Bananas are such an all-round useful and healthy food. They thicken smoothies, sweeten breads, certain varieties can be used like potatoes in more savory dishes and when over ripened many types work as a binder for chocolate chunk cookies!
There are so many types of bananas growing around the world, around 500 editable types out of about 1,000. There are 6-10 that are commonly eaten and we see several types in Hong Kong. Cavendish are the most popular, mostly imported but some are grown locally. The milky banana and plantain banana can also be found locally grown from the many markets.
Bananas are a wonderful source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins B6 and C as well as the minerals potassium and manganese. The fiber in bananas can help with digestion, moderating blood sugar spikes and controlling appetite. Potassium helps the heart and kidneys.
This recipe also uses extra thick rolled oats, a slower digesting form of oats compared to instant oats. The less processing, the slower the digestion of the fiber in the oats. This keeps you feeling full and your blood sugar spike is slower and lower.
The nutrition in oat groats, the least processed oat, on up to the most processed instant oats are similar, but there are varying degrees on the speed in which each type of oat is digested in our bodies. At the least processed end are oat groats, then steel cut, Scottish, rolled (including the different types of rolling) to instant. The slower the digestion, the more your gut is fed with healthy bacteria. Oats are considered a prebiotic which feeds the 'good' bacteria in your gut.
Chocolate Chips vs Chunks
I may have overdone it with the chocolate chips here, as you can see the 'overflow' in the picture, but by making this quantity into 24 cookies, they are pretty small cookies, so just enough for a nice treat. I normally use 'chips' for cookies since they seem to spread more evenly in the batter, but if chunks are all you have - chocolate IS chocolate! Anyhow, given the choice, opt for the smoothness of the chips as they do spread more evenly within cookies.
Make sure your bananas are really ripe, they should have brown spots and be soft to the touch.
Start by preheating the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
Place parchment paper/cooking paper on a baking sheet.
2 medium-sized ripe bananas (225 grams)
1/4 C (50 gram) nut butter like almond, peanut or cashew
3 tbsp date sugar
2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
2 tsp ginger (ground)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 C (60 grams) almond meal
1 1/2 C (150 gram) extra thick rolled oats
3 tbsp oat milk
1/2 C (80 gram) 70% (bittersweet) chocolate, preferably chips but chunks will work
Take the peeled bananas and mash with a fork in a large bowl until it becomes really smooth.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, to the bowl and mix well together.
Let it all sit for about 15 minutes, so that the oats soak a bit. They will be more apt to form into balls once they become moist.
Mix in the chocolate chips/chunks.
Using a tablespoon, or just your hands, form small little balls, gradually forming into a disc shape. You should get 18 to 24 small cookies. Place the discs on a baking try that's lined with cooking / parchment paper.
I'm using a small dual purpose microwave & oven. With that, bake 7 minutes, turn and bake another 7 minutes. With a traditional oven it should be another minute or two and you don't need to turn them.
Let cool fully and store in an airtight container.