Peanut butter banana trail cookies

Peanut butter banana trail cookies

Drive into the mountains as an early evening storm rolls in. Arrive at our friends’ cabin, to an enthusiastic tiny person (who looks less and less like a tiny person each time we see him) and a homemade curry dinner. Sit out on their deck, watching a hummingbird buzz as the giant ball of hot plasma makes its way toward the horizon. Eat too much crispy chocolate while listening to Thom and his buddy reminisce about their month-long, celebratory trip to Japan (following the completion of their tour in Iraq). Overdose on deep belly laughs. Hit the hay at 10:30PM because we were all too tired to function (followed by the immediate realization that we are most certainly turning into our parents). Wake up before the sun the next morning, tiptoe around the house so as not to wake our friends who were kind enough to let us crash in their spare room. Get in our compact rental car and drive down the unpaved road as the sky turned from dark and star-speckled to twenty shades of burnt cotton candy. Stop at a gas station for snacks we didn’t really need. Stop at another for caffeine. Arrive at the trailhead at 7AM and hurl ourselves onto a dirt path that would take us up to an elevation of over fourteen-thousand feet, if we’d let it. Take our first break 30 minutes from the summit because 1) I’m stubborn and thought we could make the ascent without taking a break but 2) Thom sensed early-onset hangry and forced me to stop and eat a snickers cookie. Finally make it to 14,265 feet. Take cover from the wind while eating more cookies and marveling at the fact that these things are within a reasonable driving distance from our front door. Talk about how crazy it is that a month ago we were getting married on a tiny island in the middle of Ireland and now we’re on top of a mountain. And in a week and a half we’ll be on our way to South America.

Make our way back down. Feel relived. Exhausted. Sore. Like we’re probably getting too old to be doing this without taking joint medication. Make a pact to hold one another accountable. To not let life get in the way. To never, ever fool ourselves into thinking we’re too busy to hop in a car and drive into the Rockies. Or hop on a plane and escape reality for an entire month. Because– what’s that saying? The one that’s been falsely attributed to Jack Kerouac for the past five years?

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.


Unsweetened banana chipsCalifia Farms in the wildPeanut butter banana trail cookies in the makingPeanut butter banana trail cookiesSunriseOH HEY BABETO THE TOP!Peanut butter banana trail cookie breakAtlantic + PacificSUPAtlantic + Pacific PeaksPeanut butter banana trail cookiesWheeler MountainPeanut butter banana trail cookiesPeanut butter banana trail cookiesSummit of Quandary PeakSummit of Quandary PeakOverlooking White River National ForestBlue LakeQuandary PeakUntitled

Notes: If you want to be adventurous AND you’ve got unsweetened banana chips on hand, grind them into a fine meal in your food processor. Or you could put them in a plastic bag and beat the crap out of them with a rolling pin. You could also use freeze dried bananas but the flavor isn’t nearly as strong.  If you’re not down with using banana chip meal, just leave it out – it won’t change the end result all that much.  If you want to use more mashed banana to make these a bit sweeter, you can double the amount and use an additional 1/4 cup (about 24g) of oat flour.

Other trail-friendly recipes: double chocolate almond butter trail cookiesclumpy banana + almond butter granola, and lazy girl peanut butter cookies.

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions are my own, and I think Califia rules.


1 (112g) extra ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup (142g) natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons (22g) refined coconut oil
, melted (but not hot)
1/4 cups (78g) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (55g) Califia Farms original almondmilk
1 1/4 cups (122g) oat flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (98g) thick rolled oats

1/4 cup unsweetened banana chip meal (see notes above)
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
, roughly chopped
2 ounces good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, followed by the almondmilk. Add the oat flour, sea salt, and baking soda, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in the oats, banana meal, peanuts, and dark chocolate until evenly distributed then wrap bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. Using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared sheet then flatten with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle with finely chopped peanuts, if desired. Bake at 325˚F for 14-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cookies can be stored in an air tight container for up to five days. If you’d prefer to freeze them, wrap each individual cookie in a piece of cling wrap large enough that you can triple wrap it. Allow cookies to thaw for 2 hours before eating. Will keep frozen, wrapped in plastic, for at least three weeks.

Yield: 10-11 cookies


  • Reply Clem @ The Vegan Cookie Fairy 19 August 2015 at 6:28 AM

    I loved EVERYTHING about this post. You seem to really enjoy your life, and I enjoy reading about it.

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan 19 August 2015 at 6:50 AM

    These words are too true for me. (As I’m sitting in my soul sucking cubicle!). Have such a wonderful time on your honeymoon dear! xo

  • Reply Eliza | Pen + Pan 19 August 2015 at 7:37 AM

    I love the idea of adding banana chip meal to the (cookie) mix. Have a wonderful honeymoon! :)

  • Reply Lauren 19 August 2015 at 7:58 AM

    Putting these on the to-make list! One question – I don’t see where to add the banana chip meal in the recipe. Am I missing it somehow?

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 19 August 2015 at 8:46 AM

    These trail cookies look like such a delight! So packed with goodness!

  • Reply Cady 19 August 2015 at 9:16 AM

    Rubbing my hands together like an evil villain because A) I’ve been excited about this recipe B) I have an unholy amount of bananas right now AND banana chips C) these photos are just too much beauty for my brain to process right now. One day I will return for you, CO.

    PS I used a somewhat similar trick in a recipe recently that I will have to tell you about! And I hope you and Thom are having the #1 best honeymoon of all time. ;)


  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens 19 August 2015 at 11:12 AM

    Your photos are making my heart ache for adventure SO BADLY. And this happens every. single. time. you do a travel post. These cookies remind me of a cookie I had a few weeks ago- my boyfriend works at a summer camp during the summer and when I visited, someone had baked a fresh batch of pb banana oat cookies that were still warm and sitting on the kitchen countertop. I’ve been missing them ever since and I have a feeling that your cookies are going to fill the void that the other cookies left in my life ;)

  • Reply Sydney | Modern Granola 19 August 2015 at 11:38 AM

    You know you’ve found someone amazing when they can detect early onset hangry. That’s true love. These trail cookies represent everything I’ve been craving lately. Adventure, hiking, the Rockies, and granola. I love this post and this recipe. I can’t wait to try this and to get myself to the nearest trail ASAP.
    Happy travels!
    xx Sydney

  • Reply Rossi @ A Baking Girl 19 August 2015 at 12:04 PM

    these pictures are gorgeous! and I love the line about the sky being like so many shades of burnt cotton candy

  • Reply Amanda | Pickles & Honey 19 August 2015 at 12:06 PM

    This line is so good: “the sky turned from dark and star-speckled to twenty shades of burnt cotton candy”. Couldn’t agree more to just climb that goddamn mountain! If not now, when?

  • Reply elishes 19 August 2015 at 12:39 PM

    Climb that goddamn mountain.

  • Reply Kim 19 August 2015 at 1:02 PM

    we just moved to denver (in your hood, actually) and made your double chocolate almond trail cookies for our first venture into the mountains. they kept us well sustained while road biking! i am already looking forward to our next trip, so i can try this pb-banana version.

    *i’ve been heavily relying on your guide to denver to find all the nice places in our new neighborhood. thanks for posting it!*

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full 19 August 2015 at 4:53 PM

    Having serious mountain envy right now.

  • Reply Haley 19 August 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Hi there! I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I must say – your pictures are breathtaking and recipes sound absolutely delicious! Keep up the hard work – you’re an inspiration for young bloggers like me :)

    Can’t wait to try these cookies!

  • Reply Abby 20 August 2015 at 5:18 AM

    So freaking inspiring, Ashlae.

    I actually just moved to Paris, like, a day ago, despite not speaking a word of French (okay… so I know a *few* words. You know what I mean). Because we only live once, and it could all end at any moment. So don’t settle. We can’t let things like language barriers stop us from living out our dreams, right? Really just trying to convince myself here……..

    Anyways. These photos are GORGEOUS. xoxo

  • Reply Susannah (Lemon and Coconut) 20 August 2015 at 10:03 AM

    Wow, the Rockies are so extraordinary looking, so… rocky (the penny drops!). God, you must be so fit the pair of you to get up there. Thanks for sharing all those beautiful photos, and the recipe. Have a lovely honeymoon! :)

  • Reply jenna @ just j.faye 20 August 2015 at 3:35 PM

    I just moved to Denver from Minneapolis and am so excited to start climbing all those mountains!! When I do start, these cookies will definitely be in my pack!

    • Reply Rebecca @ simpy-rebecca 20 August 2015 at 8:14 PM

      Hi Jenna! I am moving to Denver next month and also soooooo excited to climb the mountains! Love your blog!

  • Reply Mitch 21 August 2015 at 7:51 PM

    The pictures are breathtaking, not to mention the mouth-watering peanut butter banana cookies! Have fun!

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  • Reply Cassy 25 August 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Ashlae, thanks for the inspiring words & photos, and for the delicious recipe! I love the idea of trail cookies, and I can’t wait to make these. :)
    One question — where you do find unsweetened banana chips? I’ve only ever seen sweetened, which is why I don’t often buy them.
    Thanks, and hope you are enjoying your honeymoon!

    • Reply Ashlae 25 August 2015 at 3:07 PM

      Hi Cassy –

      I get them from my local grocery store, Natural Grocers. If you have one near you, they have them in their bulk section.

      And thanks! We’re having a fantastic time. :)

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  • Reply heather 1 September 2015 at 1:19 PM

    Hi Ashlae!
    I made these cookies and love them! Where exactly are you hiking in these photos? I live in Denver and am trying to figure it out. I need to hike there before all my cookies are gone… ;)

    Also, the banana chip meal make a perfect topping for homemade banana ice cream, just saying!

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  • Reply Scott Williams 7 June 2016 at 2:59 AM

    These kind of treats were life savers when I would go out hiking. Have you guys ever been around the Adirondacks trail?

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