Healthy Cookies (that my kids love!)

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!

healthy cookies stacked with chocolate chips

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)Β  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.

healthy cookies in a food processor

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!

unbaked vs baked cookies

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:

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):


4.86 from 89 votes
healthy cookies on a pan
Healthy Cookies (that my kids love!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
22 mins
 

These healthy cookies are made with 100% whole food ingredients, but they taste like a soft batch cookie! Delicious and easy to prepare.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: gluten-free, paleo, vegan
Keyword: healthy cookies
Servings: 12
Calories: 175 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 350ΒΊF 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.

  4. 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:

the healthiest cookie ever broken in half

Recipe 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

Kalyani

Easy, nutritious and amazingly delicious!
Thank you so much, we’re trying to only have
‘good’ desserts at home and this one fits the bill!

MaryKay

These were the BEST! So easy to make and taste great! Making my second batch right now πŸ˜‰ Thank you Detoxinista so much for developing these excellent recipies for us.

Angie Schinke

Amazingly delicious! Once again, you’ve created a fantastic recipe with healthy ingredients. My family and I thank you!

Michael Gallaher

What do you think about using Agave syrup instead of Maple Syrup? I just have a lot more agave syrup in the pantry than maple and maple is so expensive where I live in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As so many others have exclaimed all the recipes that I have tried so far have become mainstays in my arsenal to better more healthy living. Appreciate you!

    Christine

    Michael, check out http://authoritynutrition.com/6-healthy-sugars-that-can-kill-you/ or google “why agave syrup is bad for you” and you will find a lot of interesting information. maybe that helps answering your question? I substitute pureed dates whenever a recipe calls for sugar/syrup/etc. They contain fiber which is not the case in liquid or extracted sugars/sweeteners which means they get processed differently by the body/cells (not a very qualified scientific answer πŸ˜‰ but the video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Robert Lustig (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM) will do a better job πŸ˜‰

Michael Gallaher

You know when you are tired! I combined, in my head, the ingredients for your Basil Lemonade, which is outta bounds with these Healthiest Cookies.
Please excuse.
Now just let me sit in the corner and have a sip of my lemonade with a bite from my cookie. I’m embarrassed. HaHa!

Dorothea Shields

I just made these tonight and they turned out fabulous! I’ve been eating Paleo for the last few months and this is by far THE best baked item I’ve tried. The texture is wonderful! Not too sweet but not bland at all. Just the right balance of everything. I will be making these often. I have a retirement celebration to attend this week where food will be served, so I will take a few of these delish morsels to eat for dessert. Thank you so much for coming up with and sharing this recipe!

Caterina

I made these last night and they are fantastic! You would never know that the only sweetener are the dates and that they are flourless and sugarfree. Truly amazing, thank you.

Lucy

These were amazing! Planning on making another batch today!!

Emily @ Glitz Glam Gluten-Free

Omg these sound so fantastic and love the super clean ingredient list with things that I have in my pantry!! I cannot wait to make these!

Laurie

I am so excited!!! These did taste like soft batch cookies!! So skeptical at first πŸ™‚ i am blown away!!

Andrew

These sound great, will definitely have to give them a try! I tend not to eat any eggs and only buy them for baking, so the flax egg substitute is definitely worth a shot.

Sara

How do you do it? Seriously, these are unbelievable! THANK YOU so much for creating great tasting and healthy dessert recipes (as well as your other recipes—just made cauliflower pizza tonight which is so amazing!). I have a crazy sweet tooth, but want to eat right too. Your recipes satisfy me 100%! Thanks again!

Kerri

These are absolutely FABULOUS. I think I ate half the cookie dough before baking them because it’s so rich and sweet! Love, love, LOVE!

Katy

These are so delish! We just enjoyed one with our morning coffee. What a treat!

Cadie

I wonder about how healthy it is to use a “flax egg.” I’ve always read that you should never heat flax seeds or flax seed oil because it is very fragile and oxidizes with heat, making it very unhealthy to consume. What are your thoughts on this? This recipe does sound delicious, though. I think I’ll try it with a regular pasture-raised egg. Thanks!

    Megan

    I’ve actually wondered about that myself. I’m currently getting my certification as a clinical nutritionist, and in one of my classes the teacher mentioned that flax seed oil oxidizes with heat, but that the whole and ground flax seeds do not have the same issue. However, that’s just one teacher’s word, so I’m going to continue to look into it further.

Rose

Just made these and used a combination of hazelnuts and almonds for the nuts, and half prunes and half dates. They are amazing and so easy to make! Thanks so much. I discovered your blog awhile back with the MacNCheese recipe and it has been one of my favorites since.

Angela

I was wondering if I could use dried figs instead of the dates and if so, how many should I use? Thanks!

amy

This recipe is AMAZING – I’m obsessed πŸ™‚ such a delicious recipe

Ali

WOW these are seriously the most delicious cookies that I have ever eaten! I used pecans, and I had some 100% organic date syrup in my pantry, so I just used 1/2 cup of the date syrup instead of using whole dates since the dates were already blended to make the syrup. My boyfriend and I absolutely loved the cookies (and they smelled divine as they baked). I am always cooking up heathy recipes, and this one will be a staple for a sweet & healthy treat! Thank you so much for sharing, I look forward to trying some more of your genius recipes!

Anita

These are delicious! Thanks for such a great website and healthy recipes!

Nancy

I just made these with pecans, they are the best cookies I’ve ever made and I’ve made a few in my lifetime…just fabulous!

Cecilia

Absolutely delicious!

Lisa

Mmmmmm! If you need a NUT FREE version, try these with tiger nuts…which are, ironically, not nuts but from a tuber plant. I used a cup and a half and the cookies are tasty. Thank you for this tasty recipe πŸ™‚

Bronwyn

These are very good. I used a combo of pecans and walnuts.

Alissa

I made these cookies with almonds and they are so delicious. It is hard to not eat them all at once. I love the recipe

Jennifer

Wow! No need for those chocolatechips the cookies or so sweet as it is! Yummy I added more chopped walnuts instead. It gave the cookies a great crunch. I guess I’m just crazy about walnuts! Mine came out so chewing on the inside and crispy on the outside, just perfect!. Thank you so much for this recipe.

Theresa

Is it possible to substitute the walnuts with chestnuts? I feel like it would really lighten the cookies. I have no idea how one would go about making it happen or how much different the taste would be. Any thoughts?

Celeste

I used all hazelnuts and it ended up tasting like a Nutella cookie. A nice surprise!

just saying

[wet blanket]

These cookies are rife with PUFAs, which may or may not be degraded and which will be far more omega-6 than omega-3, and also plant hormones from the flax seed. Unless you’re allergic to eggs, you are better off using an egg than the flax substitute. Chia isn’t any better because it’s still high in phytate (as is flax).

If you are going to use tree nuts anyway, use a blanched almond flour. It’s had some of the phytate removed and has been defatted. Fat in and of itself isn’t bad but all the tree nuts except macadamia are really high in omega-6, and we get too much of that already, on average. And I am not sure how well macadamia would fare as the main body of a cookie. Haven’t tried it.

I doubt whatever omega-3 is present in the walnuts or flax would make up for the omega-6, either, especially since a lot of people with diabetic tendencies have trouble converting plant fatty acids (as in, this is a genetic issue, and can’t be fixed with wishing). Basically it’s not a good idea to depend on plants for all your omega-3s unless you know your genetic status, because you are playing Russian Roulette with your health.

I know these are just cookies and maybe the rest of your diet’s OK, just keep all that in mind.

P.S. For the love of Pete, buy your flaxseed whole and keep it in the freezer. It grinds almost instantly in an electric coffee grinder. And *don’t* use flaxseed oil. Just saying.

[/wet blanket]

    Gloria

    Hi, “wet blanket” – no, no, you are most definitely NOT a wet blanket, but a wonderful “sharer” of valuable information for those of us that love to learn all the pros and cons of all we eat. I will save your information because it is well worth saving – now we can make better choices/decisions when treating our loved ones to special times . . . thanks so much & God Bless You & Your Loved Ones . . . πŸ™‚

    p.s. Detoxinista – why doesn’t your page allow me to give recipe 5 stars? It only has 3 stars capability?

Sarah

OMG OMG like OMG brilliant I’ve been hunting for a healthiest cookie slash cake and I have finally found the most delicious of them all, this by far takes the lead it’s so moist and I love the walnut crunchiness mmmmmm I cannot stop eating them I must make more to last the year

Chau

It’s the holidays and I’ve been gorging on buttery, sugar-high chocolate chip cookies…tried cutting it out and then still had an intense craving for nuts and fat, so this was perfect – stable moods all over – thank you!

Leyla

Absolutely delicious!! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe πŸ™‚

Dee Christensen

Stumbled on your website. Love your recipes. Made these cookies this morning. I used prunes and they are delicious. So easy. Thought my food processor would be a mess, but it wasn’t. Dough just made a nice, dense ball, easy to work with. Good tips with your recipes too. Looking forward to making many more.

maile ramzi

I love love love these cookies… no white sugar, no white flour, no butter. It get any better than this! I used pecans and left out the chocolate chips and they were perfectly sweet enough. May add coconut chavings next batch. I lived in Saudi for 7 years and became passionate about dates their nutritional value, as well as great taste. I use dates and date paste for EVERYTHING! Crepes, waffles, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, sweet breads, shakes, in salads, in couscous. I try whenever possible to substitute dates for any recipe that calls for white sugar – trying to eliminate white sugar from my family’s diet! It’s not easy, especially cookies for kids. I am the owner of Sahara Date Company and always looking for good date recipes. This one is a winner! Thanks so much. Will bring them into school for the kids next week!

    Theresa

    Do you sell organic dates? If not, do you have a suggestion where I can find them?

Andrea

Amazing, amazing! Who would have thought a cookie made from nuts and dates could be so delicious? I was expecting a larabar type flavor, but this was like a real cookie. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Michelle

Do you need to soak the dates first?

    Megan Gilmore

    Only if they aren’t already soft. The ones I’ve been finding lately are soft and squishy enough that you wouldn’t have to soak them first.

Sarah

Best Cookies EVER!!! My kids loved them! And my son can be so picky! They are our favorite treat!

Michelle

Thank you! I did not have to soak them and cookies came out great!

Linda

Delicious!

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