I love oatmeal for breakfast or as a snack, but when the summer months hit it becomes absolutely impossible to eat a hot bowl of anything. As far as health benefits go, oatmeal packs a huge punch. Eating a bowl of oatmeal once a day can reduce your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and actually increase your highly coveted good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Over time, this can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack and help maintain a healthy cardiac lifestyle in the long run. These benefits are too good to pass up, and it would be a shame to not reap these benefits just because the weather is too hot.
So instead of a piping hot bowl of oatmeal, why not have oatmeal cookies and an ice-cold glass of milk instead? (And let’s face it, everything tastes better in cookie form).
Oatmeal cookies are usually made with a ton of flour, whole eggs, butter and, of course, loads of sugar. This alternative version is extremely healthy. Instead of eggs and butter, you get healthy fats from peanut butter, and instead of refined sugar you get your sweetness and a potassium kick from bananas. If this recipe seems like too big of a jump for you, you can always add some flour or a few egg whites at first and then wean your way down. But if you’re feeling adventurous and creative, give this recipe a try:
6 very ripe bananas
1 cup of peanut butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp of cinnamon
Mash bananas until mushy, then fold into peanut butter until it becomes a dough-like paste. Add vanilla extract and baking powder. Add 1 Tbsp of cinnamon or more depending on your taste. Mix well.
Spoon out ‘dough’ in small drops (about 24) onto an un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until golden brown. The cookies will not rise much, so pay attention to the color.
Cookies should come out crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Now get your hands on a glass of ice-cold skim milk and enjoy!