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BANANA OAT COOKIES 
Sweetened only with bananas, chewy oat cookies are delicious the day you bake them. They're not great "keepers" but they tend to disappear soon after they're baked.

These cookies look like those large ones you see in shopping centers. Yet they're different, barely sweet--and quite chewy. The combination of nuts and grain complement each other, yielding high quality, complete protein.

Use sweet, fully ripened bananas (with freckling). Hard, green-tinged specimens won't produce enough sweetness to make good cookies and you may need to add sugar.

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. walnut or vegetable oil
3/4 c. chopped walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts
2 1/4 c. sliced bananas, lightly packed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine rolled oats, salt, and cinnamon. Add oil and toss to coat. Set aside.

Mash bananas with a fork or liquefy in a blender. Add nuts and bananas to the oat mixture and mix well.

Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop 6 mounds of dough (slightly rounded) onto each of 2 unoiled cookie sheets.

Flatten cookies to about 5 inches across with a fork or spatula.

Bake on a high rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and press each cookie flatter with a fork. Return cookies to the oven and bake another 8-10 minutes.

You can make this recipe with as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. But since the cookies aren't very sweet, the added richness enhances the flavor and texture.

Note: You may add cake flour to this recipe - just mix a small amount with the rolled oats until you achieve a drop cookie batter consistency. You can substitute all purpose flour, but the cookies will not be quite as tender.

VARIATION: BANANA-PEANUT OAT COOKIES:

Instead of the 1/4 cup of oil in Banana Oat Cookies, use 2 tablespoons of peanut oil plus 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Toss the oil with the oats as directed above. Combine the peanut butter with the mashed or pureed bananas, and proceed with the recipe.
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