These healthy vegan oatmeal cookies are not pretending. This is a cookie recipe on a misson to be your go-to when you want to feel virtuous while satisfying a chocolate craving. Packed full of good for you ingredients, this oatmeal and seed cookie will get you through all the hangries.
This recipe first appeared on this blog back in 2011. I've modified the recipe slightly since then, as I've naturally adjusted the recipe over time. The photos have been updated and I've added better instructions.
I've been making a version of this cookie for years. The recipe below is slightly modified from how it originally appeared here on this blog years ago. But this is how I make them now. Dense and chewy.
And these are the oatmeal cookies of my dreams - crunchy, filled with coconut, all the seeds, a pile of walnuts and the darkest chocolate I can get my hands on. The fact they are vegan and full of good for me ingredients makes me smile and then I eat them uncontrollably.
How I've changed the recipe
I've added brown sugar. The original recipe called for all maple syrup. A whole cup! Maple syrup, which I love, is so expensive. As well, I find it was not that sticky. Using brown sugar instead added some bulk, gives the baking soda something to work with, and keeps the cookies tender. I still use a little maple syrup for flavour and moisture. To make up for the reduced quantity of maple syrup and its moisture, I find I need to add a tablespoon or two of warm water to the finished cookie dough to help things stick a bit.
Coconut oil instead of canola or flaxseed oil. The beauty of coconut oil is it solidifies at room temperature or when cold, so like butter, it adds a crispy-ness and flakiness to these cookies that I prefer.
Baking soda and baking powder. Adding a little of each, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of baking powder make for a less dense cookie. Don't get me wrong, these cookies are still plenty dense, just a little less so.
Are vegan oatmeal cookies healthy?
Yes - of course they are!
Just look at what is in these cookies:
Hemp seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seed and sesame. Seeds offer antioxidants and healthy fats.
More of the same healthy fats, walnuts are particularly high in Omega 3s fatty acids.
Full of fiber and gluten-free. I used oldfashioned oats here, but you can use quick oats if that is what you have on hand.
I like using the darkest chocolate I can find... usually 85% cocoa dark chocolate and usually in a bar format. Be careful to find a vegan brand. This deep dark chocolate gives these cookies a very rich and intense chocolate flavour which I absolutely adore.
For the kids I will use any kind of chocolate chip I have on hand, and they are happy with them. Dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips will still give you a bit of that bitter dark chocolate flavour with a bit more sweetness than the 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar.
Healthy oatmeal cookie recipe with nuts and seeds
This is a one bowl cookie recpe. If you don't count the bowl needed to melt the coconut oil -- more on this later. Here is your step by step overview of the recipe
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients - flour, oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, salt,baking powder and baking soda,and cinnamon. GIve it a good stir to evenly distribute everything. Add in brown sugar and mix again.
Pour in maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla. Mix well. At this point I use my hands here like I would if I was making pie crust. Pushing the dough between my fingers so that the oil and syrup is evenly distrubted. The cookie dough will be very dry and crumbly.
Stir in chocolate and walnuts, again mixing with your hands. At this point if the dough seems like it will never stick together enough to form cookies, add in a tablespoon or two of warm water. Again mixing with your hands until bigger clumps form. Don't be tempted to add more water. You need just the slightest bit so the dough gets just a bit sticky.
Form dough into balls. I make my cookies about 2-½ tablespoon size. I use this cookie scoop and pack it firmly with cookie dough, then use the scraper to push it out on to the cookie sheet.
This cookie dough is difficult to work with. Be warned and be patient. I find the scoop technique works well, ensuring I have uniformaly shaped and sized cookies. A ice cream scoop will work as well.
These vegan oatmeal cookies will not expand much during baking, so you can fit about 12 of these large cookies on a regular half-sheet rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the cookies at 350 for about 15 minutes until very slightly puffed and brown on the bottoms.
Feel free to use other seeds, nuts or addins based on your taste preferences or what you have on hand.
Just be sure to follow the same ratios.
For example, if you don't like sesame seeds, you could use ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, or more coconut or sunflower seeds. Just be sure to use just ¼ cup.
- Instead of sunflower seeds - use more coconut, dried cranberries or raisens
- for chocolate - add raisens for a more classic cookie
- Instead of coconut - add more sunflower or sesame seeds
- Poppy seeds instead of the flax or hemp seeds
- Pecans or almonds instead of walnuts.
Whatever you choose, just keep the ratios the same. Also be aware that the nutritional profile of these cookies will be different with different ingredients.
Healthy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoon hemp seed kernals
- 2 tablespoon whole flax seeds
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 100 g 85% dark chocolate or about ½ cup of dark chocolate chips
- 1-2 tablespoon warm water if needed (see below for more information)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In large bowl mix together dry ingredients, oats through salt. In separate bowl (or in 2 cup liquid measuring cup) whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix to just combine. Fold in nuts and chocolate. You may need to use your hands to throughly mix the dough. It will be crumbly.
- If dough it really crumbly and not sticking together at all add a little warm warm water, mixing it in with your hands. Dough will start to form largerly, crumbly clumps.
- Press dough into balls, it will not want to hold and it will take some coaxing to get these to stick together. I find the easiest way to do this is to use my medium cookie scoop and press the batter firmly into the scoop, then releasing the formed balls onto the cookie sheet. Bake cookies on the parchment lined cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, they will be lightly puffed and browned on the bottom. Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before packing into an airtight container for storage.
- Makes approximately 2 dozen large cookies.