These healthy cookies are full of good-for-you ingredients (like oatmeal) but still taste like a treat! Go on, sneak another.

Healthy Cookies

Imagine: a cookie that’s made of all good-for-you ingredients, but still tastes like a treat. Yes, it’s possible with these Healthy Oatmeal Cookies! The dough for these cookies has no butter, no refined sugar, and no flour. But they taste deliciously satisfying for kids and adults. The magic? Medjool dates bring sweetness, nut butter adds richness, and toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips add nuance and flavor. We’ve tested these on friends and family and they agree: this chewy healthy cookie is a delicious treat…despite it’s wholesome ingredients.

Ingredients in healthy oatmeal cookies

Let’s get one thing straight: there are a lot of recipes called “healthy cookies,” but healthy is a very subjective term. The criteria we used for this healthy cookie? Use as many wholesome ingredients as possible, and add no refined sugar, refined flour or butter in the dough. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to achieve this magic trick:

  • Old Fashioned oats: do not substitute steel cut!
  • Shredded coconut
  • Medjool dates
  • Cashew butter: or other nut butter; use sunflower butter for nut allergies
  • Vanilla
  • Egg
  • Plain yogurt
  • Baking soda and salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Mini chocolate chips
Healthy cookies

More about Medjool dates

The key to using no sugar in this recipe? These healthy cookies feature Medjool dates as the sweetener. If you’ve never worked with them before, they’re a deliciously natural way to add sweetness to desserts.

  • What are Medjool dates? Medjool dates are very large dates with an intense caramel sweet flavor. They’ve become popular for their use in energy bars (like Larabars), and they can be used in many types of recipes to add sweetness.
  • Fun fact: Medjool dates are fresh fruits (not dried). Medjool dates are harvested from the date palm tree and then packaged immediately. There’s no processing, so they’re not dried.
  • Where to buy Medjool dates? Look in your grocery in the produce aisle (many times next to the bananas), or near the dried fruits. You can also order them online.
  • How to store them? Store them at room temperature for 1 to 2 months, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, and about 1 year frozen. (Source)
  • Are there any substitutes? Not in this recipe! It’s dependent on this special type of date for just the right sweetness and texture.

Use a food processor to make the dough

For this healthy cookies recipe, you’ll need a food processor. Here’s why it’s necessary here, and some alterative equipment ideas:

  • Use it once to make oat flour. You’ll grind half the oats into oat flour. If you’d like you can substitute 1 cup oat flour for the half of the oats that you grind.
  • Use it again to blend the Medjool dates with the nut butter. You’ll need to grind the dates into a paste with the nut butter. The remainder of the dough process is just mixing, so you just need equipment for these tasks.
  • Don’t have a large food processor? You could do complete these two steps in a small Ninja type blender and make it in batches if necessary. Then mix the remaining dough in a bowl.
Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan variation on healthy cookies

Want to make these healthy cookies vegan? Simply do the following:

  • Use 1 flax egg in place of the egg. You can easily make a flax egg using ground flax seed and water.
  • Use vegan yogurt in place of the yogurt. The yogurt helps the texture of these cookies come together, so it is necessary. Find your favorite vegan yogurt brand!

Mix-ins for healthy cookies

The best mix-in for healthy cookies, of course, is mini chocolate chips! Using a small amount of chocolate here keeps them on the healthy side. But you can add a bit more if you like. Here are some notes on things to add to these delicious oatmeal cookies:

  • More chocolate if you like (mini is nice). Mini chocolate chips are great for distributing little bits of chocolate throughout. You can use a little more chocolate if you like, or even a chopped dark chocolate bar.
  • Sea salt. Add a small sprinkle of sea salt to each cookie: yum!
  • Raisins. Ditch the chocolate and go for a healthy oatmeal raisin cookie.
  • White chocolate and dried cherries. White chocolate and cherries makes a great combination!
  • More toasted coconut. Amp the coconut flavor by adding a bit more to the batter.

What else would you add to your healthy cookies? Let us know in the comments below.

Healthy Cookies

Storage instructions

These healthy cookies are soft and chewy, so the storage instructions are important here! Here are two ways to store them:

  • Room temperature with paper towels for 1 week. Place paper towels in between the layers of cookies to absorb extra moisture.
  • Refrigerated for 2 weeks. These healthy cookies save well in the refrigerator, and the texture still tastes great! They’ll save this way for 2 weeks.

More healthy desserts

Love sweet treats with a healthy spin? Here are some healthy dessert ideas to keep your sweet tooth happy:

This healthy cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
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Healthy Cookies

Healthy Cookies


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These healthy cookies are full of good-for-you ingredients (like oatmeal) but still taste like a treat! Go on, sneak another.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup Medjool dates*
  • ½ cup cashew butter (or other nut butter or sunflower butter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup plain or Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (or more if desired**), plus 1 tablespoon for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toast the coconut: Place the coconut in a small dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the coconut is fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the coconut can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  3. Place 1 cup of the Old Fashioned oats in a food processor and process until finely ground into a flour. Remove to a bowl. (If you prefer, you can substitute 1 cup oat flour to eliminate this step.)
  4. Remove the pits from the Medjool dates. Add them to the food processor with the nut butter, vanilla and salt. Process crumbly and fully combined, stopping and scraping the bowl once.
  5. Add the egg and yogurt and pulse until combined.
  6. Add the processed oat flour, remaining 1 cup whole oats, baking soda, and cinnamon and pulse until a thick dough forms. Stir in the toasted coconut and chocolate chips with a spatula.
  7. Make 20 small balls and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet: it’s easiest using a 1 ½ tablespoon / size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it. For a flatter cookie, gently press down with your hand (we left them as the domed of the cookie scoop). Gently press in the remaining 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips to the tops of the cookies.
  8. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pan after 7 minutes. Allow to cool on a baking rack. To store, place the cookies in a sealed container lined with paper towels between the cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week, or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

*Make sure to find this large, very sweet variety of date for this recipe: there are no good substitutes here. Medjool dates are easy to find at most grocery stores and are often near the bananas, or in the dried fruit aisle.

**You can use more chocolate if desired for a more decadent cookie, but this level of chocolate tastes great. Make sure to use mini chocolate chips for best chocolate distribution (or consider roughly chopping regular or large chips).

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Baked

Keywords: Healthy cookies, healthy oatmeal cookies

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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5 Comments

  1. These cookies are so delicious! You’d never guess there’s no sugar in them or that they’re gluten free. I used almond butter and it was SOOO good. Thanks, guys!

  2. These are absolutely delicious – all the flavors and great texture! My preference is always a healthy treat that’s lightly sweetened, especially using dates. And they freeze well. The only downside for me is how long it takes to makes them, much more than 15 min and it’s a very sticky process and clean up. So on days I’m up for it, they’ll be made. Thanks so much!