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Maple-Date-Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Posted Apr 28 2013 7:45am
These cookies are a great treat, snack, and could even serve as a breakfast bar on the go. I have been trying to sub dates and iron rich foods into my diet as much as possible to get ready for labor and baby coming. Eating whole grains especially wheat germ is a great way to get in iron and also assimilate iron into your system, but yes, because of being gluten-free, wheat germ is not an option for me. So certified gluten-free oats have been an option, along with common other veggies and seeds that contain vitamins and iron that promote better hemoglobin levels in the body.

Some other foods to consider for iron intake are lots of fresh and steamed greens, pumpkin seeds and nuts, and dried apricots and dates also have a nice amount as well. Then there are the usual suspects of iron-rich foods like red meat, legumes and spinach, so those have been a more common staple for me as well. Oh, and did I mention raw cocoa also has a nice amount of iron to offer the body (no problem consuming more of that, thank you!) Whether you are pregnant or want to be pregnant, the truth is that people who have food sensitivities often have a hard time  assimilating nutrients in their small intestines, so those may be found to be anemic or even "malnourished" for a long time even after going gluten-free. So it is even more important to sensitive people to try and eat a nutrient dense diet as much as you can. Whole foods, no chemicals or additives, and as much plants as possible. Gaining as much nutrients from your real food over popping over the counter vitamins is a better way for the body to gain the benefit of nourishment as well.
Interesting enough, I found out that pure maple syrup actually has a nice amount of natural occurring iron as well. Which is an added bonus since I just bought a ton of local syrup to store for the year. Michigan maple syrup is the best! I'm sure other people may think their local syrup is better, so I won't argue my point, but I am pretty proud to live in a place that produces such sweet gold this time of year.

So these cookies are sweetened with my 3 favorite sugar subs of maple syrup, dates and banana. They are not too complicated and turned out fabulous for storing, freezing or devouring of course. I plan to make a few more batches to freeze for after baby comes as well. I think these cookies would make a wonderful treat for new breast feeding moms.
Maple-Date-Banana Oatmeal Cookie Recipe {gluten, dairy, egg, nut and sugar-free}
3 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill)3/4 cup of sweet sorghum flour3/4 cup of brown rice flour (can sub white rice flour here)2 TB of ground flaxmeal (I used golden flax)1 ts. of baking powder1 ts. of baking soda1 ts. of sea salt2 ts. of ground cinnamon1/4 cup of light olive oil or grapeseed oil, or melted coconut oil works too
(oil can be omitted if you desire)
1/2 cup of dates (16 dates)2 ripe bananas1 cup of pure maple syrup1 TB of lemon juice (1 small fresh lemon squeezed)2 ts. of pure vanilla 
additions:1/4 cup of raisins or currants1/4 cup of dairy-free chocolate chipsor pick 1/2 cup of one or the other
other dried fruit or carob nibs could also sub just fine here as well

In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together and leave the oil out and ready to dump in with the rest of the wet ingredients. Then in a large magic bullet blender or other high powered blender, blend the extra ripe bananas, dates and maple syrup along with the vanilla and lemon. Blend until smooth, or if you want a few date pieces you can blend until mostly smooth. Then pour in the blender mix with the dry mix, add the oil and mix well together. You may want to mix well and then leave the batter to soak up the moisture for a few minutes and it will become a sticky cookie batter then. Lastly add the extra fillings you desire. 1/2 of fillings should be about enough. 1/2 of raisins, or chocolate chips, or a mix of both. 

Roll out Tablespoon-sized balls and then press them down on a baking cookie sheet. Then bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

We ate about half of these and then stuck half in the freezer. I am going to make another batch or two to put in the freezer because they freeze so well. Which will come in handy in a few weeks when we are looking for a quick snack or treat.

I hope you enjoy and find that gluten-free baking can be fun and nutritious too!

Much love as always!
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