Classic Oatmeal Millet Raisin Cookies (Vegan and Gluten Free)

by Maria Theresa Maggi on December 9, 2013

Oatmeal Millet Raisin Cookies 3

The season of treats is upon us. It can be hard to avoid the rich cookies and candies set out everywhere you turn in the social whirl of the holidays. But this is a cookie you can have more than one of, and have every day, too, and still stay on track. There’s no sugar, flour, gluten, soy or fat–just a tasty version of an old classic.

This healthy little gem was born back in early October as I was getting ready for the trip I wrote about in the post Down By The Rivers: Falling Apart and Coming Together. At home, I’d been eating my Itsy Bitsy (Flour-Free Sugar-Free Gluten-Free Fat-Free) Fruit Cobbler every night. But it wasn’t practical to take something like that with me. I knew there’d be goodies at the opening reception of the art show in Riggins, and wedding cake and other goodies galore at the party for Kelly and Mike, so I didn’t want to feel deprived. That’s when I got the inspiration–which made me giggle–to see if my sugar-free flour-free gluten-free fat-free (soy free) cobbler topping could somehow be made into a cookie that would hold together. So into my messy kitchen laboratory I went.

I basically multiplied amounts of the same things I used in the cobbler crust and put the cut up pears inside the cookies. I had no idea if they would hold together or not, but they did! And my traveling companion liked them too, which I consider a high compliment, since she doesn’t eat like I do.

When you’re baking without fat and sugar or even flour, the ingredients you do use have to do a lot of important work. The taste and texture of everything counts. The secret ingredient of literally holding these cookies together is mashed ripe banana. The key word here is ripe. I’m not talking about bright yellow bananas that aren’t green anymore. Those are great for the cereal bowl, but probably not sweet enough for this recipe. Instead, I mean what a friend calls “necrotic bananas”–the kind with all the ugly brown spots on them. That’s exactly the kind you want for this recipe. (I read on that most distinguished of sources, Facebook, that brown spotted bananas possess a constituent that slows down the growth of cancer cells that the pretty yellow ones don’t have. There’s internet controversy about that, of course, but it certainly won’t hurt you to eat the overripe ones.) And if they happen to be organic, so much the better. I find organic bananas are generally sweeter than conventional ones, so you could get away with organic ones being slightly less ripe. These two I drew last week would be in the competitive running for recipe inclusion, though they might not come in first place:

bananas in chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi

Our co-op puts the brown spotted organic bananas on sale and I snatch them up for this kind of thing whenever I see them. They can be peeled and broken into chunks and frozen too. The freezing makes them even sweeter. So if you are using conventional bananas, or happen to have some already in the freezer leftover from summer days of eating banana ice cream, using a commensurate amount of those would work too. They defrost rather quickly and before long you can mash them to pulp, just like the ones that haven’t been frozen.

My friend I traveled with liked these cookies so much she asked me for the recipe and tried to make them at home. She said her batter was dry and the cookies did not come out like mine. When I queried her about banana ripeness, she had used those perfectly fine yellow bananas.  She says it’s just that I have the right magic, but I think it’s because the bananas she used weren’t necrotic enough.

Four other people have tasted these cookies and all the comments were favorable. Ashley calls them “treats” and my next door neighbor Sierra, who is a conventional eater, said “The cookie itself isn’t very sweet, but even so, the raisins give it just the right amount of sweetness.” My son Mike eats much more like I do, but with more sugar and fat, so I didn’t think he would like them. But he did. “These are good breakfast cookies,” he said. That is Mike-code for “these aren’t as sweet as cookie-cookies, but I like them anyway.” He ate two or three, I believe, while discussing this, at 9:30 at night.

This recipe makes a batch of 8 or 9 cookies, depending on how big you shape them. And the crazy thing is, if you wanted, you could eat ALL of them in one day. I never have, but you could. It would be like eating 3 or 4 bowls of oatmeal with fruit basically. My point is that you can indulge freely in these cookies without straying off the path of whole food.

I have a few more recommendations about the quality of the simple ingredients, but let’s get down to the process first so they can be part of the larger context.

I warn you: you might not be able to stop eating these. But if such a thing is possible on Earth, these cookies are probably the closest thing we’ve got to the food in Judgment City, as depicted in the brilliantly funny Albert Brooks film Defending Your Life: you can eat all you want, feel great and never gain a pound. Well, almost.

Maria (moonwatcher)

PS: A Big Slow Miracle Art Store THANK YOU to my readers who made its first week online a truly pleasant and amazing experience. I hope you all delight in receiving your packages as much as I was delighted to send them out.  At this writing I have just 4 sets of cards left from the original printing! I’m working on  a way to have all the art featured in the assorted pack of cards available as prints, too. I’ll have them printed as people order them. So if you think something like this is a good idea, let me know. Thank you for helping to support the hours I spend drafting, writing, revising, drawing, painting, cooking and photographing the posts you read. You are the best!!

Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan Voisin December 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

These look so good and healthy, Maria. I can’t believe there’s no sugar or other sweetener in them! And I’m with you on the vanilla. I use a very expensive brand that I am reluctant to mention on my blog because I know some people can’t afford it, but high-quality ingredients really do make a difference in taste. Mine is not alcohol-free, however, so I will have to give yours a try some day.


2 moonwatcher December 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Susan!! I appreciate your solidarity about quality ingredients, too. It’s the bananas, but it’s also the vanilla. (And the sweetness of the pears, the raisins, even the grains. The zing of lemon zest.) So yes, I’m glad I forgot my glasses that day!! 🙂


3 Veronica December 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Yum! I like the guilt-less cookie angle… I will have to whip up a batch! Sadly, the husband hates bananas (don’t get me started, he’s lucky I still love him), so it’d be just for me (which isn’t really a bad thing!). 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the store’s first week success!


4 moonwatcher December 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hi Veronica–I answered this comment in my head and then forgot to answer it here LOL. Nice to have a batch of cookies just for you, and thank you so much for your warm wishesfor and support of the Slow Miracle Art Store’s first successful week. About the bananas: these cookies really don’t taste very banana-y. So if you were ever to get your husband to try one, you might be in danger of having to share them!! 🙂


5 Melissa C. December 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm

The cookies look delicious. I am on an elimination diet right now and I hope that one day I can add oats back into my diet. When I test them, this will be the first recipe I try. I miss oat cookies.

Also, I received my order from you yesterday and I am so excited to send one of the card packs to a lovely friend. I know she will have the same appreciation for the work involved in them that I do. I think having prints of the other artwork on the cards would be wonderful. I would actually like to have a print of the moon one (my daughter would adore it, as well). So, when you have that available I will be placing an order. :o)


6 moonwatcher December 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hi Melissa,

Good luck with your elimination diet. I am honored my cookie recipe will be the first one you try when you add oats back in. I always use gluten-free oats because the others are often processed with wheat and they can make my nose and eyes water because of it!!

Thank you so much for letting me know you got the order and all your kinds words about sharing the cards with your friend. I am now offering 8 x10 prints of all the card designs so you can go ahead and order one for your daughter. Just specify in the “Instructions from Buyer” that “Moon, Tree Branch” is the one you would like to buy. I’ll e-mail you to confirm that. We are adding those instructions to the page tonight most likely, but I thought I’d let you know here, too. Thanks so much!!


7 Cathy December 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I love millet! Lots of great info here, thanks! 😉


8 moonwatcher December 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm

You and me both, Cathy! It may well be my favorite grain. So glad you found the info useful too–thanks for the feedback. 🙂


9 Amy December 11, 2013 at 7:49 am

Thank you so much for this recipe. I am doing a 3 week No Added Sugar or Artificial Sweetner challenger through my gym and I’m about to go crazy. I can’t wait to make these!


10 moonwatcher December 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

So glad to hear these will help you through Amy! Thanks for letting me know and good luck!! It’s a good challenge to try and meet. 🙂


11 Corrin Radd January 18, 2014 at 7:43 am

I made these today and for breakfast and even my visiting relatives liked them (I did add a little sugar for the sake of the visiting relatives, but having eaten them, I don’t think I really needed to). Thanks for the recipe!


12 moonwatcher January 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

Thanks for letting me know, Corrin! That’s wonderful news–it’s not always easy to please visiting relatives. 🙂 And also glad to know you didn’t think they actually needed the sugar. That’s what I think too.


13 Dena May 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I can wait to try these cookies they make my mouth water! I am using your website daily thanks for everything. This is a very healing place for me. Thanks also for the “websites I love” Wonderful places to visit.


14 moonwatcher May 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

Dear Dena, thank you so much for letting me know! I am very honored and happy to learn that you use my website daily. I am so moved to know it is a healing place for you. You are so very welcome!


15 earthlover July 3, 2014 at 5:51 am

I just had not thought there was alcohol in it at all.
i will be reading those ingredients more, i read carefully but maybe, i am just not careful enough it slipped past me!
Thank you.
ps i really love oatcakes/biscuits.


16 moonwatcher July 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

You’re welcome, earthlover–reading ingredients is alwasy an education for me, too. 🙂


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