Call me crazy but I enjoy cravings. Not the sudden got-to-have-it-now feelings that happen from time to time. I like the quiet rolling around in the back of my mind sort of cravings. These are the little seeds getting ready to sprout an idea for a recipe or an excuse to try a new restaurant. Cravings present an opportunity for adventure and I relish them until I figure out the exact right way to satisfy them.
Recently I have been daydreaming about two things oatmeal cookies and coconut. I haven’t been particularly motivated to bake something new – I am still recovering from all the sugar involved in learning to make meringues and fine tuning my flourless chocolate cake recipe. However, cruising around Pinterest the other day I spotted a link to a recipe called No Sugar Oat Drops on the blog, Blueberry Girl. The main dry ingredients for these delicious looking cookies happens to be oats and coconut. You have my attention!
A quick scan of the recipe and I knew it was just the sort of treat I was in the mood for. The name is slightly misleading, they have sugar in the form of dried fruit and sweetened coconut but there is no additional sugar added to the recipe. The finished product is more nutrient dense snack than dessert. The label, cookie, is very loosely applied to this recipe. Anyone who gave up cookies for Lent should feel free to call this a granola bar, it could even be shaped it into a little rectangle before baking.
Full of healthful ingredients these cookies are terrific on their own. If packed with a boiled egg, yogurt, fruits & veggies, or a non-fat latte, they could be part of an easy and satisfying meal on-the-go. Oh and I haven’t mentioned the bonus – they are vegan and can be made with gluten free oats! (Not calorie free though, pace yourself appropriately.)
The original recipe calls for mashed bananas, not my favorite. After scanning the reader comments I discovered some fun ideas to alter the ingredients for taste and allergy preferences. My version uses pumpkin and coconut oil in place of bananas and vegetable oil. Some commenters tried applesauce and others replaced the nuts with sesame and sunflower seeds. I love how many ways there are to make this recipe a signature treat.
I am so glad I found this recipe. They turned out to be a healthful treat for my family that also satisfied my cravings 100%!
Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from No Sugar Oat Drops; Blueberry Girl, May 2010 who republished it from Banana Pecan Granola Bars on Anja’s Food 4 Thought April 2010
- 1 1/2 cups of uncooked old fashion oats
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup of nuts chopped small – use any combination of your favorites, I chose 1/4 c. pecans 1/4 c. walnuts
- 1 cup dried fruit – any type should work, dice large pieces if needed. I used raisins and cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (plain not the pie filling)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- *optional 1 TB honey – I think these have a nice amount of sweetness as is but a little honey adds a bit more sugar and a nice warm flavor component.
- Preheat oven to 350 and prepare two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients making sure everything is well blended and the fruit isn’t sticking together.
- In a smaller bowl mix together the pumpkin, oil, and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
- Portion the dough into 20 balls and then flatten into 1/4 inch thick circles.
- Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool on a wire wrack before storing in an airtight container.
- They will soften a bit as they sit. If you prefer them a little more crisp, try toasting (in a toaster oven, not the pop up kind) on the lightest setting.