Dreamland Cookies, with seeds and berries, are perfect as a bedtime snack. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

We’ve been told repeatedly by health experts, “No eating after dinner. No nighttime snacking.”

However, what if we have an evening snack attack and we just can’t help it? What if we must have a little smackerel of something to get us through until breakfast? It doesn’t have to be a bowl of ice cream or a bag of chips. It can be something minimalist yet satisfying that hits the sweet (or salty) spot.

My favorite is a few cups of air-popped popcorn with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and sea salt. I sleep great after my salty and crunchy cravings are satisfied. That can’t be all bad, can it?

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net or 504-0545.

These Dreamland Cookies are also a great addition to the healthy snack list. I keep a stash in the freezer to ward off the munchies, whenever they happen to strike. You can vary them according to what you have on hand and it’s a great way to use up bananas. These are gluten free, grain free and egg free, as well as dairy free if you omit the chocolate chips or use a vegan brand. Plus they are lovely with a cup of chamomile tea or a mug of warm milk sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg.

For those of you who may have a cool, creamy craving, let’s make banana soft serve. The first time I tried this, I must admit that I wasn’t impressed, but wow, what a difference a few days make. I kept experimenting with additions to the basic recipe until I had this concoction just the way I wanted it. And now I almost never eat “real” ice cream. It’s hard to believe, I know, but completely true.

It’s amazingly fun to come up with delicious combinations for this banana soft serve that can even be eaten for breakfast or dessert if nighttime snacking isn’t in your repertoire.


It was my youngest grandchildren who coined the phrase “nighttime nibbles.” (I once was caring for them over a weekend and made the horrendous mistake of attempting to settle them into bed without this nightly ritual.) Their preferences include almond milk, delicately sectioned clementines and generous handfuls of shelled pistachios. At least they aren’t clamoring for candy bars and Cheetos at 8 o’clock.

So let’s follow their example and keep our p.m. snacking on the healthy side. Enjoy this week’s offerings – a goodnight hug, a kiss on the forehead and a wish for sweet dreams are all included.

Dreamland Cookies

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup cashews

1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes, divided


1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup mixed dried berries, cherries and/or raisins

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


3 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 heaping tablespoons nut butter

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted and divided

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper with 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil to prevent sticking.


In a food processor, coarsely grind pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews and 1/4 cup coconut flakes. Pour mixture into a large bowl and mix with remainder of coconut flakes plus ground ginger, ground flax seeds, salt, almonds, dried berries and chocolate chips.

In a small bowl, whisk together bananas, nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Spoon mixture into dry nut and seed mixture and stir to thoroughly combine.

With a 1½-inch to 2-inch scoop, form cookies and place 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheet, rounding them with your fingers if needed.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. When cookies are golden brown, remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.

Yield: 20 cookies

Banana soft serve

4 frozen ripe bananas, cut into chunks


Optional additions:

2 tablespoons nut butter

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa

½ to 1 tablespoon vanilla or other flavoring

1 cup frozen berries

In a food processor, process bananas (and nut butter if using) until smooth and creamy. Add any additions and process until incorporated, scraping down sides of the processor bowl if needed.

Add garnishes such as chopped nuts, shaved chocolate, granola or chopped fruit. Eat immediately.

Yield: 2 servings

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