Oh, sweet lord above. That was literally my reaction upon taking my first bite of one of these babies. I’d been expecting them to be good, but still warm from the oven, that first bite was even better than I’d imagined. Oh, so wonderfully squidgy. They’re both marzipanny and peanut buttery, and I don’t know about you but those are two of my favourite flavours. When I was little, Mama Hosie used to make the tastiest peanut butter and raisin cookies which my siblings and I absolutely loved. Our young friends would often initially give said cookies a bemused look, likely due to the lack of chocolate, but then they’d try them and fall in love with that flavour combo just like the Hosie kids. Those delightful cookies from my childhood may have subconsciously influenced the flavour combo in these bad boys. You can’t beat childhood food memories, can ya.That said, chocolate chips instead of raisins would be AMAZING I’m sure. Weirdly enough, it would appear impossible to find chocolate chips in Belgian supermarkets. Yes, Belgium. The home of chocolate. What’s that about?
These little cookies-slash-energy-bites are perfect with an afternoon cuppa but also totally great for breakfast on-the-go. And they really arefilling and energising. Considering how so very tasty they are, it’s all the more incredible that THEY’RE SO HEALTHY! Srsly. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free AND vegan! I kid you not. *falls off chair. I often find healthy baking recipes use really obscure ingredients that the average person just doesn’t have. Not so here, my friends. I mean, just look at the ingredients: it’s literally just fruit, nuts, oats and peanut butter. HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE THAT COOKIES CAN TASTE SO INDULGENT YET BE SO GOOD-FOR-YOU?!
I should probably calm down. Sorry.
Medjool dates are the star ingredient here. If you only have normal dates make sure to soak them in a bowl of warm water for about half an hour first to let them soften and plump up. Medjool dates are sweet and fudgy which give these cookies their wonderful texture. Combined with the peanut butter and mashed banana, you don’t need any honey, butter or egg to stick everything together, and the sweetness of the banana and dates means no syrup or sugar necessary. And y’all know I like things. sweet! I wouldn’t post this recipe if they tasted like cardboard, trust me.
At the moment, I feel like we’re being bombarded with the message, “SUGAR IS YOUR ENEMY!” And I know I probably do eat too much of the sweet stuff so these babies are just perfect for anyone who, like me, has a massive sweet tooth but is trying to cut down. Do make sure your banana is super ripe though – brown and speckly? Perfecto! Don’t worry if you’re not a huge banana fan though, the flavour doesn’t come through overly strongly. Gad they’re delish! These cookies are so quick and easy too which is always a massive plus – just six ingredients, people! This recipe makes 9 cookies and was inspired by a on The Minimalist Baker.
100g medjool dates (about 8)
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 heaped tbsp smooth creamy peanut butter
75g ground almonds
1 tbsp raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Cut the dates into quarters, remove the stones and place in a large bowl. Add the mashed banana and get stuck in chopping and mashing it all together with a sharp knife and a fork – you want the dates in tiny pieces so the whole thing resembles a mush. Appealing, eh?
2. Stir in the peanut butter then add the ground almonds, oats and raisins. Stir all together until well-combined and it forms a dough. Cover with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for ten minutes to firm up.
3. Remove from the fridge and place large spoonfuls of the mixture on to the prepared tray, pressing each one down a little as you do. As there’s no raising agent don’t worry about placing them close together. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until firm to the touch and turning golden brown – I’d say err on the side of underdone for these babies. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray then transfer to a cooling rack (or, like I did, just dig in!) TOTAL GUILT-FREE YUMFEST!