It’s been a jungle of change for us recently. Over the last few months we have packed up our lives, moved city, travelled to New Zealand (me), lived in a hotel for 6 weeks straight (Jesse), started new jobs, set up home from nothing, found new friends, attended (far too many) new churches, got new licenses, new doctors, new coffee shops… a lot of change, yes?
However, amidst all that there has been one consistency.
The biggest challenge was Jesse’s 6 weeks in a hotel for B1900 training. What does the nutritionally conscious do with no access to cooking utilities, refrigerator, boiling water? When the only half decent food shop within walking distance is Subway (not our idea of healthy eating) and the breakfast provided by the hotel is more about muffins, brioche, waffles and sugary cereal than ‘real’ breakfast options?
Sending Jesse off with individual Tupperware servings of Curried Apple Quinoa Salad (to be stored in the bathroom’s icebox) helped, but these cookies were quite depended on – nutritionally sound enough to enjoy for breakfast and the perfect snack with the midnight cuppa tea prior to the all night simulator flight sessions.
As we have settled into our new home and new jobs these simple but incredibly tasty, satiating cookies have proven to be an ideal grab-and-go snack, holding up well in Jesse’s flight bag, lasting well on long away trips and making an excellent addition to the lunch box.
This is a revamp of my old Porridge Bites recipe, replacing a bit of the almond meal with protein powder to lower the fat and up the protein (and add a little sweetness).
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Protein powder. It’s a point of contention. What’s the point of supplementing with a powder when you should get plenty in your normal diet? It’s a give or take – and a matter of convenience. I always have some on hand to make a quick shake after a workout (a vital time to refuel) when I really want to restore muscle glycogen, boost energy levels and repair any muscle damage – oftentimes it is difficult to stomach an actual meal. It is completely optional in baked goods, and even more optional for those whose muscles are rarely fatigued (ie, non-exercisers). I like it for the well balanced sweetness (stevia) but also because I like all my food, snacks or meals, to be nutritionally complete.
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (I’m enjoying protein from NZ, like BodyLogix)
1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or raisins)
Preheat oven to 325˚F and a line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut (or olive) oil. Add the oats, almond meal, protein powder, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks or raisins.
The dough will be a bit looser than a standard cookie dough. Roll the dough into roughly shaped balls and place on baking tray. Flatten slightly. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Store remaining cookies in freezer.