Just because you're cutting back on refined sugars and processed carbs doesn't mean you can't indulge in the sweetest treat of all (we're referring to cookies, of course). And you don't have to break a healthy diet and lifestyle routine either, thanks to a number of healthy cookie recipes online that taste like the real thing. To help you narrow down the research so you can head straight to the kitchen, we rounded up our 10 favorite healthy cookie recipes to try.
There's something for everyone, whether you want to make cookies that are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, an energizing snack, or you're just looking for a few options that call for healthier alternatives to butter, white all-purpose flour, and other common baking ingredients. Read on for classic favorites to seasonally appropriate healthy cookie recipes (gingersnaps, protein pumpkin balls, and apple spice bites, to name a few) to enjoy with friends and family. We promise that even the pickiest eaters (kids included) will come back for seconds.
Apple Spice Cookies
It's hard to believe these glazed apple spice pie cookies from Chelsea's Messy Apron are healthy, isn't it? The secret is that the recipe doesn't call for any wheat flour. Instead, use oat flour, which you can easily make at home. Much of the flavor comes from the almond butter, but it's subtle enough to add a nutty taste and texture without overpowering the apples and nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. They taste great with or without the glaze, so if you'd like to keep your cookies less sugary, then you may want to skip it.
Mint Chocolate Cookies
You'd probably never guess that these mint chocolate cookies from Food Faith Fitness are super healthy, and you won't believe what the secret ingredient is: avocado. They're soft and chewy, thanks to the avocado, and they're only 100 calories. While they're gluten- and flour-free, they call for plenty of sugar. The dark chocolate truffle center is the perfect rich finish (or start) to a day.
Cookie Dough Bites
These white and dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bites from The First Mess don't require any baking at all. Smothered in a decadent raw cacao sauce and sprinkled with chopped peanuts for a contrasting crunch, these protein-packed treats are a serious game-changer.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Seasonally appropriate and full of comfort, these vegan pumpkin spice sugar cookies from Minimalist Baker are the ideal dessert to nom on this fall. They're fluffy with a light crisp to the end and simple so you won't feel too bogged down after eating them. The recipe also provides directions for a few healthier ingredient swaps, like whole wheat flour and pumpkin butter instead of puree, which will allow you to ditch some of the extra sugar.
Matcha Green Tea Cookies
These photogenic melt-in-your-mouth matcha cookies from Salt and Wind can be as decadent or healthy as you want them to be. Simply use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose white flour, and opt for coconut oil instead of butter. Either way, you'll get the signature matcha flavor. And if you do decide to stick to the original recipe, you won't be sorry. Either way, it's a win-win.
These no-bake breakfast cookies from Chelsea's Messy Apron are completely free of refined sugars, and they're packed with ingredients that evoke a tropical vacation getaway, including coconut flakes and extract. Made with flaxseed flour, peanut butter, and honey, and doused with yogurt-covered raisins, they're easy to make and even easier to enjoy on the go.
This Paleo gingersnap recipe from Food Faith Fitness will satisfy your cravings and your dietary needs. For a less sugary treat, skip the caramel drizzled on top. We promise they're still delicious as is. The batter is made with almond flour, coconut oil, dried apples, egg whites, and just a touch of ground ginger, cinnamon, and molasses.
Trail Mix Cookies
This flavorful cookie recipe from The First Mess is both gluten-free and vegan-friendly, though it's safe to say that anyone would gladly eat these up regardless of dietary restrictions. With a batter that calls for flax seeds, oats, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, and dark chocolate chips, it's sort of what we'd expect if our gourmet trail mix got a serious makeover.
If you want to enjoy them for dessert, dip them into some almond milk or place a scoop of ice cream between two cookies.
Pumpkin Protein Balls
Full of energizing ingredients like protein, fiber, and vitamin A, these no-bake, pumpkin pie–inspired bites from Root and Revel are a healthy way to start your day. They're made of raw pecans, almond butter, flaxseed, oats, and Medjool dates, maple syrup, and canned pumpkin for sweetness. What's even better is that they don't require any oven time.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Instead of using flour, this dark chocolate chip cookie recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron is held together by blended oats. It also calls for a few different types of oats to create a complex texture to make these stand out in a crowd of healthy cookie batches. Aside from the oat flour, the ingredients are simple.