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The Healthiest Cookies EVER (Paleo, Vegan)

A bold statement, but these cookies deserve it.

the healthiest cookie ever broken in half

They are made with 100% whole food ingredients– no flour, no added oil, and no added sugar. And believe it or not, they still taste great!

I actually made these cookies with the intention of turning them into “lactation cookies” for one of my good friends who recently had a baby, but they turned out so well that they’d make a perfect treat for anyone at anytime. This recipe features walnuts and flax seeds, which are a good source of folate and omega-3 fatty acids, and they are paired with fiber-rich dates, to help balance your blood sugar. They are so satiating and delicious, you don’t even need the chocolate chips! (Though, if you don’t mind a little added sugar, feel free to add them in.)

These healthy cookies have a soft and tender texture that reminds me of my childhood favorite “soft batch” cookies. If you prefer a firmer cookie, simply store and serve them directly from the fridge or freezer.

The Healthiest Cookies EVER (Paleo, Vegan)
Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw walnut or pecan halves
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 12)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional– see sugar-free options in the notes below)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the dates and walnuts together until a crumbly texture is formed. Add in the salt, baking soda, vanilla, flax egg (see how to make a flax egg here), and vinegar, and process again until the batter is relatively smooth, a little stickier than traditional cookie dough.

Add in the chocolate chips and briefly pulse, just to combine.

making the healthiest cookies cookie dough in a food processor

Spoon the batter onto a lined baking sheet, and use your hands to gently flatten the cookie dough. (Tip: Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking!) Bake at 350F for 12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve immediately, and store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for best shelf life. These cookies should last a week in the fridge, and a month or more in the freezer.

healthiest cookies

4.85 from 82 votes
The Healthiest Cookies EVER (Paleo, Vegan)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
22 mins
 

Cookies made with 100% whole food ingredients for a healthy treat anytime.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
Calories: 175 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the dates and walnuts together until a crumbly texture is formed. Add in the salt, baking soda, vanilla, flax egg, and vinegar, and process again until the batter is relatively smooth. Add in the chocolate chips and briefly pulse, just to combine.
  2. Spoon the batter onto a lined baking sheet, and use your hands to gently flatten the cookie dough. (Tip: Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking!) Bake at 350F for 12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Serve immediately, and store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for best shelf life. These cookies should last a week in the fridge, and a month or more in the freezer.

Notes:

  • I love the buttery flavor of these cookies when made with walnuts, but I have a feeling that pecans or almonds would work well, too.
  • If you don’t have access to dates, raisins can be substituted in most cases, but the flavor will be slightly different.
  • If you don’t want to use a flax egg, one chicken egg can be used instead.
  • Optional add-ins that are free of added sugar include: cacao nibs, raisins, shredded coconut, chopped nuts

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite healthy dessert?

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Comments

Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl

Yum… I can’t wait to give these a try! I love adding dates to baked goods to sweeten things up and they have the best flavor!

Purelytwins

these look great!!!

Red

That’s easy – chocolate avocado mousse!

Sophia

Thanks for the recipe, Megan. Can I use one egg instead of the ‘flax egg’ in this recipe?

    Megan

    Yes, that’s mentioned in the recipe notes.

      Sarah

      I made these tonight and could NOT believe how delicious they were!!! Quite likely the yummiest “chocolate chip cookie” I have ever tasted!! Seriously! So amazing 🙂 I used a real egg but would try again with a flax egg for fun. So yummy! Thank you!! I don’t have any pics because we ate them all 🙁 😉

Lisa Sellers

Do you have nutrition I forma to. For these cookies? I am diabetic.

    Megan

    I don’t provide nutrition info, but you can calculate any numbers you need using a free website like Fitday.com or MyFitnessPal.com.

pam

i am allergic to nuts, is there a way to sub the them in the recipe?

Abbi*tarian

These are awesome! Thank you! All the optional ad-ins are great, too! I love that these cookies are so versatile, & I look forward to making many versions of them!! Btw, do you have any tips on chopping raisins? (Of course, you might add them whole.) I like raisins in bits in baked goods. But I’m concerned about using a knife to cut them even with the tips I’ve seen of freezing them &/or adding oil to the knife. Since they’re so small, an accident seems so easy. Would chopping them in a food processor work, or do you know of anything better? Thank you for any thoughts! Also, thank you so much for your blog!!

    suzi

    try freezing them (raisins) then popping them in a processor and pulse.

Laura @ Raise Your Garden

How impressive! Thanks so much for sharing.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if people started baking like this more and sold treats like this instead of the traditional sugar loaded processed ones! Then I could buy!!! Especially at school fundraisers and bake sales….I buy and toss….and feel guilty about the toss, but if I could buy a cookie like this it would be like winning the lotto! Twice even. And I don’t even play the lotto.

    Elizabeth

    It would be AWESOME! My sister does the same thing: buys and tosses. But how about if we just refuse to buy? And then they would have to think of other things to sell instead of sugar and plastic and they might take other suggestions if we stopped buying the same old fundraising. These companies are just using children to sell products anyway, donating to the school, but still making a profit. I think we will always be pulled along by the mainstream way of thinking about nutrition, fundraising, etc, unless we stop and make a stand.

      Elizabeth

      And also, I made these cookies. They are GREAT and will be a regular treat recipe from now on.

    Lisa

    Why not just buy and donate? I´m sure there are people who would love some free baked goods! Even if they are sugar processed, drop at a shelter, donate to the fire department, find some hungry teenage boys, I’m sure you if you looked you could find someone instead of wasting food.

    Alba

    It is great that you want to contribute to the fundraiser. What about skipping the buying and tossing and donate the money directly. 100 % goes to the organization you are supporting. It is a shame how these companies use our kids and the guilt trick to sell low quality products that we wouldn’t buy otherwise.

Megan

These cookies are fantastic! I used roasted unsalted cashew pieces instead of walnuts because that is what I had and the results were so good! The chocolate chips add just the right amount of indulgence. They really are a healthy snack that you can feel good about enjoying any time. In fact, I want to have these cookies on hand at all times! Thanks so much for a great healthy recipe!

Janice

Yum! I added the coconut to these and next I’ll try adding hemp hearts in with the nuts as well. Im thinking they would make a fantastic post workout protein cookie without all the chemical fillers!
And my favorite healthy dessert? Anything off your blog. They’re all amazing!

Carey Huyser

Making these tonight! I was looking for something sweet for my hubby who has an egg allergy…perfect.

Leigh Armstrong

Looks great! Any suggestion for a nut-free option?

Antje Lennon

Hi!
Can I use an egg instead of “chia egg or flax egg” in this recipe? I don’t have an allergy to eggs and I’m not a vegan.
Thank you!
Antje Lennon

Cindy

“These cookies should last a week in the fridge, and a month or more in the freezer.” I really have a problem with this statement! 🙂 If they taste as good as they look……….they won’t last more than a couple days in this household!! 🙂 And I know how well your other recipes taste!! Thanks again, Megan, for another terrific recipe. We just need your cookbook to come out sooner. 😉

    Megan

    I know, I hate the wait on the cookbook!! I did just see the cover photo last week, so it’s making progress… however slow it may be.

    Hope you enjoy the cookies!!

Cindy

What’s your favorite healthy dessert? Forgot to answer your question. I have always loved any desserts but have tried to go to more healthier desserts. Your recipes really satisfy my sweet tooth (& hubby’s) & I don’t feel guilty eating them either since you use such quality ingredients. So my answer is your desserts!! I like variety – sometimes cookies, sometimes ice cream, sometimes cakes or breads like zucchini, etc. – mainly texture thing. Always enjoy something “crunchy”. Hope that helps.

rachel

Would these work with cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips?

Ornella

How about if I soak the walnuts before ? I wonder if the texture will be different…

    Megan

    Hmm… I have no idea! It might make the batter too wet, but I wouldn’t know without trying it myself. Please let us know if you have any success!

    Corinne

    Yes these are great with soaked/sprouted nuts! I made them with a mix of walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews I soaked for 18 hours and then dried in the oven at 170F. I also added cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tiny hint of anise; I also used a real egg. My batter was pretty coarse and I enjoyed them immensely.

Rachael

I have just made these and have to just say a huge thank you!!! I have been eating clean for a year now and done a lot of experimenting with clean baking, these have to be one of my new faves :O)

Rachael

And will also be using the date and walnut blend for pie bases too :O) such a nice combination xx

Charlene @ That Girl Cooks Healthy

Hmmm I’m salivating at my laptop screen. I cannot wait til the weekend to try these babies.

Alia

Yummy! Can’t wait to try these healthy cookies. My current favorite desserts include organic 72% or higher dark chocolate or a variety of your great desserts; such as the Healthy Klondike Bars, coconut flour cookies, dark chocolate avocado truffles or raw brownie bites. I like to pick one (sometimes two) sweets a day and rotate them around for variety. xx

carolyn

a lot of lactation cookies also include brewers yeast…any suggestions for how to add that in? My milk supply thanks you 🙂

    Megan

    You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast per 12 cookies, without affecting the flavor too much. (There is a slightly hint of “beer” taste to me!) Make sure you buy de-bittered brewers yeast, because the regular version tastes TERRIBLE!!!!!

Ashley

My boyfriend gets a little bit of an itchy throat from walnuts. Do you think pecans or almonds would give the same consistent consistency?

    Megan

    I think pecans would definitely have the same consistency as the walnuts.

Alison

These are so delicious! Thank you for this amazing recipe.

natalie

Are there any nut substitution recommendations? TYIA

    Megan

    I haven’t tried a nut-free version yet, but I’ll let you know if I do! Hopefully some other commenters will post their results, too.

Karen

Thank you so much! These look phenomenal and I think, will have the flavor of a cookie I used to make with my Mom. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It will be the first cookie I made once the heat dies back a little. You made my day!

Karen

Oh, and my favorite healthy dessert most times is an apple with peanut butter. I’m pretty simple really. But….for an occasion, it would be cashew based pseudo cheesecake or flourless chocolate cake. I really want to figure out how to make a chocolate peanut butter pseudo cheesecake….I need time to play. Not where they are mixed together but peanut butter with a chocolate fudge swirl mixed in. I’m new to the whole cashews as cream cheese or sour cream thing but….one day I shall play and figure it out. ;^)

Kezia

I am a bit obsessed with walnuts at the moment so these look amazing – never used flax seed instead of egg so will need to give this a whirl!

Barbara

Instead of raw walnut halves, I used one (generous) cup of dried almond pulp (homemade almond milk leftover) and blended the dates with about 1/3 cup of (homemade) almond milk before adding the rest of the ingredients: beyond delicious AND healthy! Thank you again, Megan, for being such an inspiration!

    Joanna

    Sounds like the perfect way to use up that left over almond pulp. One question, when you say “dried almond pulp” do you mean dried in the oven or just “as is” after making almond milk? Thanks in advance! 🙂

      Barbara

      Yes, Joanna, I mean dried in the oven (about 2 hours at 170). But who knows, maybe it can be used “as is” after making almond milk! I would definitely use less almond milk in the blender with the dates though… 🙂

      Cyndi

      I used almond pulp in lots of ways. I just put in sealed jar in fridge and I have used it for morning cereal (add nut milk and diced fruit); raw cinnamon rolls; add to cooked vegan spaghetti sauce for protein boost. I would not hesitate to add it to this cookie without drying. Omit the baking soda and maybe up the flax egg and it should make a good raw dehydrator recipe too! I will try baked and raw soon! TY

    Elizabeth

    Thank you so much; I try to use up my almond pulp and here’s another idea. My husband just loves cookies, so this is amazing.

Hannah

Thanks so much for posting this recipe! These cookies sound delicious. I have been using raw walnuts a lot lately so this is perfect!

Wendy

Just made (I only had 6 dates so made the rest up with prunes) came out great, thou darker in color. Kids are loving them. With the flax, nuts and prunes I expect a few trips to the bathroom with them tomorrow 🙂

T.Ruth

Dates, are still considered a sweetener/sugar…

    Sarah Burns

    It’s not added sugar or sweetener. It’s a fruit, like adding a banana. Natural sweetness, not like adding brown sugar, etc. it’s truly amazing and tasty!

dina

i love that they are flourless. they look great!

Sandy Shilling

How many calories?

Penny O

I just happen to have a glut of dates AND walnuts in the house this very moment; AND a potluck tonight. Thanks Detoxinista! You’re the best!

Hope

Mmm, I’ll have to try these.

My friend made a chocolate quinoa cake the other day that was to die for! But I think I love your cherry chocolate avocado pudding best for a hot day 🙂

Sarah Burns

I just made these cookies and they are awesome!! Thanks for the recipe, they will be a regular in my home.

T. Ruth

Yes, this is true, but cancer, candida, diabetes etc. feed off of any sugar(including fruit sugar)…

    Sarah

    This is a very positive website with healthy and helpful recommendations. I come on Megan’s website to get awesome recipes. I was trying to answer your question helpfully. I’m 33, vegan, exercise and live a clean lifestyle. This includes not drinking alcohol. Please take your negativity to another website, we don’t want it here.

jen

Thank you for this great recipe. I’ve made it twice and it’s a new favorite. I added a touch of rum flavor and it imparted a wonderful taste.

Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama

Another winner, Megan! I used the same food processor that had a brownie mix in there (made from coconut butter) and both were successful. I think you would like this recipe 😉

http://www.coconutalmondrecipes.com/coconut-butter-brownies/

Stephanie

I just made these and WOW…amazing!! I only added clean almond butter and cinnamon and I cannot believe how amazing these are!! 🙂

    Christine

    Stephanie, I was actually wondering if I could make these with almond butter instead of walnuts – did you sub the walnuts with almond butter or just add the almond butter? How much almond butter did you use? Thank you 🙂

      Stephaine

      Hi Christine! just saw that I never responded to this! you’ve probably made them by now…but I actually juts added a T or 2 of almond butter. I still used walnuts as well. I’m going to make them again this evening with half walnuts and half almonds and still add a T of almond butter for consistency but maybe not needed! 🙂

April

I’m doing my AIP right now. I hope nuts will be a food that I can add back soon. This will be first on my list! They look amazing!

Frankie

Wow!! These are amazing!!!!!! More recipes like these please

Sana

I’m allergic to all nuts, so is there any substitute that will work well for walnuts? Anything at all? Thanks 🙂

Megan

I made these cookies last night and just loved them! Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

Sarah Burns

I must post a second time. Theses cookies are even better today! Thanks again.

Kat

wow, simply amazing, my whole family loved them THANK YOU!!

Keira

will it affect the texture too much to omit the dates and sweeten with stevia?
thanks!!

Penny O

I made these cookies on a hot day (95 degrees) and they turned out crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside – scrumptious. I threw the leftovers in the freezer and enjoyed them last night cold…yummy, but my preference is the warmed version. (Reminds me of Amy Schumer demanding a warmed cookie at work!)

Great recipe – will make again & again!!

Hannah

Thanks Magan
It was so yummy and healthy.

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