Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF, Vegan)

Cookies, Dessert, GF, Snack, VeganHaley HansenComment

Today was one of those days where I just couldn’t get my thoughts straight. Actually, that’s how the past few days have been. Maybe even my whole life.

See what I mean?

Anyway, there has been a lot going on right now between me and someone who is more important to me than I ever thought anyone could be. We haven’t spoken much in the past week – quite a big change from talking everyday for the past two years. So I’ve been trying to deal with that and figure out what steps to take to follow God’s path. But, I have to be honest - sometimes that path can seem scarier than, like, jumping off a cliff or something.

Being scared sucks, for lack of better words at the moment. Do you ever just do random things throughout your day to keep you occupied and distracted from whatever is on your mind? If you do, follow my lead. I’m really good at it.

One of my favorite things to do in times like this – tied with running – is anything involving food and a kitchen. There’s just something about it that always comforts me. I think following the steps in a recipe provides a feeling of stability and confidence, because I know that if I just do what it says to do, everything will be fine and whatever I’m making will turn out like its supposed to.

Is there a recipe for, well, life?

Sometimes I wish there were. Maybe God could write a cookbook. There would be recipes for times of happiness, ones for times of praise, and ones for times of patience, of trial, of fear. I’d study that cookbook like I should have studied my Geometry book.

But there is no such book. In fact, sometimes, when cooking, you’re on your own – no recipe, no steps to follow, no given baking time or serving size.

Yikes.

I think God put me in that position today for a reason. I don’t know what the reason is - maybe it was simply for this post.

Anyway, for the past few days, I’d been watching this one banana in my kitchen get more and more brown, and I’d been promising myself I’d do something with it – bake banana bread, use it in a shake, or freeze it for an acai bowl. But this morning, it was still there. And this afternoon - yeah, still there.

After another challenging, emotional-rollercoaster day, I was ready to forget about everything going on in my brain and just get lost in the kitchen. I grabbed the ugly, mushy, brown banana and started surfing Pinterest for recipes. Probably a solid thirty minutes escaped me before I realized I was finding nothing I’d actually eat. I think it was then that God told me, “Just wing it.” But I didn’t want to wing it. I wanted to follow pre-determined steps to get me where I wanted to be. I’d been playing guessing games for the past week wondering where my life will take me and I just wanted to do something where I could see a picture of what the product of my actions would be.

But I also got sick of looking at recipes that just weren’t appealing. So I closed my computer and did exactly what God was telling me to do. I just trusted my knowledge and my abilities.

And what did I do? That’s right – I made cookies. (Did that kind of rhyme? Cool, thanks.) Not just any cookies – chewy, warm, salty, sweet banana walnut chocolate chip oatmeal anytime-of-day-but-best-for-breakfast cookies.

If you think the name alone is a mouthful, just wait until you try one.

My peanut butter heard that there were banana cookies in the kitchen, and he felt left out, soo... yeah.

My peanut butter heard that there were banana cookies in the kitchen, and he felt left out, soo... yeah.

Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 31:25

Makes about 15 cookies

1 large ripe banana, mashed
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 heaping tbsp. agave nectar
¼ cup oats
2 tbsp. flax seeds
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.     In a medium sized bowl, combine the banana, applesauce, and agave nectar. Stir until mixed well.
3.     Add in the oats, flax seeds, walnuts, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir again and let rest for 5 minutes.
4.     Scoop spoonfuls of the batter onto the baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container.