What could be better than a cookie? How about a cookie that’s packed with nutrients and can be eaten anytime, especially for breakfast, guilt free?
I love cookies. They are my go-to when I want to whip up something with limited time, or don’t have much energy for other more entailed desserts. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the fact that cookies are also one of my favorite things to eat. It ends up turning into a win-win-win situation because I’m having fun, being productive, get to eat some of the ingredients while baking, get to eat some dough while baking, and BONUS if there is enough dough to actually be baked into cookies! So many wins.
I have to bring up the negative, however, to classic cookie baking. They’re kinda calorific and not very good for you. I’m all for eating cookies for breakfast, but that usually goes along with a sugar crash later on. What to do?
Bake healthy cookies! They have to be delicious of course, and not gross. I have just the recipe for you, made up by my mom many years ago when we needed a portable nutritious breakfast for a trip. This recipe has been in my recipe box ever since as “Jean’s breakfast cookies”, made with many adjustments because the add ins are very versatile depending on your tastes. My mom likes to be called Jeannie (not by her kids of course) so I adapted the title accordingly.
One thing this recipe is not is a taste-alike recipe to say, chocolate chip cookies with a surprise twist that it’s healthy. Nope, these cookies have a satisfyingly healthy look and taste and are upfront about it from the get go. They get positive feedback and recipe requests wherever they go!
The recipe that follows is just one version of many, many possibilities. Just keep in mind that major adjustments may need other adjustments. For example, if you don’t have any honey or maple syrup on hand for the sweetener, you could use raw or regular cane sugar. Substituting a liquid for a dry ingredient, however, will mean you may need more liquid from elsewhere. Maybe add another egg, a bit more oil, or even water until you get a cookie dough consistency once again. Other ideas to make the recipe your own:
Use any kind of flour you wish instead of wheat flour. Oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour…I often use wheat germ in place of part of the flour or flaxmeal, usually 1/4 cup.
If you want these cookies to be gluten-free, ensure that your oats are gluten-free, and use a gluten-free flour.
Change up the spices. Sometimes towards fall I also add a bit of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Cardamom is also nice.
Beyond dried fruit and walnuts, get creative with your add-ins! Just try not to go too far beyond 1 cup, otherwise there might not be enough dough to hold everything together. In the photos on this post I used dried apples, dried cranberries, and walnuts. I’ve also added various combinations of dried cherries, prunes, dried apricots, raisins, dates, dried figs, dried pears, fresh apples, grated coconut, pecans, hazelnuts, dark chocolate, crystallized ginger, and anything else I had on hand!
Recipe adapted from my mama
Jeannie’s Healthy Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 18-22 cookies
1/2 cup / 112g olive or coconut oil
generous 1/3 cup / 120g maple syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup / 120g all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups / 135g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 90g flaxmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup / 105g nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 apple, diced
1/4 cup / 50g dried fruit, chopped if necessary
Oven 375°F / 190°C. Baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until smooth.
In another medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, oats, flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients, nuts, apple, and dried fruit to wet ingredients, mix until well combined.
Spoon generous tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly as they won’t spread much, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges turn lightly golden brown and centers are no longer doughy.
you can make flaxmeal at home by simply processing some flaxseeds in a coffee or spice grinder.
olive oil has a rather strong taste so if you prefer to avoid that, try going with the coconut oil option or even a neutral oil like peanut oil.
3 egg whites can be substituted for the 2 eggs for cholesterol-conscience people.