Healthy banana chocolate-chip cookies

I was looking for a “healthy” cookie recipe to make for my brother-in-law, ultra-marathoner Ed. My fear was that taking a regular cookie recipe and replacing all the decadent ingredients (eggs, butter, sugar) would result in a cookie-shaped rock. I was inspired when my search for “healthy cookie recipe” found Nikki’s Healthy Cookie Recipe on — and the version below is the yummy result.

4 large bananas
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 C oil
2 T butter, softened
3 C rolled oats
Scant 1 C whole almonds, for 1 heaping C almond meal
1/2 C shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 C sugar (optional — if your bananas are not sweet enough)
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1-1/2 t baking powder
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind the almonds to make almond meal. Watch carefully to avoid processing them into almond butter.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almond meal, coconut, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and optional sugar.

In the food processor, blend the bananas, vanilla, oil, and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until combined, and add the chocolate chips.

Grease a couple of cookie sheets and put rounded teaspoons of the dough onto them. You can leave them rough or flatten them. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies — although I had trouble counting, because they disappeared as soon as they came out of the oven.