These Healthy Cookies are unbelievably good. They are made with 100% whole food ingredients— no flour, no added oil, and no added sugar. And oddly enough, they remind me of the popular “soft batch” cookies I used to eat when I was growing up!
The Healthiest Cookies You Can Eat
This recipe is what I consider the healthiest cookies ever. They are made with ingredients that you may already have in your pantry, and because they’re flourless, they’re naturally gluten-free, too!
Here’s what I love about these ingredients:
- Walnuts: Walnuts are a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically the essential fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Research shows that eating ALA may help to lower your risk of heart disease. The polyphenols found in walnuts may also help to fight inflammation. (source)
- Dates: Dates are loaded with fiber and may be beneficial for controlling your blood sugar. (source) Dates are considered a low-glycemic food, and have a high antioxidant content that may help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of diabetes. (source)
- Flax Seeds: Ground flax seeds have been shown to lower cholesterol (source) and they may help to lower blood pressure, too. (source) Eating ground flax seeds regularly may help to expedite weight loss, as well! (source)
I use the flax seeds as an egg substitute in this recipe, and I think it keeps them a nice and soft in the center– which I love. If you would rather use a real egg, you can replace the flax seeds and water with one for a little more protein in this recipe.
I’ll often use pecans when I don’t have walnuts on hand, too, and the results are just as delicious! I think that buttery nuts work best in this recipe, so macadamia nuts would probably work well, too.
Why are Homemade Cookies Healthier?
I think homemade cookies are almost always healthier than store-bought versions, because you know exactly what’s going into the recipe, and you don’t have to rely on extra preservatives to make them shelf-stable. In the case of these healthy cookies, you know you’re getting a dose of fiber and healthy fats in every bite!
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 them in the fridge or freezer, and serve them cold!
More Healthy Cookies:
If you have other ingredients on hand and are craving a cookie, you might also enjoy these healthy recipes:
- Date-Sweetened Peanut Butter Cookies
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Buckwheat Cookies
- Almond Butter Cookies
- Double Chocolate Cookies (date-sweetened)
- Coconut Flour Cookies
I hope you’ll enjoy these cookies whenever your sweet tooth strikes! Because they are made with nutrient-rich ingredients, I find that they leave me feeling satisfied much longer than a traditional cookie recipe.
How to Make Healthy Cookies (1-Minute Video):
Healthy Cookies (that my kids love!)
- 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 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional; or add in raisins, chopped walnuts, or cacao nibs)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- 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, ground flax, water, and vinegar, and process again until the batter is relatively smooth. Add in the chocolate chips and briefly pulse, just to combine.
- 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 350ºF 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.
Healthy Cookie Nutrition per cookie (1 of 12): Calories: 175, Fat: 12g, Carbohydrates: 15g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 3g
This post was updated on 07/25/19 with new photos, so don’t be alarmed if the photos are different! Here’s the original one I took:
- 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
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite healthy dessert?