It is especially hard to try to eat healthy when you have a fast-paced job requiring many hours in the office, travel and social events. As my husband has watched my diet and exercise transformation, he asked me to help brainstorm with him about what types of health changes would work for his lifestyle.
As we discussed his healthy eating challenges, we realized that breakfast was one of the main challenges. His work schedule varies. Sometimes he leaves very early in the morning to beat rush-hour traffic into the office. As he rushes out the door, he sometimes grabs a granola bar or a bottle of water but not much else in the way of breakfast.
We wanted to experiment with a portable, grab-n-go breakfast that would be healthy and filling. After some thought and research, I came across this recipe from Skinnytaste for healthy, breakfast cookies. The ingredients are bananas and oatmeal plus whatever else you want to add. You can find other recipes that are more like real cookies with sugar and butter and all kinds of yummy things added. I wasn’t looking to make a real cookie. I wanted to make the closest equivalent to a bowl of plain oatmeal.
I saved up some brown bananas and got to work cooking. I combed the cupboards to come up with 5 flavors. In some of them I substituted unsweetened applesauce for the bananas.
I counted the calories in my cookie dough and batched them out in huge cookies that were about 215-270 calories each since the idea was to have a calorie-friendly, meal replacement cookie.
I had to double the cooking time since my cookies were so large. Also, the applesauce cookies took an additional 10-15 minutes to bake to dry out the extra liquid in them and make them more cookie-like.
When the cookies were done, they looked pretty yummy.
I wrapped them up individually in plastic wrap and labeled them with the flavor and calorie count.
My husband was amused with my packaging efforts. When he saw the wrapped cookies, he teased:
Since the cookies were made of so many fresh (and perishable) ingredients, I stored 5 of them (one week’s worth of breakfasts) in the fridge and froze the rest.
My husband tried them out the first week. He said they were filling and pretty good. He preferred the banana flavored ones to the applesauce ones. I had a small taste of some of the cookies. They aren’t like regular cookies. They are not as sweet and they are dense and chewy. I like them (but I have never met a cookie I didn’t like).
However, after a few days of trying them out, I noticed the cookies sat in the fridge. So clearly, they aren’t a craveable breakfast choice. We will keep testing this but it looks like we might have to go back to the drawing table to come up with another idea.
What is your favorite portable, health-conscious breakfast? Please share in the comments.