Guilt-Free Treats – A Simple Pleasure

I was born with a sweet tooth. Well, to be clear, not just one but every tooth in my mouth has always craved the sweet stuff.

Over the last year or so, though, I have realized that I need to cut way back on my sugar intake. The goal is a healthier body and lifestyle. Finding ways to decrease refined sugar in my diet while not feeling dessert-deprived has become a high priority for me.

I found this Banana Nut Cookie  recipe online under the diabetic dessert category on recipes.com. It is sweetened only with raisins and bananas. This is great as is but I decided to play around with the recipe a bit to make it a little more of a decadent, yet still healthy, indulgence.

To add more sweetness I added about half a teaspoon of agave nectar (a natural sweetener which has a lower glycemic index than processed sugar). I found this informative article on agave and how to choose the best brand. Thankfully, I’ve been using the one recommended here.

And, instead of raisins, I tossed in some chocolate chips. The higher cacao percentage the better. If I had dark chocolate I would have used that instead.

Also, I usually substitute unsweetened, natural applesauce in place of the oil but didn’t have it on hand. Next time, though.

These little treats are just that. A real treat.

They’re my guilt-free simple pleasure this week!

Project Simple Pleasures2

Banana Nut Cookies

YIELD: 3 dozen cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked regular oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 medium)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Combine banana, oil, and vanilla; stir well. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Let stand 15 minutes.
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.