Lemme guess: you need a snack for some energy. You want to be healthy, but you also want a cookie.
Enter: Healthy Power Cookies
I wrote this recipe with both health and flavor in mind. They're a twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie mixed with an oatmeal cookie, but with healthier ingredients and a few surprises. They're so fluffy that they're almost bread-like!
I call these Healthy Power Cookies because of the powerhouse combo of ingredients:
- almond flour satiates you and stabilizes your blood sugar
- oats give you sustained energy and boost your fiber intake
- extra virgin olive oil adds a healthy fat your body loves
- hemp seeds boost your protein intake to help you focus, and add omega-3's + plant nutrients
- flax seeds (soaked in water to make "flax eggs") increases your fiber, omega-3 + plant nutrient intake even more
- maple syrup slightly sweetens these treats and replaces any refined sugar you'd normally find in cookies
- chocolate chips, well, those just make people happy
They're gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and don't contain any refined sugar.
Have one as a mid-day snack or, heck, even for breakfast. They're that healthy.
Healthy Power Cookie Ingredient Notes
Oat Flour from Whole Rolled Oats
I'm so extra here and prefer to make my own oat flour by processing whole rolled oats in the food processor for about 20-30 seconds to grind the whole rolled oats into coarse oat flour. I prefer this texture and it just takes a moment. But, if you don't have time to do this or simply don't want to, you can use oat flour. I suggest buying only what you'll use in the bulk bins if you buy oat flour. If using store-bought oat flour, use 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon. If making your own, use 1 cup whole rolled oats, ground in a food processor for 20-30 seconds (this makes just shy of 1 cup of oat flour.) Again, I like the texture better but you do you. You could also just use 1 cup whole rolled oats for a chunkier cookie.
Oats are full of fiber, and we all need more fiber. They also add a complex carb to the cookie to help give you sustained energy—that's why they're called Healthy Power Cookies, after all. Oats are gluten-free by nature but often stored with gluten-containing grains. Buy oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free if that is important to you. I just buy organic whole rolled oats from the bulk bins for less than a dollar.
Almond flour is dense and nutritious. I like the combination of oat flour and almond flour here to make a fluffy but substantial cookie, but if you're allergic to either nuts or oats you can use 2.5 cups total of one or the other. Just note if you make that substitution they will be a different texture than the image here, but still delicious.
Hemp seeds (aka hemp hearts) are full of protein, vitamins and plant nutrients. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids and a good amount of fiber (winning all around!). Most people know this by now, but in case you're wondering, no, hemp seeds do not contain any THC (the chemical in marijuana that gets you high). Feel free to eat them without worries. They're fantastic for your health.
Flax Eggs (Just Flaxseeds & Water)
To keep these cookies vegan and amp up the fiber, I used 2 flax eggs, which is just a mixture of 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of tepid water mixed and left to sit out for ½ hour. You can read more about how to make a flax egg here. Don't skip soaking the flax seeds in water and use the 1:3 ground flaxseed to water ratio; it's an important step as this is the main binder for the cookies. Flax seeds are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant nutrients, and as I mentioned above, more fiber.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I used good old extra virgin olive oil (evoo) as our healthy fat here. It works as a binder and keeps the cookies tender. I used the Thrive Market organic extra virgin olive oil and you can't taste it at all. Use a mild evoo or if you need a substitute, grapeseed oil can work (although, I think the evoo is healthier).
Real Maple Syrup
These cookies are intentionally not overly sweet—there's just ½ cup maple syrup in the whole batch! That along with the vegan chocolate chips makes for a great combo. You can add up to a cup of maple if you want more of a dessert cookie—but these are meant to be a healthy snack so go easy on the sugar.
The maple syrup not only sweetens the cookies, but it's the acid that activates the baking soda. You can substitute raw honey if needed to get the same effect, but I think the maple tastes the best here. Use only real maple syrup and read the ingredients list. Pancake syrup is corn syrup with "maple flavor" and is terrible for your health. If the ingredient list lists anything other than grade A or grade B maple syrup, then don't use it. I also get my maple syrup from Thrive Market.
Vanilla + Sea Salt
Vanilla extract adds a gourmet sweetness without adding any extra sugar. Use a high-quality extract for the best flavor. I use Madagascar vanilla from the Savory Spice Shop because of its wonderful rich flavor and they don't put any additives in it. And, don't forget the sea salt! Always add a little salt, it makes the maple syrup taste even sweeter and enhances the flavor of the vanilla.
- Dry Ingredients:
- 1 cup whole rolled oats ground into coarse oat flour, or 1 cup oat flour (see note)
- 1½ cups almond flour
- 1.5 tbsp hemp seeds
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Real Salt)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- Wet Ingredients:
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup real maple syrup (100% real maple syrup, no fake stuff)
- 2 teaspoons high-quality vanilla extract (I use Madagascar vanilla)
- 2 flax eggs (from 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed--see note)
- ¼ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- Make 2 "flax eggs" by combining 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of tepid water. Mix and let sit out at room temperature for ½ hour, and up to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Add 1 cup whole rolled oats to a food processor and process for 20-30 seconds until you have coarse oat flour. You can skip this step by using 1 cup whole rolled oats, OR, 1 cup (minus 1 tablespoon) store-bought oat flour.
- Gently combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (not the food processor as that may overmix it).
- Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add all wet ingredients. Stir all ingredients well to combine and form a thick batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) or your hands to form 10 large balls. Or, use a small scoop (1.5 tablespoons) to form 20 small balls. Leave them round or gently press them flat for a rounder cookie. Both work.
- Optional: press a few extra chocolate chips into the top of each cookie to make them pretty.
- Bake 18-20 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a 350F oven until slightly golden brown around the edges. Smaller cookies will take 17-18 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before eating.
- These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, in the refrigerator up to 7 days, and in the freezer up to 3 months.
- I'm so extra here and prefer to make my own oat flour by processing whole rolled oats in the food processor for about 20-30 seconds to grind the whole rolled oats into coarse oat flour. I prefer this texture and it just takes a moment. But, if you don't have time to do this or simply don't want to, you can use oat flour. I suggest buying only what you'll use in the bulk bins if you buy oat flour. If using store-bought oat flour, use 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon. If making your own, use 1 cup whole rolled oats, ground in a food processor for 20-30 seconds (this makes just shy of 1 cup of oat flour.) Again, I like the texture better but you do you. You could also just use 1 cup whole rolled oats for a chunkier cookie.
- Don't skip soaking the flax seeds in water and use the 1:3 ground flaxseed to water ratio; it's an important step as this is the main binder for the cookies. 1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons tepid water, soaked for 20-30 minutes.
- I use just ¼ cup of vegan dark chocolate chips to keep the sugar content of these cookies low. If preferred, this recipe can accommodate up to ½ cup chocolate chips. Or, leave them out altogether if you prefer.