I am always looking for fun snack recipes for Ayla. I want them to have a good nutritional profile, but they also have to be tasty for her to show any interest. I had seen lots of cookie recipes that used chickpeas in place of flour and thought that sounded like a great place to start for a winning, healthy snack. But as I began looking around, I couldn't quite find a recipe that I was happy with. So, taking ideas from a variety of sources, I got to work on my own creation. Generally speaking, this hasn't worked out for me in the past, so when I gave my first batch the official taste test, I was shocked that they were actually quite tasty! And to make things even better, these cookies are packed with fibre, and are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. But none of this mattered if the ultimate taste tester didn't approve. Luckily, Ayla gobbled them up! Huge mom win. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent in the kitchen coming up with what that I think will be great dishes for the babe, only to have her turn her nose up at them. I needed an ego boost.
What I love most about this recipe is that you throw all of the ingredients in a blender at once, making the prep work really quick and easy. You can have these cookies prepped and cooked in less than 45 minutes. They really do resemble the peanut butter cookie of my childhood, but with more nutritious undertones. I wanted them to be baby friendly, which means low sugar (natural or otherwise) but if you are making them for yourself or an older child, there a couple of alterations you can do to make them a bit of a sweeter treat. I used 2 tablespoons of 100% maple syrup as my sweetener, plus a banana. You could up the maple syrup for an extra kick of sweetness (perhaps 1/4-1/2 cup), as well as stir in chocolate chips just before scooping them onto your cookie sheet. Chocolate chips tend to go a long way in elevating most cookie recipes. The first batch I made definitely had a more "rustic" look to them. The second time around, I used damp hands to create more uniformed shapes and pressed down on the tops with a fork to resemble a more traditional peanut butter cookie.
Find the recipe and instructions below and let me know what your family thinks!
1 can drained, rinsed chickpeas
1 cup quick oats (or oat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (you can swap out for another nut or seed butter)
2 Tbsp 100% maple syrup (more if you want a sweeter cookie)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add all of the ingredients into your blender (minus chocolate chips, if using--stir in at the end) and blend until combined. The batter will be thick, so add water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. For a more aesthetic cookie, dampen your hands to shape them and gently press down on top with a fork.