Spelt Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (wheat free)

These are some of my favorite cookies on the planet.  Slightly sweet, chewy, and dense, with just a hint of banana and gooey chocolate, these cookies even win over people that don't really like bananas.  Like me.  But, let me make this clear: these bad boys are not vegan, they are not gluten free, they are not sugar free. These cookies are full of sugar, butter, spelt, oats, egg, and chocolate chips.  

Needless to say, I haven't eaten them in a very long time.  

Someday, I will make a gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan adaptation, but right now I am avoiding both bananas and oats, since it turns out I have a mild allergy to them. In a few months I'll try reintroducing them and see if I have any reactions, but in the meantime, no banana cookies for me.   

I think it would actually be quite simple to adapt this recipe to be gluten free, vegan, sugar free, or all three. GF oat flour, or another GF flour or flour mix, could be used instead of spelt flour. GF oats could be used, or you could try substituting quinoa flakes or poha (pressed rice flakes). Instead of egg, try your favorite egg substitute, or maybe add another banana. Instead of brown sugar, try using a tolerated sweetener, making the proper adjustments if using a liquid like honey or agave. Instead of butter, try using coconut oil or more shortening. Use your favorite allergen-free chocolate or carob chips to finish it off, and if desired, some chopped nuts. I've been experimenting with making my own carob chips, and those would be pretty killer in this recipe. Most commercial carob chips are grain-sweetened (bummer) or contain sugar, and usually also have soy lecithin (bummer #2). So I tried Sally Fallon's recipe for making them from scratch using carob flour and coconut oil, and sweetened them with xylitol. They are great, and worked really well in a recent quinoa cookie experiment! I'll post that recipe soon.

So, my dear GF and vegan readers, I issue you an adaptation challenge: go forth!  Adapt!  It is well worth a shot, because these cookies rock. Let me know if you try it, and please share your adaptations and experiments!

As a side note, I love the banana ripening chart photo.  I found it here; I didn't know that websites existed for produce postharvest technology.  Amazing.  I love the internet.  Anyway, the optimum banana ripeness for this recipe is demonstrated by banana number 7 in the image above. Happy baking!

Spelt Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/2 c + 1 c spelt flour (or oat, barley, whole wheat, GF flour of choice, or mix, but I always used spelt)
  • 1/2 c loosely packed brown sugar (about 1/4 c packed)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 c butter/shortening (mix of half and half is good)
  • 1 happy egg
  • 1 c mashed ripe banana (about 2 whole bananas)
  • 1 3/4 c rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 c chocolate chips
  • 2-3 T honey, as desired
  • optional: 1/2 c chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 c flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter/shortening with sugar.  Add egg,  banana, and honey, and mix again until well blended.  
  4. Gradually mix in dry ingredients, then add oats.  Add in up to 1 cup of the additional reserved flour to achieve a dough consistency.  Fold in chocolate chips and optional nuts.
  5. Spoon onto baking sheet.  Bake at 350* for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven.
  6. Let cool for a minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to rack to finish cooling.