This perhaps the most important recipe on this blog- the staple food of my diet- the ultimate go-to. No one can seem to understand why I never get sick of these things (myself included) so you'll just have to try them to see if you share my fridge-cookie addiction. Packed with whole oats and peanut butter- they are so filling but not heavy in your tummy at the same time. The flavonoids, stimulants and endorphin-releasers found in the pure cacao powder explains this recipe's wonderful effects on the brain. The idea for these guys came from a similar recipe on the wonderful food blog, Oh She Glows.
What You'll Need
1 large ripe banana
~ 1/8 cup all natural peanut butter (none of that hydrogenated, sugar/salt/oil added stuff)
1/4 cup pure cacao powder (not cocoa)*
1 & 1/8 cup unsweetened almond milk
pinch of salt (optional)
1/4 TSP vanilla extract
~1/8 cup pure maple syrup
2.5 cups whole rolled oats (not quick oats)*
Although this recipe is ridiculously easy, it will turn out so very different depending on how you make it, because there are so few ingredients. Using cocoa powder (such as Fry's), processed peanut butter, cheap maple syrup, an unripe banana and/or quick oats is a quick and easy way to ruin this recipe.
The difference between cacao & cocoa powder can be confusing because when labels are printed on cocoa powder products in French they read "cacao". Cacao and cocoa powder are not the same. Cocoa is highly processed. It is essentially cacao powder that has been refined at high temperatures. Cacao is cold-pressed maintaining all of cacao's natural living enzymes and flavour. This is why cacao is not as readily available, is more expensive, much better for you and a whole lot more delicious. You can really taste the lack of flavour in cocoa.
In terms of oats, quick oats are never the way to go because you can make your own by simply running whole oats through the blender while still maintaining their nutritional value. Quick or instant oats are the most processed of all, offering not much more than calories. Rolled or old fashioned oats are more processed than oat groats, but maintain the low glycemic index and high nutritional profile of less processed oats such as steel cut oats (although they are not as tough to cook with thus are the best of both worlds!). This is because they are steamed & rolled less than instant oats and are still raw. Its always best to eat that which will offer the highest nutritional value per calorie. Other wise you are just consuming empty calories and will end up feeling full while being nutritionally deprived.
And with that introduction, I present to you, the fridge cookie!
Begin by mushing your banana. Put in a pot with almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, salt & peanut butter. It really is true that a pinch of salt brings out the flavour of chocolate.
Mix everything together on a medium heat, stirring until the peanut butter melts. This is also super tasty to make with crunchy peanut butter because you will get crunchy peanut bits in every bite. The more peanut butter you make this with, the more almond milk you will have to add. So the amount of peanut butter you use kind of controls how big the batch will be.
Add in the cacao powder and stir until well combined. Then lower the heat and let it thicken. You can really play around with how you want these to taste- you might like them very peanut butter-y or very banana-y (in which case you could use 2 bananas). I have slowly been making them more and more chocolate-y over the years... hehe
Now add in the rolled oats. If you want a denser, less chewy cookie that holds together better- run some of the oats through the blender to make a flour. Add in this oat flour to replace some of the oats and don't add in too many oats. If you let the mixture sit for a while the oats will soak up the wet mixture and get thick. So when you are new to making this its best to leave the mixture alone for a while after you add in some oats, to gage how many you should actually add. Like all my recipes, this is very approximate so play around with it and see what combination is best for you!
Now you can shape your cookies, store them in the fridge and thats it! They are called fridge cookies for a reason after all. I usually squish the mixture into a non-stick soft silicone muffin tin mold because it makes for a good size and easy removal. These can be kept in the fridge overnight but they won't taste the same. They are best eaten the same day. I wouldn't recommend freezing. Once they have firmed up the fridge they are the perfect thing to take with you when you are on the go and won't be eating for a while: Not messy to eat, not too delicate, filling, delicious, light, packed with fibre and protein & so versatile! The best things are the simple things.