When I’m cooking for the family, my intention is always to nourish (I know, I’m just so new age). I want to choose foods that will fill our bodies full of good things, so that kind of excludes all the delicious stuff like cakes and biscuits, right? Well, maybe, but sometimes you just really need a biscuit with your cup of tea, so I started to think about creating a little sweet treat that still has some good stuff in it. Oats are so good for you: a great source of fibre as well as lots of important vitamins and minerals, and oat bran is high in protein (although if the taste of bran is too ‘knit your own yoghurt’ for you, feel free to replace it with wholemeal or rye flour instead). I’ve tried to keep the butter to a minimum by adding banana (but hey, I’m a fan of full-fat dairy) and they’re not too heavy on the sugar either, so if you’re desperate for a sweet treat, why not reach for one of these cookies instead of that packet of biscuits? If you’re calorie counting they come in at about 120 kcal each which isn’t bad for a nice, fat cookie. I’m not going to go so far as to say they’re healthy, but let’s call them healthier oat and cranberry cookies instead.
Healthier oat and cranberry cookies
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g porridge oats
40g oat bran
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 ripe banana, mashed
Handful (about 30g) dried cranberries
Firstly, get a couple of baking trays ready by covering them in baking paper, and preheat the oven to 180 C/gas 4.
Gently melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk and vanilla
Weigh out the dry ingredients and put them all in a large bowl and pour the liquid over the top of them. Add in the honey, mashed banana and dried cranberries and stir everything together.
Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto your baking sheets (they don’t spread too much) and bake for 15 minutes at 180 C/gas 4.
They’re not the prettiest of cookies but they’re kind of ‘toothsome’ (I like this word) and satisfying, plus you can fiddle about with the recipe and try adding sultanas or chopped dried apricots or maybe even – gasp – some chocolate chips.