Do you know the kind of cookie that pretty much disappears the minute you pull it out of the oven? Well, this is it. The best healthy chocolate chip cookie that doesn’t taste healthy at all. In fact, it tastes rich and luxurious and a little bit naughty. It’s full of nutty, crunchy bits and gooey chocolate, and has a soft slightly chewy centre. These are the real deal, people, and will manage to fool even the biggest of healthy cookie sceptics.
And all that with no flour and no refined sugar, and full of delightful ingredients which are good for you. Interested yet? Thought you might be!
The healthy chocolate chip cookie birth story
I used to think that healthy cookies had to be boring. You know, the texture is weird, they have a funny aftertaste, there’s no cruch and there’s no chewiness. Some of the healthy cookies I’ve tried were more like a piece of tasteless cardboard than a cookie!
After those sort of experiences, I used to gravitate back to the standard cookie recipes, you know – every now and again for a treat. But, I thought to myself, there must be a better way.
Surely there is a recipe which does not require a whole bunch of sugar and blanched flour in order to recreate all the things we love about cookies – the crunchy outside, the soft centre and the combination of chocolate, nuts and coconut in one bite, melting on your tongue and begging you to eat more. (Can you tell I love cookies?)
And you know what, there is! I have come up with this recipe for healthy chocolate chip cookies when the craving for a cookie was at its peak – the body wants what it wants, right? I am not saying you should eat a whole bunch of these but, I suspect, if you have a partner and kids, or a roommate, you won’t have that choice anyway – these will go as fast as you can make them. They’re really that good. (Ask me how quickly my husband ate two lots of these!)
So what is in these healthy chocolate chip cookies?
All good stuff, my friends, all good stuff. I’ve used the following ingredients:
- almond meal – which I am using instead of flour here. It works so well and it’s incredibly nutritious. It provides many potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and improved blood sugar control. Almond meal is also gluten free, which makes it a great option for those with celiac disease or a wheat intolerance.
- oats – which are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Studies show that eating oats has many health benefits including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
- nut butter – I know, I can’t help myself lately. Feel free to browse these recipes for more information on nut butter and recipe ideas! (And, as if I didn’t advertise it enough, I love the Kirkland mixed nut butter available from Costco – try it if you haven’t already!)
- maple syrup – a natural sweetener which, unlike refined sugar, is high in minerals and antioxidants. However, it still has a high sugar content so I’ve only added 1/4 cup for the whole batch of cookies.
- butter and egg – to make these cookies tasty but they can be replaced by alternatives, if you so desire – try substituting macadamia oil for butter or whatever egg alternative you prefer (I’ve not tested this so proceed at your own risk – and let me know how you go!).
- flavourings – cinnamon and vanilla, because everything tastes better with these in them – yum!
- baking powder – my leavener.
- cookie additions – these are not optional, people – use them all, they’re an integral part of the reason these cookies are so delicious (but feel free to substitute what you like, of course, if you prefer)!
- crushed walnuts because they’re super delicious and you can never have enough nuts in a cookie. Plus, walnuts are exceptionally nutritious nuts. They have higher antioxidant activity and significantly more healthy omega-3 fats than any other common nut. This rich nutrient profile contributes to the many health benefits associated with walnuts, such as reduced inflammation and improved heart disease risk factors.
- shredded coconut – rich in fiber and MCTs, it may offer a number of benefits, including improved heart health, weight loss, and digestion. However, it’s high in calories and saturated fat, so you should only eat it in moderation (don’t worry, there’s not that much here). On balance, unsweetened coconut meat makes a great addition to a balanced diet.
- chocolate chips – no cookie is complete without chocolate chips, am I right? Try to use dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage for best results. (There’s only a quarter a cup in total here anyway – so yep, it’s ok.) And I bet you already know that dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
And the best thing? All of these ingredients are represented in these healthy chocolate chip cookies in moderation. You’ll make about 20 out of this amount of cookie dough and if you manage to restrain yourself, compared to your standard cookie, these are a perfectly healthy little snack. And soooo delicious! I hope you enjoy these!
The best healthy chocolate chip cookies [flour and refined sugar free]
- 100 g butter, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon (or speculaas spice mix)
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup raw (natural unsalted) walnuts, crushed
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (preferably dark chocolate)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line two cookie trays with baking paper.
- Melt the butter and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nut butter and whisk together.
- Add the almond meal and baking powder and whisk them in.
- Add the egg and whisk again.
- Then add the walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips and oats and mix with a spatula until well combined.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, drop small mounds of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, a little way apart so that they have room to spread while baking (I do about 3 in a row).
- Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes until the cookies are brown around the edges.
- Let cool before enjoying (at least a little, come on, I know you can do it)! Enjoy!
This recipe makes about 20 cookies. They are best kept in a glass container on top of your kitchen bench. They will last about 5 days.