Healthy Cookies - Not an Oxymoron?

Sometime last year while lost in an internet black hole, I came across this chocolate chip cookie recipe (“Nikki’s Healthy Cookies”) from the food blog 101cookbooks.com. Normally my black holes are a huge waste of time, but this one proved to be useful!

I’m not much of a baker, as I enjoy improvising on recipes, and baking doesn’t always allow for much of that. However, this recipe really doesn’t require super exact measurements, and the cookies pretty much always turn out great! I have made them for countless parties, holidays, events, & potlucks - and they are always completely GONE by the end, with lots of people asking me for the recipe. The cookies are egg and gluten-free (if using gluten-free oats), and could be vegan if you use vegan chocolate or carob chips.

Here are my ingredients:

The mason jar contains almond meal, which can be used as an alternative to wheat flours - and though higher in protein than wheat flours, it is also calorically dense, so I tend to use it sparingly. The bananas add a nice sweetness without being overpowering. The coconut oil provides both flavor and fat to tenderize the cookies. The oats and unsweetened shredded coconut give them a hearty texture.

Let’s be straight, though - these cookies are not exactly your traditional chocolate chip cookies, so let’s keep our expectation in check ;). They also do contain between 70-80 calories per cookie, so I wouldn’t go crazy eating several at a time. They just have more nutritious ingredients than your conventional break and bake chocolate chip cookie, and could definitely satisfy any sweet tooth!

I made them for this year’s Thanksgiving dessert, and even my dad and brother, who are extremely health conscious, “indulged” in these cookies, guilt-free. Here is what they look like after being baked (third tray not pictured):

I hope you enjoy these bad boys as much as I do!

Here is the recipe copy/pasted from 101cookbooks.com:

  • 3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn’t solid (or alternately, olive oil)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 - 7 ounces chocolate (or carob) chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.

Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.