These wholesome yet delicious gluten-free and naturally-sweetened banana oatmeal breakfast cookies are easy to throw together on a Sunday to have breakfast ready for your week.
NOTE: This recipe was originally published in March 2017. I’ve since made the recipe dozens of times myself and have heard from many of you that it’s a favorite. As of March 2020, I’ve updated the photos and the method, as I now prefer to make smaller cookies rather than the larger, 1/4 cup sized ones the recipe originally called for. I’ve kept the instructions for both the smaller and larger options so you can choose your own adventure, and have updated this post to make it more helpful. I hope these breakfast cookies bring you joy and comfort.
I’ve chosen to leave most of the original text of this post alone as a moment in time, because it’s interesting to read my own words back and see whether they still ring true. If nothing else it shows that we’re always growing and changing whether we realize it or not. I’ve also left one of the original photos at the end of the post, if you’re interested in seeing the difference 3 years of practice makes. Thanks for being here through it all.
So, I am back to working full time as an attorney (in-house), and re-adjusting to that world means I have sadly neglected you a little bit. But don’t worry, it’s only temporary. I’ll settle into the rhythm and things will fall back into place around here.
Creating and photographing recipes just requires energy – a wonderful, exhilarating, creative energy, but energy nonetheless. And if you’ve started a new job recently, or if you can remember what it was like to start a new job, you know the first couple weeks are tough. You don’t know how to work the copier or log into your email or find the bathroom. You don’t know what coffee shop you’ll frequent on your way into the office, or what time your meetings are or even what meetings you’ll have on any given day. You don’t know what’s going to be thrown at you next, and everything just feels…foreign.
It takes some adjusting, but this too, as my grandma would say, shall pass. Eventually all of these things feel as natural as if you always did them, and you can spare mental energy for other pursuits.
Right now, however, I’m still in that consuming early stage. I’m still collapsing on my couch every night and on weekends, and reaching for the remote instead of my computer. During this time, I have needed any sort of breakfast that makes my life easier, and better.
One of the things that easily falls by the wayside on weekday mornings, when you’re running out the door and are likely to leave your keys and your lunch sitting on the counter behind you, is a good breakfast. I’m not talking about the sugary cereal that was marketed as “part of a balanced breakfast” to us as children – I’m talking about real, stick to your ribs, full until noon breakfast.
The problem with that kind of breakfast is it usually takes a while to prepare, and to eat, and time is a precious commodity on these mornings. So, the best meal of the day is often reduced to hastily microwaved oatmeal, prepackaged granola bars, or — dare I say it — nothing at all. Intermittent fasting aside, if we choose to eat breakfast, we deserve better than this.
Here’s how we rectify this situation: do a little prep on Sunday so a good breakfast (or snack) is easy, no thought required. I’ve already talked about the wonders of baked oatmeal a little bit on here, which I would prep on Sunday afternoons to have breakfast ready and waiting every morning during my long law firm days. So if you haven’t already checked out this maple & brown sugar baked oatmeal, and you’re a warm bowl of oatmeal kind of breakfast person, go do that.
Grab & Go: Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
If you’re a grab and go kind of breakfast person, however, stick around. We can accommodate you too. These banana oatmeal breakfast COOKIES are just as hearty and satisfying as a bowl of oatmeal, but infinitely more portable and exciting because – seriously, who doesn’t want to eat cookies for breakfast?
No one, that’s who. And listen, you don’t need to feel guilty about eating cookies for breakfast now, because here is the ENTIRE list of ingredients:
- olive or coconut oil
- maple syrup
- baking soda
- chopped dark chocolate, because I don’t know what chocolate can’t improve — but it’s definitely optional. You can also add nuts or berries if you prefer.
I mean, does it get any more wholesome than this? You may be tempted to stop here, thinking that with this basic list of ingredients, the breakfast cookies can’t be very good…but you’d be wrong.
These cookies are chewy, soft, spiced, slightly sweet, accidentally gluten-free and vegan (who am I?) – and they deliver on flavor.
The other great part about this recipe is it only requires half an hour, one bowl, and a blender for making oat flour out of rolled oats. If you’ve never made your own oat flour before, it’s ridiculously easy. Dump oats in a blender and turn it on. That’s it. Nothing to see here.
This recipe is as simple as grabbing a big bowl, mashing the bananas and mixing them with the oil and maple syrup and spices, and then blending up those oats and mixing them in. Add whatever mix-ins you’re feeling that day. I often switch it up between chocolate vs blueberries or nuts. Then you just have to scoop and bake!
When I originally published this recipe in 2017, I liked to scoop big, thick cookies with this batter, so I’d get about 8 large ones from this recipe using a 1/4 cup scoop. You can definitely do that if you like.
Now, however, I prefer to use a normal tablespoon-size cookie scoop to make the cookies, which yields about 20 cookies (and means more cookies for me…math!). I’ve included instructions for both versions below so you can choose your own adventure.
To store these banana oatmeal breakfast cookies, just keep them on the counter in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the fridge for a week. You can also freeze them individually, well-wrapped in plastic wrap, and reheat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave whenever you have a breakfast cookie craving.
Because breakfast cookie cravings are most definitely a real thing.
I made these tonight, Sunday, at about 10pm, and I can’t wait to have them in the morning. Brian didn’t wait…so we’re down two. Looks like I’ll have to make them again before the week is out. Darn.
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or melted coconut oil or butter)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats, divided (see below)*
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional – or an equal amount of nuts or berries)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until relatively smooth. Add the oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, and whisk together with the fork until completely combined and smooth.
- Place 1 cup of the rolled oats in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend on high until the oats become a flour-like consistency (you now have oat flour). Pour into the bowl with the banana mixture. Take the other 1 cup of rolled oats and place in the same food processor or blender, and pulse or blend on low speed until the oats are in small pieces – about 30 seconds. Do not grind them into a flour. Place in the same bowl with the banana mixture and oat flour.
- Stir the oat flour and oat pieces into the banana mixture until everything is well-blended. Fold in the chopped chocolate or other add-ins gently with a spatula, if using.
- Scoop batter using a tablespoon cookie scoop (for regular size cookies) or a 1/4 cup measure (for larger size cookies) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 15 minutes for regular size cookies, 20 minutes for larger size cookies, or until edges are golden.
Below is one of the old photos from this post in 2017, which I left for reference so you can see how far my photography has come 3 years’ time. Photography is a constant work in progress, more of a journey than a destination, but I was helped along greatly by enrolling in Foodtography School (affiliate link) in 2018. They offer courses for beginners up through advanced food photographers, with courses in iPhone photography and restaurant photography as well. It was totally worth the investment for me — in fact, I just signed up for the advanced course to continue working on my skills. I hope it’s a valuable resource for you as well!