Looking for delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies that are healthy too? This recipe uses arrowroot and oat flours as well as coconut sugar for more fiber and less sugar, without sacrificing flavor.
Fun Facts About Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies reportedly became popular in the 1930s after Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts, added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie recipe.
The first-ever baked chocolate chip cookie was about the size of a quarter and was small enough to be completely eaten in a single bite.
Nestlé struck a deal with Wakefield where she sold the rights to reproduce her recipe on the company’s packages for a reported $1 (the recipe that’s on the back of every bag of Nestlé Chocolate Chips). She was also hired to consult on recipes for Nestlé, which was said to have provided her free chocolate for life.
The world’s biggest chocolate chip was created in 2003 by The Immaculate Baking Company in Flat Rock, North Carolina. It weighed 40,000 pounds and had a diameter of 101 feet.
The chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania “state cookie” status was proposed in 1996 by 4th-grade students at Caln Elementary school. Previously, the officially named state cookie of Pennsylvania had been tied up in a legislative battle between the Nazareth sugar cookie and the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.
Making The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love this recipe because these cookies taste so much like traditional chocolate chip cookies. You still get the chewy middle, barely crisp edges, complex flavor, and chocolate-like chips. And it’s easy to make; no mixer is required.
The base is palm shortening and coconut sugar, which is a great substitute for refined sugar. Macadamia nut oil has a smooth buttery flavor and a high smoke point, which makes it a good choice for baked goods.
Brown rice syrup is another great natural, gluten-free sweetener that I like to use in cookie recipes. Arrowroot flour looks very similar to corn starch and helps to bind the dough together. Oat flour provides lots of fiber without weighing down the cookies at all. Baking soda lifts and leavens the cookies to make them light and chewy while sea salt helps to bring out all the different flavors.
Note: While it may be tempting to eat this egg-free cookie dough because it doesn’t carry the risk of salmonella poisoning, the FDA advises against eating raw cookie dough because of the slight risk of E. coli and presumably other pathogens.
These cookies taste incredible when eaten warm from the oven, but will also keep well for a couple of days in an airtight container. Unbaked cookies can be frozen. Once you have made the dough, divide it up and shape it into balls. Place them spaced apart on a tray in the freezer then transfer to a ziplock bag once frozen. They can be baked straight from frozen but may need a minute or two longer in the oven.
Top Baking Tip: If you can, refrigerate the cookie dough before baking. “Chilling dough prior to baking lends itself to more tender, well-shaped, and slightly stronger flavored cookies,” says Meredith Tomason, Test Kitchen Manager for Nestlé Toll House. “The flavor-enhancing ingredients such as vanilla, salt, spices, and sweeteners all become a bit more concentrated and heightened.” Many bakers agree that 24 to 36 hours of refrigeration yield the most flavorful cookies.
Vegan Ingredient Swaps For Chocolate Chip Cookies
I took a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and swapped it out with some plant-based ingredients.
There are no eggs or butter in this recipe yet it still tastes great. Instead of butter, I use organic palm shortening by Nutiva, which is made of organic palm fruit oil, organic unrefined virgin coconut oil, and organic unrefined red palm oil. I substitute the eggs with one flax egg. To make a flax egg, simply stir 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.
Swap out the refined sugar for coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index (GI) ranking than cane sugar as well as a small amount of minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. Or if you can’t find coconut sugar you can use raw cane sugar instead.
Oat flour is a great gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour that is rich in soluble fiber and great for balancing blood sugar levels.
Using carob chips instead of chocolate chips is a great option for those who are sensitive to caffeine.
What is Carob?
Carob is a sweet and healthy substitute for chocolate and comes from a pod of a tree of the same name. It is harvested from trees in warm climates, including India and Australia. The ripe pods contain a sweet pulp that is dried, roasted, and then ground into a powder, which is sold as is or made into chocolate-like chips.
If you are lactose-intolerant or vegan, carob is a great dairy-free alternative. It has a lot of fiber, antioxidants, low amounts of fat and sugar, no caffeine, and no gluten.
While carob chips look a lot like your favorite chocolate chips, they are less bitter than chocolate and have a nutty, roasted, naturally sweet flavor. If you want to give this healthier alternative to chocolate a try, then you can purchase some here.
More Sweet Treat Recipes
If you have a sweet tooth like me, try these other healthy dessert recipes after your cookie jar is empty:
- Chia Pudding Three Ways for a healthy, but sweet, snack or dessert.
- Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are a fun plant-based breakfast treat.
- Raw Vegan Cookie Dough Bites from Detoxinista let you enjoy the fun of eating cookie dough guilt-free!
Who says healthy cookies can’t taste like an indulgence? These gluten-free cookies are
secretly healthy but have that crispy-chewy texture and flavor of a traditional chocolate
chip cookie. Go ahead and enjoy!
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
- 1/2 cup softened organic palm shortening (you can also use vegan butter or refined coconut oil)
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin macadamia nut oil (or any kind of high heat baking oil)
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water)
- 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain oat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet carob chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream the coconut sugar and palm shortening together using a fork. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Add the macadamia nut oil, flax egg, sea salt, and the brown rice syrup, making sure that each ingredient is well incorporated before adding the next one.
4. Add the arrowroot flour and oat flour to the mixture. Stir until combined. Add the baking soda and mix until you have a nice, smooth dough.
5. Fold in the carob chips.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, place equal round portions of the cookie dough spaced a few inches apart on the sheet.
7. Bake in the preheated 350 degree F. oven for 10 mins, or until the cookie edges are lightly browned.
8. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool. Repeat
with remaining cookie dough. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container
at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cookies can also be frozen for up to one
Tip: This cookie dough can be chilled before baking to give an even crispier texture to
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
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