Vegan Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
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The Clean Wellness Month of Healthy Chocolate continues with gluten-free cookies! These also happen to be vegan, and require no special kitchen equipment. If you're a cookie lover, read on.  

Gluten-free packaged cookies in the store are full of less-than-healthy ingredients and preservatives. Let's go over what you can expect to find in store-bought gluten-free cookies. 
 
A very popular brand of packaged, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies contains the following ingredients:

SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA), SUGAR, TAPIOCA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, PALM OIL, CORN STARCH, WATER, TAPIOCA SYRUP, DRIED WHOLE EGGS, MILLED FLAX SEED, MOLASSES, SALT, SODIUM BICARBONATE, VANILLA FLAVOUR, SOY LECITHIN, BAKING POWDER, XANTHAN GUM.

If you have Celiac disease, then these won’t cause the negative side effects of ingesting gluten. However, you may get an unrelated stomach ache because of the other unwanted ingredients listed. Also, the company’s website states that these cookies contain milk ingredients as well. And as you may have heard, a large percentage of those with Celiac disease, also have lactose intolerance. The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation states that, "25% of patients, clinically identified as lactose intolerant, have Celiac disease. In Canada, that means 73,500 people have undiagnosed Celiac disease which is the causal agent for their lactose intolerance." 

These store-bought gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are expensive (packaged gluten-free foods are approximately 2.5 times more expensive than non gluten-free items) and stale. So, why not whip up your own batch? 

My version of gluten-free cookies are both allergen-free and vegan, and have passed the requisite taste test with flying colours by my loving-yet-critical, gustatory judging panel.
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Here are the ingredients in my gluten-free cookies:

GLUTEN-FREE OATS, BANANA, CHOCOLATE CHIPS (EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, NATURAL CHOCOLATE LIQUOR (NON-ALCOHOLIC), NON-DAIRY COCOA BUTTER), COCONUT SUGAR, COCONUT FLOUR, COCONUT OIL, TAHINI, GROUND FLAXSEED, PURE VANILLA, CINNAMON, BAKING SODA, SEA SALT. 


Sweet and chocolaty, with a muted banana flavour in the background. They’re crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside. This cookie will hold its own against any “real” chocolate chip cookie. And I can assure you that it's better than any packaged gluten-free cookie. 
 
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You know what's great about vegan baking? No raw eggs! I highly recommend sampling the cookie dough.
 
Gluten-Free Ingredient Brands 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chips
I recommend the Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips as they're 100% allergen-free and vegan (free of soy, gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts, animal products, etc). These can be found in the natural food section of most major grocery stores, even in small towns (I can personally attest to this). 

Gluten-Free Oats
For the gluten-free and wheat-free oatsBob’s Red Mill or Only Oats are certified gluten-free. I've also usedPresident's Choice Organics quick oats in some of my past baked goods, and they didn't make my Celiac sister sick, so I would think these are on the safe-list too. (Not that I use my sister as a test subject to qualify a product's gluten-free status!) 

Gluten-Free Vanilla Extract
If you’re looking for a gluten-free vanilla extract, you’ll need to avoid the pure vanilla extract found at Costco as this is notgluten-free. A good alternative is Nielson-Massey, a high-quality, certified gluten-free vanilla extract that shouldn’t cause any adverse reactions. Nielson-Massey is also kosher. If you want to avoid alcohol-based vanilla extracts, alcohol-free vanilla powder from Organic Traditions is a delicious and versatile product. And if you want to skip the vanilla extract altogether because finding a gluten-free version is giving you a headache, be my guest! I don't think the taste of the cookies will suffer.  
 
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The orderly raw dough, all ready for the oven.
 
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If you're not full from sampling the raw dough, why not serve the baked cookies with some ice cold almond milk?
 
 

 
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The Clean Wellness Month of Healthy Chocolate will continue. So far, we have the Healthy Dark Chocolate Pudding, the (Black Bean!) Dark Chocolate Truffles and now these mouth-watering cookies. 


Have you tried any of the chocolate recipes yet?  

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