Ben and I spent the better part of this week cleaning our old house in preparation for the new owners. My scary task: clearing out the refrigerator and freezer. While there were plenty of, um, questionable discoveries, one that I was very pleased to find was a frozen container of cookie dough from my last batch of Healthy Oatmeal Cookies!
The universe must have anticipated my needs. These soft, chewy oatmeal cookies are going to be key players in this weekend’s marathon unpacking session at our new house. I highly recommend them for all of your sweet treat and pick-me-up snack moments too.
If you’ve been looking for the consummate healthy oatmeal cookie recipe, look no further. These thick and goodie-packed low calorie oatmeal cookies are made from wholesome ingredients, yet they taste like a true treat!
Secrets to Baking the Best Healthy Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
It doesn’t get much more delightfully old school than an old fashioned oatmeal cookie. Thus, it feels especially appropriate that I used one of the oldest healthy baking tricks in the book when developing the recipe: applesauce.
Replacing half the usual amount of butter with applesauce still keeps the oatmeal cookies plenty moist, without the need for extra fat.
Next, I wanted to see if I could sweeten the healthy oatmeal cookies without sugar. Honey did the trick! In addition to being a more wholesome alternative, honey’s homey, comforting flavor is a classic and lovely combination with the oatmeal.
Now, we need to talk about one of the more divisive oatmeal cookie topics: raisins.
I know that a healthy oatmeal raisin cookie recipe would have been the *most* traditional route, but I simply could not do it. Far better is a healthy oatmeal raisin cookie WITH CHOCOLATE.
I love my oatmeal cookies fully loaded, which is why to go along with the raisins, you’ll find melty dark chocolate chips and chunky toasted nuts too.
I adore the overall effect the range of mix-ins gives these healthy oatmeal cookies. We have the crunch and warmth of the nuts and the sweet chew of the raisins, and I don’t think I need to tell you that if you stack an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips next to an oatmeal cookie without, one of them is going to be the clear crowd favorite.
- Do not swap all of the fat in this recipe for applesauce. The modest amount of butter is key to the healthy oatmeal cookies’ texture and keeps the cookies from being excessively cakey.
- If you’d like the healthy oatmeal cookies vegan, you can swap said butter for a vegan butter substitute (my recommendation for that buttah flava) or coconut oil. Use maple syrup in place of the honey.
- For healthy oatmeal cookies banana edition, don’t miss my Banana Oatmeal Cookies, this recipe’s different but equally delicious cousin.
- If you are seeking healthy oatmeal cookies no flour (meaning no wheat flour in order to make the cookies gluten free), I’d suggest using a 1:1 gluten-free baking blend like this one in place of the wheat flour. Make sure your oats are certified GF also.
- For healthy oatmeal peanut butter cookies, you can bake Monster Cookies, which have a peanut butter oatmeal cookie base, but use raisins, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts for the mix-ins instead. YUM!
- For oatmeal cookies with a festive twist, try these Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies.
How to Freeze These Cookies
- As I can recently attest, these healthy oatmeal cookies are highly freezer friendly.
- If you anticipate craving cookies in the future (who doesn’t?), you can either double the recipe and freeze half or bake only the oatmeal cookies you think you’ll eat in the next day or two right away, then freeze the remaining dough for fresh-baked healthy oatmeal cookies on demand.
^^Between you and me, I can’t believe that I actually had enough self control to freeze some of the dough versus baking and eating every single cookie immediately, but I am certainly happy that I did!
Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 ¼ cups quick oats
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup well chopped raw walnuts or pecans (in this recipe, we usually go for pecans, but both are delicious) or an additional 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons raisins
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine the applesauce, butter, egg, vanilla, and honey. Whisk until blended. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. The dough will be wet and sticky. Fold in the chocolate chips, raisins, and walnuts. Place in the refrigerator and let chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if it is very stiff, you may need to let it sit out for 5 to 10 minutes). With a cookie scoop or spoon, drop the dough into 1 ½-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet, leaving 1 inch of space around each. With your fingers, gently flatten each cookie to be about ¾-inch thick.
- Bake until the cookies are golden and firm around the edges and set on top, about 9 to 10 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
- Leftover cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- I recommend quick oats for this recipe, as they yield a more tender cookie. You can use regular rolled oats, but they will have a heartier consistency.
- To make gluten free: you can experiment with oat flour (I haven’t tried this yet, but I would suggest swapping 1 ¼ cups oat flour for the white whole wheat flour) or use a 1:1 GF baking blend instead of the wheat flour.
- To make vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey. For the egg: I haven’t tried this with a flax egg instead of the regular egg yet, but I’d love to hear how it goes if sometime does play around!
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