Fuelled for Work: Banana Cookies – Brain Food

This post is Part 2 of a series called Fuelled for Work. Each few weeks we will share a post with recipes and ideas for workplace foods that keep your brain fired up, your stomach satiated and your tastebuds stimulated. To check out the previous post in the series, click here.

The afternoon slump. It’s a common workplace occurrence – the clock hits 3pm, energy levels are depleting, you are craving a pick-me-up, and Jonny just brought in a box of donuts…

As a keen foodie, as well as an advocate for employee wellness, I can’t help but get excited about the prospect of improving employee performance through good food. New studies are continuously being released which demonstrate the correspondence between what goes in (nutrition) and what comes out (productivity), with some clear winners when it comes to brain food.

Having nutritious snacks on hand for mid-morning and mid-afternoon go a long way to reducing energy slumps, mind-blocks and distractions. In our office kitchen you will find some combination of carrot and celery sticks, cottage cheese, homemade granola bars, nuts, bananas, apples and protein powder.

When veggie sticks no longer satisfy, here is a clean-eating snack that provides what you need to get through that afternoon slump. Sweetened only with banana and packed with chia, hemp, pumpkin and flax seeds these cookies provide you with the much-needed Omega-3 fatty acids, known to support cognitive processes, keeping the mind focused and the brain charged.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 20

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or olive oil)
2 cups oats
1/3 cup almond meal
2.5 Tbsp flaxseeds
2.5 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp hemp hearts (optional)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 325˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the bananas and coconut (or olive) oil. Add the oats, almond meal, seeds, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Stir until combined. Fold in the raisins, if using.

The dough will be a bit looser than a standard cookie dough. Roll the dough into roughly shaped balls (an icecream scoop is handy here) and place on baking tray. Flatten slightly. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, until the bottoms are beginning to brown. Let cool on wire rack.

Cookies will keep best in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Bring one out at lunch time – it will be perfectly thawed in time for afternoon tea.

Christina is a member of the Salopek & Associates team and while she’s passionate about HR, she’s also an advocate for healthful eating and its positive effect on productivity. This has spurred her series of Fuelled for Work as she strives to enable all workers to eat well and maintain a healthy worklife balance. You can find more of her recipes and photos on her food and photography blog, De La Casa.

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