Healthy Breakfast Cookies {Perfect for Snacks Too}


These nutrient-dense healthy breakfast cookies are super tasty AND are gluten-, egg- dairy- and refined sugar-free. They are the perfect breakfast or snack on the go!

baked healthy breakfast cookies on white plate

Ah, breakfast cookies. I resisted you for years. I stubbornly took issue with people trying to pass you off as a cookie-cookie. And you are not a cookie-cookie. 

What you are

a very delicious, lightly sweet, healthy, breakfast or snack option 

what you are not

an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

And guess what? That’s ok. You’re ok, little breakfast cookie. I think you can totally exist in a completely different space with value and self-respect.

My 14-year old would agree. He eats at least three of you after every wrestling practice.

stack of healthy breakfast cookies on wire cooling rack

The main thing to remember is, if you go into making this breakfast cookie thinking you’re going to come out the other side with a zero-calorie, nutrient-dense oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that tastes like the real thing, you’re going to be disappointed (and probably mad at me). 

But if you approach these for what they are – a quick and easy, healthy approach to on-the-go snacking or breakfast – I think you’re going to be very pleased. 

In creating this recipe, I knew if I was going to launch myself into the previously uninhabited land of breakfast cookies, I wanted them to be a) refined sugar and flour free and 2) fairly nutrient dense. 

all the ingredients for healthy breakfast cookies in glass bowl

Enter these ingredients:

  • oats (I use a combination of old-fashioned and quick – source gluten-free oats for a gluten-free cookie)
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • mashed banana (can sub in canned pumpkin OR ditch the banana and pumpkin altogether and use an egg – cookies won’t be quite as soft)
  • honey or pure maple syrup
  • cinnamon + salt
  • flaxseed meal
  • peanut butter (or other favorite nut butter)

Throw all of those ingredients into a bowl and mix them up. No electric mixer needed. A good old-fashioned bowl and spoon or spatula will do. 

healthy breakfast cookies dough

Add-ins

I’m not sure who I am and how I got here seeing those raisins staring me in the face. I’ve proclaimed my near-hatred of raisins in most baked goods since the beginning of time. 

But a couple of my kids adore raisins and have begged me to reintroduce them to our pantry. So I figured I’d go one step further in my effort to finally obtain that elusive motheroftheyear award and make a batch of these breakfast cookies dedicated to them. And to raisins. 

Admission: I actually quite liked the raisins in these healthy breakfast cookies. So I guess I’m not too old to change my ways. Just don’t ever put them near my cinnamon rolls, ok? Thanks.

The list of possible add-ins is lengthy but here are a few options: chocolate chips (obvs), raisins or craisins, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, coconut, other dried or freeze-dried fruits, etc.

adding raisins to healthy breakfast cookie dough

The dough, right here right now, is super tasty. I’m just going to say that out loud. 

Persevere through the snitching and dig in there with a large cookie scoop (I use a #20 scoop) or just a large spoon. You want to grab about 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. 

scooping out healthy breakfast cookie dough with cookie scoop

These cookies don’t flatten on their own while baking. We’re going to do that for them. Because of that, you can space them pretty close together on the baking sheet. 

Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand or your fingers until it forms a somewhat uniform disc shape about 1/4-inch thick. If the dough is sticky, very lightly wet your hands with cold water (or grease with cooking spray).

healthy breakfast cookie dough ball and then another dough ball smashed before baking

Texture + Baking

The cookies bake anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes. 

The texture of these cookies at about 15 minutes baking time in my oven is soft and cakey. They have kind of a muffin-like texture in the center.

The longer they bake, the crispier the outside of the cookies will be. The oats will get all golden and lovely, and the center of the cookies will be slightly less soft as they cook through more. 

My kiddos like them on the soft-but-not-doughy end of things. 

stack of baked healthy breakfast cookies

These cookies are very adaptable

Very adaptable. In fact, I’m guessing that no two batches of these cookies will taste the same depending on who is making them and what changes they make. 

And the dough is very forgiving. Using more or less oats, subbing in canned pumpkin for banana, changing up the peanut butter for almond butter – almost anything works here. 

Obviously the texture and taste will change based on substitutions, but don’t be afraid to try your hand at some variations! 

baked healthy breakfast cookies on white plate with one cookie broken in half

A couple extra notes

  • these cookies, once they are baked, cooled, and stored in a bag or container, darken in color a bit and the oats on the outside of the cookie soften rather than staying crunchy out of the oven – it doesn’t affect the taste.
  • I have only ever used traditional creamy or crunchy peanut butter (like Jif/Skippy) but I think natural nut butters would work well here. If the nut butter you are using is thick and stodgy, consider reducing the oats to 2 cups. 

And yes, I’m working on a chocolate version! For now, if you are anxious, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and a bit more banana or applesauce to the recipe and chocolate chips as the add-in and hope for the best. 🙂 

Yield: 15 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes

Healthy Breakfast {or Snack} Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (8.75 ounces) oats (see note for quick vs old-fashioned)
  • 3/4 cup (6.75 ounces) creamy peanut butter (see note)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mashed banana, about 1 medium (see note for substitutions)
  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (I use coarse, kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, craisins, chopped nuts or other add-ins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, peanut butter, mashed bananas or pumpkin, applesauce, flaxseed meal, honey or syrup, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until mostly combined.
  3. Stir in any add-ins and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Drop by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets (I use a #20 cookie scoop which is about 3 heaping tablespoons). The cookies won’t spread while baking so they can be spaced about 1-inch apart. Flatten each cookie dough mound into an even disc about 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden but still soft. {You can bake longer for crunchier cookies.}

Notes

Oats: I prefer using half old-fashioned oats and half quick oats in this recipe. It yields the best texture, I think, but you can try using all old-fashioned oats or all quick oats.

Peanut Butter: I have used creamy and crunchy peanut butter in this recipe (traditional brands like Jif/Skippy). I haven’t tried this with natural peanut butter or alternate nut butters, but I think it would be very adaptable. If using a thick, stodgy nut butter, you might want to decrease the oats to 2 cups. Also, the peanut butter amount is adaptable – I’ve used anywhere from 1/2 cup to a full cup. The amount listed in the recipe seems to be just the right.

Banana: the banana gives these cookies a slightly cakey, banana bread-esque texture. You can use an egg or canned pumpkin in place of the banana for an alternate substitution. The cookies will be slightly less sweet and not quite as soft if doing so and the dough will be stiffer (you can up the applesauce a bit if you’d like).

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Posted on January 8, 2020 by Mel



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