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These Healthy Cookies are about to be your new favorite cookie recipe! 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 on pan

Why You’ll Love Them

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.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 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.
  • Dates: Dates are loaded with fiber and may be beneficial for controlling your blood sugar. Dates are considered a low-glycemic food, and have a high antioxidant content that may help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Flax Seeds: Ground flax seeds may help to lower cholesterol and they may help to lower blood pressure, too. Eating ground flax seeds regularly may even help to expedite weight loss, as well!
  • Baking Soda + Vinegar. This combination helps them rise, without using eggs.
  • Vanilla + Salt. Contributes to the classic cookie flavor you love.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips. Or, you can use cacao nibs, raisins, or extra nuts as a sugar-free mix-in.

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 on cooling rack

Substitution note: I’ll often use pecans when I don’t have walnuts on hand, 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.

How to Make Them

  • Grind the nuts. Add the walnuts to a food processor, and process briefly until they have a coarse, crumbly texture.
  • Make the cookie dough. Add in the dates, salt, baking soda, vanilla, flax seeds, water, and vinegar (which reacts with the baking soda to help the cookies rise) and process again, until a sticky cookie dough is formed. Add in the chocolate chips, and process again briefly to mix them in.
  • Scoop. Use a tablespoon or 1-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake. The cookies will bake for 12 minutes or so, at 350ºF.
  • Enjoy! Let the cookies cool completely on the pan. They are fragile when they are warm, but they firm up as they cool.

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!

healthy cookies stacked with dripping chocolate

How to Store Them

These grain-free cookies will become softer if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature. I recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer and serving them cold after the first 24 hours.

(They usually sit out just fine at room temperature for the first day!)

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.

healthy cookie at an angle on wire rack
healthy cookies stacked on pan

Healthiest Cookies Ever

4.92 from 161 votes
These healthy cookies are made with 100% whole food ingredients, but they taste like a soft batch cookie. They are so easy to make!
prep10 mins cook12 mins total22 mins



  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, briefly process the walnuts into a crumbly texture.
    walnuts pulverized in food processor
  • Add in the dates, salt, baking soda, vanilla, flax, water, and vinegar. Process again, until the batter looks relatively smooth and sticky.
    date cookie dough in food processor
  • Add in the chocolate chips, or any other mix-ins you like, and process briefly to mix them in. Use a tablespoon or 1-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the dough.
    chocolate chips added and scooped
  • Drop the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheet, and use your fingers to flatten and shape the cookies. (They don't spread much on their own.) I usually get about 16 to 18 small cookies from this batch.
    healthy cookie dough on pan and flattened
  • Bake at 350ºF for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. While the cookies are still warm, you can add a few more chocolate chips on top (if there are any spots that look bare). Let them cool completely on the pan, as they will be fragile while they are still warm. Store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, and serve cold for the most firm texture.
    before and after baked cookies



Nutrition information is for 1 of 16 cookies. This will vary if you get more or less cookies out of the batch, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
  • 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


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy cookies

If you try these healthy cookies, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like them!

Reader Feedback: What other date-sweetened desserts would you like to see in the future?



Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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

  2. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

      1. 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… 🙂

      2. 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

    2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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. ;^)

  5. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. I made these with macadamia nuts because that’s what I had in my pantry. They were delicious. Made some without the chocolate chips so they were a little bit healthier and they still tasted really good. Definitely going to try some with coconut like someone suggested.

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

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

    1. 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!!!!!

  8. 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