Banana Oat Trail Cookies



Yup, it’s true! Cookies can be healthy, delicious and a great fuel source for the trail.


Most cookies on the market or ones you will find in the grocery store tend to be very high in fat and sugar, and low in fiber which will not keep you satisfied very long. They may be a quick source of energy but it is better to focus on getting nutrient dense foods that will give you energy! This will help your stamina on a trail or running errands on a busy day.


Why Cookies?

In my opinion cookies might be one of the best inventions of all time! They can be healthy and fit into your lifestyle no matter what you do. It is all about focusing on nutrient dense ingredients. When you use nutrient dense ingredients to make cookies you know you are getting both a delicious treat while also providing your body with essential micronutrients such as iron, fiber, folate, vitamin C, E, and many more!


Ingredient Highlight:


Bananas:

  • Bananas are easy to digest and provide a quick source of energy while exercising. Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – giving you a great source of energy.

  • Bananas are also a great source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber and Vitamin B 6. These all play a role in maintaining healthy cells and gut health.


Oats: I went into detail about the amazing health benefits of oats in my last post here! Check out how oats can keep you fueled all day long!


Almond Butter:

  • Eating almond butter can help keep your blood sugar stable which keeps your energy up for a longer period of time.

  • Almonds are also a terrific source of the minerals manganese and copper as well as riboflavin which are all necessary for energy production! Who can’ t use more energy to get through a hike or even just our normal workday!

  • They also contain a powerful antioxidant Vitamin E which can help decrease inflammation and prevent infection due to its immune boosting properties.


Pumpkin Seeds:

  • A serving of seeds contains about almost half the recommended daily intake of Zinc. This is important in the diet due to it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that also helps the metabolic process similar to vitamin E.

  • Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of fiber. Diets high in fiber are associated with many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity and have been shown to help reduce hunger throughout the day.

  • Fun Fact: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of tryptophan, zinc and magnesium — all of which help promote good sleep. So even though these bars are more focused on fueling for a hike there are also some other benefits you get out of these cookies as well!


Here’s what you’ll need to make the cookies:


Makes 10 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana, mashed

  • ¼ cup sugar free maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp almond butter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • ½ cup oat flour

  • ¼ tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • ⅓ cup dried fruit (cranberries/raisins/other)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana. Stir in sugar free syrup, coconut oil, almond butter, and vanilla until creamy. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until combined. Using a cookie scoop, scoop even portions of dough on to the baking sheet. Slightly press down with the palm of your hand.

  3. Bake for 15-20 min. until the tops are light golden brown. Let cool for 5 min. before serving. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Nutrition facts per cookie: Calories: 137 Carbs: 23g, Fat: 6g, Protein: 4g, Fiber: 5g

Tips:

  • These cookies store well in the freezer as well so if you don’t eat them often store them in the freezer in containers or reusable bags for up to 3 months!

  • If you don’t have pumpkin seeds use what you do have such as sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts/almonds/cashews.

  • You can also switch up the dried fruits… try adding in dried blueberries, cherries, mangos or your other favorite dried fruit!