How to make healthy choices every day

Morning Glories

While cruising the aisles of my local grocery store recently, I stumbled across a serious abomination: Quaker Oat Breakfast Cookies. Now, the concept of breakfast cookies have been around for quite some time, as we have all found someway of justifying desserts to jump start our day: danishes, crepes, cupcakes without icing – a.k.a. ‘muffins’. However, these cookies take the cake, ahem, and have absolutely no redeeming value. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they are BAD for you. If you have a sec, go check out that ingredient list… Yowza! What were they thinking?!
High fructose corn syrup? Partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil? C’mon Quaker, get with times. That garbage is so 2005.

I can do way better than that. My version of the breakfast cookie, Morning Glories, are loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and get this…beans! But I promise, no bean taste. I promise. They are not only great for breakfast on the go, but sooo delicious at tea time, or a nutritious pick-me-up when that 4 p.m. tummy starts to growl.
Morning Glories are also a complete protein, thanks to their grain and bean combo. The perky lemon paired with the mellow, licorice-flavoured anise is totally unexpected and delightful. They are a bit little crunchy on the outside thanks to a healthy coating of calcium-packed sesame seeds, and so soft and chewy on the inside – you won’t believe it’s not cake!

The super fiber in Oats
The star ingredient in Morning Glories is oats, an energy-packed grain that is a familiar guest at the breakfast table. But did you know why oats are such a smart choice for you and your family?
Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan has been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels by removing it from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream.
In laboratory studies reported in Surgery, beta-glucan significantly enhanced the human immune system’s response to bacterial infection. Beta-glucan not only helps neutrophils (the most abundant type of non-specific immune cell) navigate to the site of an infection more quickly, it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.
And Type 2 diabetes patients given foods high in beta-glucan or given oatmeal or oat bran rich foods, experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were given white rice or bread. Starting out your day with a blood sugar stabilizing food such as oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day, especially when the rest of your day is also supported with nourishing fiber-rich foods.
You’ll be doing your busy body a real favour by noshing a couple of these cookies before you run out the door.

Morning Glories
-2 cups whole, rolled oats (not instant oats)
-1 cup whole grain flour (I used spelt)
-2 tsp. aniseed, crushed in mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or use the bottom of a glass
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-Zest of one, non-waxed lemon
-1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
-One 15-ounce can white kidney, great northern, or navy beans, rinsed & drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 cup evaporated cane juice (or brown sugar)
-1 large organic egg
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/3 cup chopped dates
-2/3 cup sesame seeds

1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and place a rack in the top third. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Pulse the oats in a food processor (or blender) until they resemble a very rough flour. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the flour, aniseed, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt.
3. Pulse the beans and olive oil in the food processor until they are creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth. Add dates and pulse a few times until chopped and incorporated. Scrap down the sides of the bowl once or twice along the way.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients start to come together. Stir until everything just comes together.
5. Place the sesames seeds in a bowl. With a tablespoon, scoop out some dough about the size of a golf ball, then roll it into a rough log shape. (Yes, the dough at this point is very wet, but it becomes very easy to handle once coated in sesame seeds.) Roll the log of dough into the sesame seeds, remembering to dip the ends too. Set each log on the prepared baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten the dough just a bit, into a bar shape. You want the bar to be the same thickness all the way through – do not make the ends flatter than the middle. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving at least an inch or so between each bar – they’ll spread a bit, but not much. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sesame seeds around the bottom start to get golden.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies, give or take a couple.
Store in an airtight container for a week (if they last that long!).

Now, in an ideal world I would omit the sugar entirely and use some alternative sweetener, but for now this version will have to do. I am still unsure about substituting a solid (evaporated can juice) for a liquid (such as maple syrup). If any of you experienced bakers know the answer to this, please let me know!
I have yet to try different flavour combinations in these Morning Glories, so I think my next batch will feature coconut flakes and bananas, or maybe cinnamon, cranberries and orange zest! This batter is the perfect blank canvas to experiment with different tastes, so get creative and get baking! No matter what personal flourishes you decide to employ, you can rest and wake assured that a healthy, whole food breakfast is waiting for you – because you’re one smart cookie yourself and every morning should be glorious.

info source:
recipe inspiration:

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48 thoughts on “Morning Glories”

  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it is the first meal of the day it must be healthy or with full of nutrients. This recipe of morning glories is very nice , simple, Healthy and easy .

  • Wow! Morning Glorious! This is a fabulous recipe. I changed the spice and cut the sugar a tad and these still baked up golden and delicious. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

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  • Ooooh!!! These look amazing! I have whole oats I bought in bulk section of store. Would they work? They haven’t been out through a roller. Or is it better if I make oat flour out of it and then use it?

  • I like those morning glories but I’m I would prefer to sub substitute sugar with some other kind of sweetener. Thanks a loft for sharing this recipe with us.

  • Would oat flour work as well? I have both oat flour and whole oats; if using the flour works I can skip the step of pulsing the flakes.

  • I love oats, gf, and NO EGGS, I love the look of,these but read suggestions here with great interest too, such a knowledgeable lot,of readers here!
    I love the cardamom suggestion and will try the gf flour mix too.
    I find the titles inspiring. Mix started with your life changing and then got a bit carried away….

  • The morning that decides our mood of the day. So, it will be cherished with a fresh and healthy breakfast. Have a healthy recipe every morning and enjoy the complete day with a great mood. I usually have variety of breakfast and I enjoy my writing with a good day.

  • I made these using chickpeas, 1/4 cup agave and 1/4 coconut sugar. I also used cardamom instead of anise. I skipped the sesame seeds and instead made them into 1/2-3/4 inch round cookies. I was nearly obsessed eating them as mini sandwiches stuffed with honey and tahini. Also good with peanut butter and strawberry jam. I find I liked them more as time progressed, but that’s how I usually go.

  • Hey Sarah,

    Old post but I just found it. I think a good substitute for regular sugar here would be xylitol sugar obtained from birch trees. 40% less calories, low GI, crystal form.

  • Awsome info and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂

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  • I love your blog. I tell everyone I know about it! I am like your own personal commercial. 🙂
    I just made these and I once again I am in love!


  • Whoops! I meant to say also that I have to go grain-free, so can’t use any of the other grain flours… of course, making the subsitute challenge a bit harder…

    Thanks again!

  • What can be substituted for the spelt flour? I need to make this recipe gluten-free, and spelt contains gluten. Thanks in advance for any answers you can give! I have all the ingredients for the recipe, except the flour… 🙁

  • We just made these for our daughters graduation potluck ! The only beans we had were red kidney beans …. which we used and everyone loved them – even the kids!
    Thank you !

  • These were so good my 11 year old just chose them for dessert over leftover Easter candy. I did orange zest and cinnamon, yum. Mine were outrageously sticky — had to plop a ball in the sesame seeds and roll around with a spoon before I could even pick them up. No idea why. But they are delicious and will be made again for sure. Thank you, thank you for another amazing recipe!

  • I have made these a few times now and love them. As far as replacing the sugar, I simply use mashed stewed dates. In fact, I use mashed stewed dates to replace sugar in much of my sweet baking, such as banana bread. I also put some on oatmeal or other hot breakfast (such as your new year, new breakfast) in place of sugar or other sugar substitute (ie. maple syrup, agave). I find the flavour much more rich, full and satisfying.

  • I just pulled these out of the oven! Yum. I used a can of cannellini beans. It is surprising how well the beans just disappear into the background. These are definitely a keeper!

  • Wow, interesting stuff! Especially about the immune benefits of oats and related products. I have been on the Dukan diet for about 18 mths, and if Dukan were a religion, oatbran would be the gospel! In my family we are generally a pretty healthy bunch, but I have noticed what I would call a marked decrease in bouts of illness for all of us (only I am on the diet, but I liberally add oatbran to most of our food). Now I’m wondering if I can attribute this to our almost daily consumption of oatbran? There MUST be something to it, because I have a 3yr old in creche, and she has not been ill in over a year!

  • OMG I just made these. Used mixed spice instead of aniseed and 1/2 cup of apple juice concentrate instead of sugar. YUM!! My 16mth old gobbled it up.

  • Hi Sarah,

    Made these using a chai spice mix (1/4tsp cardamom, 1/4tsp cloves, 3/4tsp cinammon 3/4tsp ginger), they were fantastic! You could definitely cut the sugar by half as the spices made up for any lack of sweetness.

    I used half brown sugar and half agave, they were very moist, but thats gotta be a good thing!

    Great blog, you’re an inspiration 🙂

  • I made these a few weeks ago, and just stumbled upon your recipe for them today (I got the idea from 101 cookbooks too).

    Has anyone tried any new flavor combos since this post? I’m interested in doing a carrot version…but not totally sure what else I’d include…

  • Hi Sarah!
    I made these last night and just adore them already. Had one for breakfast with a bit of fig jam – so yummy! Plus, I cut them into heart shapes before sprinkling with seeds, which makes them even cuter. I posted your recipe to my blog, Thanks!

  • I think swapping a couple bananas for the beans would be alright, or maybe some applesauce? What you are after is something starchy and creamy, so there are many bean-free options. Let me know how they turn out!

    Best, Sarah B.

  • I really want to try this recipe Sarah but I’m allergic to legumes so I cannot add the beans… do you think the substitution of a banana or two could work?
    Keep up the great posts! 😉

  • Hey Sarah! I just finished making these, except I omitted the aniseed and lemon, and used 1/2tsp cinnamon, the zest of an orange, and some dried cranberries & raisins instead (i threw in a bit of ground clove and ginger too for good measure) … and they are SOOOO GOOD!!!! And surprisingly sweet! I bet you could even reduce the sugar a bit and they would still be very sweet-tooth friendly.

    I’ll admit, i was a bit curious of the use of kidney beans, but you would NEVER know when you’re eating them.

    keep up the fabulous work!!

  • Hi, just came upon your blog. I’m wondering if you soak your grains? I noticed in this recipe and in your past post about making flours in your home blender you don’t talk at all about soaking the grain so our bodies can utilize its nutrients. How could I adapt this recipe to do that? (not sure how to blend a soaked grain into a flour) Thanks!

  • Hi Sarah, I’m a university student at McGill and I love your blog! Over the last couple years I have really developed an interest in holistic nutrition and healthy, sustainable living.
    I’m not sure how else to contact you, so here goes: I’ve been attempting a vegetarian lifestyle for a few months and I’ve noticed a lot of unexplained, sometimes severe bruising. Apparently it comes down to a lack of iron, among other things. Perhaps you could do a post that would suggest how to healthfully incorporate vital nutrients like iron into a vegetarian diet (without resorting to supplements… and without spending a lot of money!)
    Thanks so much!

  • I am a med diet student and just recently learned that quaker is also guilty of still using machines which leach mercury in their high fructose corn syrup. Just one more reason to try the natural choice 🙂

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