Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crazy Monkey Droppings

Practise makes perfect.  And boy, did I practise a lot to get this next recipe just right.  
A week ago, I came across an interesting recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies made with quinoa, hemp seeds and bananas. The healthy ingredients -- and the fact that I had all of them in my pantry -- made the recipe appealing to me. I even made a double batch thinking they'd be a big hit with my gang.
Quinoa cookie experiment, a.k.a. the Paper Weights
I proudly served the banana-chocolate chip-cookie concoction. Two of my three kids took a bite and politely placed the dense lumps back on the plate.  When I served them to a group of friends, I received a polite, "no thank you. I'm too full for another one." In other words, "Where can I spit out that last bite?"   

It was back to the drawing board with my mixing bowls. I tried a few variations and finally came up with this version. The taste  reminds me of a banana split; the banana flavour is unmistakable. The extra ripe bananas act as the glue that holds together all the ingredients. 
I often stock up on $1 bags of over-ripe bananas from my local grocer. The fruit freezes really well, but make sure you peel the bananas first.
After the first batch of paper weights, I had to give the successful batch a good name.  Hope you enjoy my Crazy Monkey Droppings. 

Quinoa Cookie Experiment #2: Crazy Monkey Droppings
These chocolate-almond-banana cookies are free of gluten and sugar. The natural sweetness comes entirely from the bananas. 
I throw in some chia seeds and ground flax seeds. These optional ingredients boost the nutritional value.

Crazy Monkey Droppings
1 cup cooked quinoa 
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3 overripe bananas
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds 
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper. 
Puree the bananas and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
Scoop out a tablespoon of batter and drop on to the cookie sheet. 
Bake for 25 minutes. 
Yields 22 cookies.
Try them for breakfast with yogurt on the side
For a more sophisticated cookie with a kick, add 2 ounces of melted dark chocolate and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Make the cookies much smaller. 

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