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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is it really possible to have a cookie recipe that doesn’t call for any sugar or butter but still produces cookies just as sweet and delicious as the ones you’re normally used to eating? Well, not only are these treats incredibly easy to make — even for moms that rarely bake — they’re nutritious and tons of fun for kids to get involved in making. The dates and bananas add a rich sweetness to every bite and the toasty oats give these cookies a crispy texture. And if you prefer bars to cookies, it’s easy to convert this recipe.

When I whipped these up with Kenya last week, he totally got into it by helping me smash the bananas, toss the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl and then by trying to eat as much of the dough as possible before it hit the cookie sheet. Since there are no eggs in this recipe, I didn’t worry about letting him chow away. After all, you only get to be a kid once and eating cookie dough is part of the fun of baking!

PS You have to freeze a few of these. The kids go crazy for them right out of the freezer!

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 30 Cookies)

3 Bananas (preferably ripe or spotty bananas)
2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Dried Dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 Cup Oil
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips, Walnuts or Raisins
1/4 Tsp Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash bananas in a bowl, and mix in the remaining ingredients.
3. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
4. Using a mini ice cream scoop or tablespoon, place the batter onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 25 Minutes.
5. Cool and serve.

** To make into bars – place dough in a greased 7x11 dish, bake for 35-40 minutes then allow to cool. Cut into bars or squares.

**To Freeze: allow cookies to cool after baking then place in a Ziploc bag, label and freeze for up to 3 months.

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