These healthy breakfast cookies are packed with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, nut butters and whole grains and they make the perfect on-the-go snack or meal. You can make them gluten-free by using gluten-free oats, and make sure to check out all the substitutions so that you can vary the breakfast cookies to your liking. The one ingredient that might be new to you (and was to me) is quinoa flakes. This is whole-grain quinoa that has been steamrolled into light, thin quick-cooking flakes. It allows us to incorporate this high-protein grain into baked goods, where typical quinoa would be too hard and crunchy. We used Ancient Grains Quinoa Flakes, and any leftover make a great hot breakfast cereal for the mornings when you have some time.
P.S.: For the cookie in our picture, we used almond butter, applesauce, apricots, cranberries and maple syrup.
Images: Dédé Wilson
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup natural (no sugar added) almond butter or peanut butter
- ½ cup sliced almonds, natural or blanched, finely ground
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce or 100% pure canned pumpkin purée
- ½ cup finely chopped dried apricots (or substitute chopped dates or figs)
- ½ cup dried cranberries (or substitute chopped dried cherries or raisins)
- ½ cup quinoa flakes
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, agave or rice syrup
- ¼ cup raw pepita (pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds, ground in a spice/coffee mill
- 1 medium-sized ripe banana, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Position racks in upper and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place all the ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with flat beater attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
- Use a ¼-cup dry measuring cup or a ¼-cup ice cream scoop (our preference) and measure mixture out on pans, evenly spaced. Flatten with a damp palm or fingers to ½-inch thickness.
- Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes or until dry to the touch and the bottoms and edges are just beginning to color (it’s easy to lift one up and check). Cool pans on racks, then store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. We find that the ingredients really come together on days 2 and 3 for the best taste and texture experience. We think the quinoa flakes continue to absorb the moisture from the nut butter, banana and sweetener and peak a few days after baking.
- We found the quinoa flakes at Whole Foods in the cereal aisle, where they come pre-packaged in a box. They can also be ordered directly from Ancient Harvest.
- Flax seeds provide fiber as well as omega-3 fatty acids and whether this nutrition degrades – or how much it degrades – in a baked cookie is not easy to determine. You can buy pre-ground, but that product will definitely not be as nutritious as fresh ground. With all the research we did, the jury is still out, so we figured including this ingredient doesn’t hurt and you definitely still get fiber from the flax. We were going to use sprouted sunflower seeds and sprouted pepita, but the enzymes in the sprouted seeds are killed off at 150° F, so there was no reason to spend extra time or money on sprouted seeds (information courtesy of Sprout People).