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vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies recipe

February 10, 2011

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A funny thing happens when people start cooking healthful food for family and friends.  They feel the need to announce that fact to everyone before serving it.  ”Ok, guys.  Wait until you try this muffin!  It’s made with flaxseeds and almond meal and it has no sugar!  It’s unbelievable!”  Of course everyone else is thinking it’s probably unbelievably bad and unbelievably tasteless.   Or students will come to my class and go home very motivated (a good thing) to overhaul the pantry, the refrigerator and the family diet.  And even though I urge them not to, they feel compelled to sit the family down and tell them how “things are going to change around here!  There will be no more sugar!  Or processed snacks!  Suzy, spit out that gum.  Don’t you know aspartame is the number one food-related complaint to the FDA?”  Unfortunately, despite our well-meaning intentions, this strategy rarely elicits a positive response.

On the other hand, I love being able to share recipes that are delicious, easy, and just so happen to be good for you.  Take these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, for example.  Using a base of walnuts, maple syrup and a touch of coconut oil in place of butter and eggs, these are just darn tasty and not-so-shabby, nutritionally-speaking.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if your school or office allows treats to be brought in, why not make a batch of these?  Like many cookie recipes, you can make the dough several days in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator.  Take it out when you’re ready to bake and scoop it onto your cookie sheets.  You can even freeze the cookies unbaked.  Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet and place the pan in the freezer.  Once the cookies are frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container and keep them frozen until you’re ready to bake.  Then just place them on a prepared baking sheet directly from the freezer and add another minute or two to the baking time.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Yes, I know it is so very exciting that they are full of fiber and contain no refined sugar.  No animal products either, if that’s important to you.  You can even make them gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.  But no need to go around saying, “OMG!  Try these cookies!  They’re gluten-free and they’re VEEE-GAN!”  Unless your motivation is to discourage any takers and to keep them all for yourself. Hmmmmm……

vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

makes 30  2 1/2-inch cookies

1 ½ cups oat flour*

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups raw walnuts

3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 cup 100% pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups rolled oats

12 ounces or 1 ½ cups chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. *If you need to make oat flour, place 1 ¾ cups rolled oats in a food processor and process until powdery.
  3. Place oat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. Place walnuts in a food processor and blend into a fine meal.  Add oil, maple syrup and vanilla and process until mixture has the consistency of natural nut butter.
  5. Stir walnut mixture into flour mixture.  Fold in 2 cups rolled oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Use a 1 ¾ -inch ice cream scooper to form dough into balls, and place on baking sheets.  You can fit 12 on a sheet.  Flatten cookies slightly with a damp hand.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry.
  7. Cool a few minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

60 Responses to “vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies recipe”

  1. Keith says:

    Hello – Can you make these without the walnuts or are they in there for a specific reason? Thanks!

    • Pamela says:

      No, you can’t make this recipe without the walnuts since they provide binding and fat. You can substitute raw cashews and pecans if you want, though.

  2. Bridget Young says:

    Holy Sh-t! These are amazing! Finally a vegan, gluten-free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie that actually tastes GREAT! You’ve made me so happy Pamela. I’d begun to give up hope of ever eating another delicious cookie in my life. I’ve tried so many recipes, so many GF flour combos to no avail. Excuse the above vulgar language but those were truly the first words out of my mouth upon biting into this delicious treat. God bless!

  3. Sally says:

    Just making sure that these cookies are not supposed to have baking podwer in them since you mention ‘aluminum free’ baking soda. Thanks!!

  4. Katherine says:

    Hello! I am just wondering if you think this could work with cashews in place of the walnuts?

    • Pamela says:

      Hello! In the comments, I noticed someone used pecans and cashews instead of walnuts, so I think using all cashews should work. I tried the pumpkin version of this cookies with all pecans and it turned out great!

  5. Rafaela says:

    Soooooo delicious!!! Thank you thank you. Have to give them away quick before I devour them all. Just wondering how these are vegan if they have the chocolate chips?

  6. Pia says:

    This look delicious… wondering what brand, kind of chocolate chips do you prefer.Sometimes I buy a chocolate Bar of 80% and crush it and add to cookies, but not sure the chocolate chips.

  7. [...] favorite healthy cookie recipe is a chocolate oatmeal cookie from Pamela Salzman.  I adapted the recipe to make with [...]

  8. [...] favorite healthy cookie recipe is a chocolate oatmeal cookie from Pamela Salzman.  I adapted the recipe to make with [...]

  9. [...] favorite healthy cookie recipe is a chocolate oatmeal cookie from Pamela Salzman.  I adapted the recipe to make with [...]

  10. Kris says:

    I made these and am in heaven!! So good! Do you happen to know the calorie or fat intake?

    • Pamela says:

      I’m so glad you like them! Unfortunately, I don’t know the fat or calorie count, but there are so many sites with calorie counters where you can plug in the ingredients and get the info you need.

    • Amand says:

      It’s 192 calories per cookie (based on 30 cookies).

  11. Cate says:

    Hi Pamela,
    This looks like a great recipe! I don’t really enjoy the flavor of maple, though. Is it a prominent flavor in the cookies once baked? Or is there a healthy alternative you’d suggest trying?

    • Pamela says:

      Hi Cate, I don’t detect a maple flavor at all here, but your best bet is to use Grade A maple syrup (instead of Grade B) since that has a more subtle maple flavor. I have never tried another sweetener, but if you go for it, maybe go half honey and half Grade A maple syrup. These cookies are fantastic, you have to make them!

      • Cate says:

        SO GOOD!!! I went with the grade A maple syrup, light amber. It worked great, delicious without even a hint maple. I think I may need to get the walnuts and oats to a finer powder, but the cookies are amazing. Thanks for your response!

        • Pamela says:

          Hooray! You can also buy oat flour. My Whole Foods sells small bags of Bob’s Red Mill oat flour and you might even be able to find it in the bulk bins (since it sounds like you’ll want to make these again!)

  12. Ely says:

    Best. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies. Ever! I would never have thought of making a base with walnut butter. I try to sneak in walnuts whenever I can since they have omega-3′s in them so this is great. I think I will throw away all my other chocolate chip recipes and just stick with this one from now on. Thank you for creating these delicious treats!

    • Pamela says:

      You’re so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback — it’s very much appreciated! These are hands-down my kids’ favorite cookies :)

  13. Terra says:

    My son is allergic to nuts, can the walnuts be skipped?

    • Pamela says:

      Hmmmm, unfortunately, the nuts are pretty critical to this recipe. They actually get pureed with the coconut oil and syrup and take the place of butter and eggs. Sorry!

  14. [...] of your favorite cookie. My personal favorite is holistic nutritionist and chef Pamela Salzman’s Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe.  Surprisingly healthy and delicious at the same time, this cookie is always a crowd pleaser. Or [...]

  15. Alex says:

    I made these with spelt flour instead of oat and 1 3/4 cups almond meal instead of walnuts with 1/2 cup dried cherries and 3/4 cups chocolate chips (half bittersweet, half semi sweet). They were delicious! Even my husband, who turned up his nose at them at first, ate three enthusiastically!

    • Pamela says:

      I’m so grateful for your comment, Alex. I love knowing different ways to go with these recipes. Your version sounds amazing!

  16. Holly says:

    Hi Pamela,

    This recipe sounds fantastic. I was wondering if you use oat flour with other recipes in place of all-purpose or whole wheat flour? I have never used/made oat flour, so I am curious.


    • Pamela says:

      I have successfully used oat flour to make pancakes, waffles, brownies and these cookies (which are scrumptious!). I wouldn’t recommend subbing oat flour for wheat flour in just any recipe, however. Oat flour lacks the gluten that wheat does. If you want to come up with a gluten-free flour blend using oat flour, you would add in some potato starch, tapioca starch and some xanthan gum. Let me know if you would like exact proportions. :)

  17. Leslie says:

    BEST COOKIES EVER! It’s almost like you knew I didn’t have oat flour. Thanks for the quick tip on how to make my own!

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  20. Lauren says:

    These are ridiculously delicious! I have had some very “non-healthy” friends make requests for batches of them and my family just flips over them! Terrific cookie recipe! Yummmm!

    • Pamela says:

      They’re delicious, I agree! I have also halved the amount of chocolate chips and added dried cherries too — insane.

  21. shelly says:

    can u make these without nuts Im out right now and this recipe sounds so good

    • shelly says:

      ok never mind I just re read the recipe I have almond flour on the way so will wait till it comes in a few days that should work right?

      • Pamela says:

        It looks like the comment from Andrea below shows she made them successfully with whole almonds instead of walnuts, but I’m not sure what the quantity would be with almond meal since I haven’t done it myself. Let me know if you give it a try!

  22. Amanda says:

    BEST COOKIES EVER. PERIOD. And I don’t just mean compared to other “healthy” recipes – these cookies can take on any cookie recipe on the planet and win. My kids are crazy for them and I’ve baked them for all sorts of people around town who are equally smitten. Thanks Pamela!!

  23. Rebecca Foster says:

    These might just be the best cookies I have ever made! I made them to bring to a friend as a hostess gift for a brunch tomorrow. I hope we have some left to give!

  24. Alyson says:

    This is the go to recipe for cookies in our house. We have been making them with 3/4 cups of maple syrup instead of 1 cup. They are still delicious and sweet and I am happy because my kids are getting slightly less sugar!

    • Pamela says:

      So good to hear that your kids find them sweet enough with less maple syrup. You’re obviously doing something right!

  25. Andy says:

    These are SUPER delicious! Everyone who has tried them adores them. And for a dessert, not too shabby.
    I substituted almonds for walnuts, as I didn’t have walnuts. I used raw almonds with the skins on (no time for soaking), and they turned out delicious!

    • Pamela says:

      People have asked me if almonds would work instead of walnuts and I have always assumed they would, but I have never tried it. Thanks so much for posting!

  26. Joy says:

    Wow! I just made these, and I have to admit I was skeptical at first. But…they’re absolutely positively delicious! Just like the store in flavor and texture, but cheaper and better for you. I didn’t have maple syrup (it’s pricey on my grad student budget) so I cheated and used 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water, I also put in half the chocolate chips and used the mini sized and I added a handful of dried cranberries. It still turned out fabulously!

    I’m gluten free, and this is definitely being added to my list of favorite recipes. I’ll be trying the black bean recipe tomorrow! Thanks so much Pam!

    • Pamela says:

      Hi Joy, Thanks for sharing how you adapted the recipe to suit you. I’m glad they turned out well! In fact, I think I might try mini-chips and dried cranberries next time — yum!

  27. Lana says:

    these look delicious! can’t wait to surprise the kids with these!

  28. Nicole says:

    FYI we have made 4 batches of these in 2 days up here in mammoth. My son told me tonight this was the best cookie he has ever had.

  29. Sally Jo says:

    I LOVE these cookies!!! I’d been looking for a healthy.. and tasty… oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe without wheat and refined sugar. These are sooo delicious! Thanks Pamela for this fantastic recipe and for listing the option to make oat flour by processing rolled oats in a food processor… they turned out GREAT and are now my favorite cookies :)

  30. Alison says:

    I’m only 17 and I made these. they are VERY good!!!! I made them for my family and everyones face turned into a smile once they bit into these. outstanding!!!!! a must try

    • Pamela says:

      Alison-You are only 17 and you are a rock star! I love that you’re already in the kitchen sharing healthful food with your family. Keep cooking! :)

  31. Heidi says:

    The. Best. Cookies. Made them for vegan friends and we all couldn’t believe how good they were! I said “were” because they’re all gone!

  32. cristina says:

    Those cookies look so delicious. My family loves oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We are going to make them together for a special Valentine’s Day treat!

  33. Tina Brutsch says:

    These are fantastic! I think you can eat them for breakfast with some cottage cheese. I make batches and then freeze them on a cookie sheet before baking. I put the frozen cookies in a container in the freezer and when we want a fresh cookie, we bake a few and eat them warm. Thank you for this and all the other amazing recipes.

  34. sonia says:

    Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my very favorite. I can’t wait to try them and report

  35. Teddi Gilderman says:

    This truly is one of our favorite recipes in the world! Since Pamela has given us this, we make it all the time and everyone who eats them, loves them! They don’t last long in the Gilderman house. And my kids LOVE coming home to the smell of them baking after school. Thanks Pamela for creating a new family favorite!

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