By Liz Bares
My alarm goes off early, too early for my liking. However, due to my own obsessive nature, my children don’t eat cereal for breakfast during the week. So, I need to get up earlier than them to make it.
When I was a kid, I remember inhaling a bowl of Cheerios before dashing out the door to school. Then, once settled into homeroom, I was starving. That’s why I try hard to make sure Austin and Eleanor have a substantial breakfast.
The kids have a total of 30 minutes to feed their calves, get dressed for school, eat breakfast, brush teeth and get into the car – a whirlwind morning – and finding things that are nutritious and tasty enough for them to eat can be a challenge.
My daughter is a light eater in the morning, so I am always looking for something that is bite sized but bursting with calories and nutrients. We do “toad-in-the-hole,” which is a slice of bread with a hole cut into it. Then you crack an egg into the hole and fry them in a pan.
Banana and peanut butter bites are El’s favorite, with toothpicks to make it fancier. Austin’s favorite is plain, full-fat yogurt with muesli and some grade B maple syrup from Nature’s Remedy drizzled on top. My favorite is Irish oatmeal with apples and a hardboiled egg on the side.
A few weeks ago Austin spotted “breakfast cookies” on sale at Tops. Perplexed, he was astounded that some moms let their children eat cookies for breakfast. I explained that the cookie was probably made from oatmeal, but still had too much sugar for my liking and we would not be purchasing the breakfast cookies. Austin was bummed for about three minutes – he moves on fast. However, I wondered if you could just make a breakfast cookie without all the preservatives and sugar.
Pinterest to the rescue! My go-to source for recipes is Pinterest. There is so much there it boggles the mind. At any rate, I found a breakfast cookie recipe, made them and the kiddos loved them!
This recipe can be adjusted to suit your needs. I use gluten-free oats, for example. Also, the recipe calls for vanilla whey protein powder. You can omit this ingredient if you wish. Your cookies just won’t have as much protein. I use chocolate whey protein powder sweetened with Stevia, Wegman’s brand. I find the Wegman’s brand ingredient list isn’t too bad. I serve these cookies (2-3) with some yogurt and fresh fruit in the morning.
2 whole ripe bananas, mashed until creamy
1/3 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
(whatever your liking or you could use almond butter)
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups quick or instant oatmeal, uncooked
¼ cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but you can use any or omit this.)
¼ cup chocolate chips (I used the tiny vegan chips or you could omit or use regular chips.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix mashed banana and peanut butter until completely combined. Then add in the applesauce, protein powder and vanilla extract. Mix again until completely combined.
Add in the oatmeal, nuts and chocolate chips to the banana mixture and combine. Let dough rest for about 10 minutes.
Next drop dough by the tablespoonful onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies slightly. Bake cookies for about 30 minutes (I know, seems long but they turn out) or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. Store cookies in a covered container.