost iron), and apple butter in place of applesauce.
Be sure to check out additional "Spring Cleaning" recipes from other Recipe Redux bloggers below, and tune in next month for the April theme in honor of Earth day: "We’re challenging ReDux members to show how they reduce food waste. Whatever you would normally toss, use it up. Share tips for reducing food waste in meal planning, prep or using up scraps."
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and endurance athlete residing in southwest Virginia alongside her husband and dog. Through this blog she aims to share favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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