Almond & Oat Banana Bites (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

This has been a recipe in progress for as long as I can remember. About nine months ago, I nearly  perfected the banana bites when I made some lazy and not-so-wise choices all at once. 

First off, I disregarded the importance of ripe bananas and used semi-green ones instead (mistake #1). I also ran dry of chocolate chips and decided to substitute them for something I did have: m&m's (mistake #2). Then, I unconsciously grabbed wax paper instead of parchment (mistake #3). Let's just say I ended up with a starchy bleeding-rainbow of m&m colored banana bites that become one with the wax paper. After these 3 mistakes, the very idea of this cookie drove my appetite to the ground. 

I've made complicated entremets, french pastries, and sourdough breads without error. How could I have made such a mess out of something as simple as oats and bananas?

Here I am, 9 months later, with a request for these cookies. I gave them one more shot. This time, I used spotty bananas, real chocolate, and parchment. I also ran across the idea of adding almond meal and toasted slivered almonds into the mix. 

As I stand before this headache of a cookie, I am proud to say that they are finally on this blog and that they no longer invoke fear in my mind. 

I, Jessica, have conquered the banana bites. 

Almond & Oat Banana Bites (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Yield: approx. 2 dozen bites

- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner. 
  2. Once oven is preheated, toast the slivered almonds for 3-5 minutes or until golden n' toasty. 
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oats, almond meal, coconut sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt, chocolate chips, cranberries, and toasted slivered almonds. 
  4. Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to place mounds of the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan. 
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bites turn golden and hold their shape.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

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Maira Gall