Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies (vegan & gluten-free) from "Pantry to Plate"Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies (vegan & gluten-free) from "Pantry to Plate"
Happy long weekend to my Canadian pals! I thought I’d leave a good grab-and-go recipe for when we all need to get back into the weekday flow of things. We’re getting busy outside this weekend and will likely be building blanket/pillow/snuggle forts around our sweet dog that absolutely hates fireworks. Poor little bud. I’ll also be getting ready for my trip to DC next week. I’m doing two very cool events with Heather and Jessica, and I’m so excited to hang with them on my first visit to the US capital. I have info and ticket information for both at the end of this post if you’re in the area and have nothing going on mid-week. Both nights are going to be such a good time, and I will definitely be giving out free hugs, just sayin’.

Since Heather and I are hanging out next week, it seemed only right to share her incredible new book with you all today. Pantry to Plate is ideal for the recipe freestylers out there. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by plant-based and allergen-considerate cooking sometimes. There are new and slightly unpredictable ingredients to bring into the fold, new cooking techniques, and some nutritional considerations that can factor in as well.

With a calm confidence, Heather takes some of that guesswork and frustration out of the equation by encouraging you to use what you have on hand. In this book, recipes function as templates with an infinite world of possibilities to make them your own. The veggie burger template, for example, lets you know that there are certain ingredients in quantities you need to start with, and from there you can improvise specified amounts of dense vegetables, other added vegetables, plant-based proteins of your choice, fresh leafy stuff, flavour add-ins, and a binder. It’s the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure of high vibe cooking. I’m not a devoted recipe follower, so this book is a dream for my free cooking spirit. There’s some great sections on basics like stand-alone sauces, international flavour profiles, homemade coconut yogurt, DIY vegetable ferments, and some of the more basic cooking techniques if you’re just getting started.

I’ve got these banana chocolate chip breakfast cookies for you today because I just really wanted to have a wholesome sweet treat around this weekend. Like all recipes in this book, Heather shows you a (beautifully illustrated) template and then gives you a couple specific examples of the template in action (with gorgeous photos). I pretty much followed this example recipe to a tee, with one minor change based on my personal pantry stock, which I detail below. These came together so easily. I love that there’s a little kiss of lemon in these, just to cut through the richness of the nuts and banana. Such a simple, but still very high impact kinda thing, which is always my favourite thing ;)

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies (vegan & gluten-free) from "Pantry to Plate"Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies (vegan & gluten-free) from "Pantry to Plate"Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies (vegan & gluten-free) from "Pantry to Plate"

Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate ©Heather Crosby, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
SERVES: Makes 12 to 14 cookies
NOTES: I didn’t have almonds, so I just used Heather’s master formula for breakfast cookies and substituted an equal amount of pecans and hazelnuts. Also, I used Lily’s chocolate chips rather than a chopped bar.

½ cup (70 g) raw, unsalted almonds, chopped into tiny pieces
½ cup (40 g) flaked or shredded dried coconut
1 cup (80 g) rolled oats
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground psyllium husk
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup (110 g) mashed banana
¼ cup (60 ml) dairy-free milk or water, gently warmed
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, gently warmed to liquid
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup (90 g) chopped dairy-free dark chocolate (about one 3-ounce/85 g bar)Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and spread the chopped almonds in one layer on the sheet so they have room to roast mostly untouched on all sides. Pop in the oven for 7 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl and scatter the coconut on the sheet; roast for 3 to 4 minutes, until starting to brown, and add to the bowl with the nuts. Set the lined baking sheet aside.

Add the oats, cinnamon, psyllium, and salt to the mixing bowl and stir until well mixed. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, mashed banana, warm dairy-free milk, warm coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until well mixed. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients, and then fold in the chopped chocolate until thoroughly incorporated.

Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to place 2-inch (5 cm) dollops of dough on the lined baking sheet. Press flat if you like or keep in macaroon shape–the shape won’t change as it bakes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven; cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in the fridge in an airtight glass container for up to two weeks.

***Little reminder if you’re in the Washington, DC area! There are still a few tickets available at these two awesome events I’m doing this week :)

Tuesday May 23, 2017:
Taco party and book signing with Heather Crosby of YumUniverse and Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant/One Part Podcast. TICKETS HERE.

Wednesday MAY 24, 2017: Cookbook celebration with a discussion panel + tasting with Heather Crosby of YumUniverse and Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant/One Part Podcast. TICKETS HERE.

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