gluten-free, sugar-free, fruity oatmeal cookies

Oh, did I forget to mention DELICIOUS in the title?

Being on an insanely strict diet and possessing the rival insane sweet tooth is an epic bummer. I consider myself to be a pretty darn good baker, but my specialties consist of nothing gluten or sugar-free. I am never one to skimp for the sake of low-fat (ugh) or low-calorie (lame) achievements – I believe in cooking with real, whole foods, and the same goes for desserts – as long as moderation is being exercised, let’s have the good stuff, please.

While I have still been baking once in a while over the last few months, there just isn’t as much pleasure in making things that you can’t eat. I have decided it’s time to turn a new leaf when it comes to how I bake and the ingredients I use, but there is quite a learning curve here. I have stocked up on alternative flours, seeds, spices and sweeteners, but I have seen, and wager I will continue to see, more frogs than princes for the foreseeable future.

Here is my first real success, and humble though it is, it’s truly delicious. It really does satisfy my cookie craving, and is completely healthy, containing not even one no-no.

INGREDIENTS

  • Gluten-Free Certified Rolled Oats, 2 Cups {I like Bob’s Red Mill}
  • Raisins, 1 Cup {use dried cranberries here if you can (I can’t) – I think that would be even better}
  • Pumpkin Seeds, 1 Cup {you could use any nut or seed here that you like best}
  • Butter, softened, 1/3 Cup
  • Very Ripe Banana, Mashed, 1 Cup {that works out to about 3 medium}
  • Applesauce, 1/2 Cup {this needs to be either homemade or a store bought sauce that contains nothing but apples}
  • Vanilla Extract, 2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon, 1 1/4 teaspoon
  • Baking Soda, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon

making oatmeal cookies

METHOD

  1. Toast your pumpkin seeds in an iron skillet over low-medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 -7 minutes. You could do this in the oven or a regular pan, too, I just find it works best in the iron.
  2. Combine the seeds, oats and raisins in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine bananas, applesauce, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt until well mixed.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and combine well by stirring gently.
  5. Let this mixture sit for 15 or 20 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and drop heaping spoonfulls of the batter onto the sheet. I use a handy scooper for this, but a spoon works just as well.
  8. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Let them sit on the sheet for about a minute before transferring them to cooling racks.
raw batter, ready for baking

raw batter, ready for baking

These cookies come out looking a bit like haystacks, and don’t hold together as well as a regular cookie due to the moisture in the fruit and absence of flour, so you will want to handle them delicately. After they have sufficiently cooled though, you should have no trouble moving them directly from the rack into your mouth. Have a cuppa too, would ya?

cooling cookies

cooling cookies

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