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A healthier oatmeal cookie?

Does anyone have a relatively healthy oatmeal cookie recipe they'd like to share? I'm trying to find a recipe that's tastier than commercial cookies, but not so decadent/delicious/tempting/addictive that you'd want to eat more than 1 or 2 cookies at one sitting.

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  1. if you'd only want one, i can't imagine it's very delicious. :)

    by their nature, containing flour, sugar and butter, cookies are not health food.

    i make these, usually subbing cranberries for the raisins and almonds for the walnuts. + ginger powder and orange extract.

    i eat 1 or 2 and give the rest away, lol.

    1. what's the point?? If you're going to get out the ingredients and mess up the kitchen go big or go commercial!

      11 Replies
      1. re: cstr



        that's the ingredients list from keebler oatmeal cookies.

        home-made would be WAY better for you.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Why? You are going to use enriched flour, sugar, oats, some sort of fat, raisins, molasses, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, eggs. The other things that they use are well down the list, hence minor components.

          1. re: paulj

            because i don't consume palm or soy oil or high fructose corn syrup. in any quantity. utter garbage.

            ingredients like those are why commercial cookies don't taste like they did in the past. yuk.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              a) Although HFCS varies in the proportion of glucose:fructose, it can be almost the same thing as sucrose. Supposing that, in this instance, it is not, the issue becomes whether fructose conduces to insulin resistance, obesity and other metabolism syndromes in a way that is distinct to, and greater than, other monosaccharides. My understanding of the the evidence is that, while fructose does have adverse metabolic effects, total calorific intake is far more important than the differences between the monosaccharides.

              See, for example:


              b) The palm oil will have been included so that the cookies remain moist. The principal complaint against palm oil is that it is high in saturated fat.

              The long answer to that complaint can be found here:


              tl;dr like you, I would much rather eat food that isn't a product of industrial chemistry and doesn't require an extensive list of additives, preservatives and conditioners, but the reality is that the ones that are included in foods have generally, if not invariably, been extensively researched and do not warrant that sort of reaction. lern2science or risk appearing an ignorant reactionary against di-hydrogen oxide.

              1. re: mugen

                hfcs also increases shelf life for baked goods. i have read pros and cons for it. i still choose not to consume it. nor do i have any desire to eat cookies that last for months on a market shelf. yuk.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  The HFCS that bakers prefer is 40% fructose, 60% glucose. It's the glucose that attracts moisture, and helps keep the goods from going stale. Honey (with a 50/50 ratio) is used for the same purpose.

                  1. re: paulj

                    large-scale commercial bakers do not use honey because it's too expensive, so that argument is moot, sorry. they use hfcs because it's cheaper than sugar and extends shelf-life. period.

                    products do not taste "the same" or even "good" to me. however, for a generation of kids raised on the stuff, i'm sure they prefer the newer sweeter versions. my b/f buys mexican coke -- the stuff made with real sugar. his kids prefer the hfcs stuff. (happily for him and his stash, lol)

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      In this case, sugar is up there with flour and oats, while HCFS is down near the 2% ingredients. I don't think they are using it because it is cheap, but rather because it can be tailored to their particular baking needs (such as a higher glucose proportion). It's contribution to the overall sweetness of the cookies is probably small.

                      HFCS does taste sweeter than regular corn syrup because fructose tastes sweeter than glucose. But that doesn't mean it is sweeter than sugar. It is difficult to meaningfully compare the sweetness of a syrup with that of a granular solid.

                      What are the proportions, by weight, of flour, sugar, and oats in the recipe you use?

                      I posted a recipe, below, that uses 200g of flour, 200 of oats, and only 80g of sugar. But that amount of sugar is borderline low for cookies.

                      oats 280g
                      sugar 210g
                      butter 170g
                      nuts 110g
                      flour 105g

                2. re: mugen

                  How about I've yet to have a cookie with those ingredients that taste good, science aside?

            2. re: cstr

              I made 45 at 11 am this morning. By 2pm, only 21 were left. I only had 2, but someone else ate at least a dozen of them. I'm trying to keep the cookies non-commercial, for health reasons, but eating a dozen over a few hours creates another health issue.

            3. I make oatmeal cookies replacing the butter with an equal amount of overripe banana, then cut some sugar. It's not quite the same as a cookie - it ends up more cake-like - but it's a nice little snack.

              1 Reply
              1. Here's my recipe for a Scottish style of oat cookie. It's a cross between a recipe for Aberdenshire parkin, and perkins. Those recipes used to be on a site called HistoricalFoods. Yorkshire parkin is a ginger oat cake - more of a quickbread using equal parts oats and flour.

                200g chopped rolled oats
                1/4c (more or less) buttermilk
                1/4c molasses
                1 egg
                1T golden syrup
                mix and let sit

                200g whole wheat flour (pastry)
                3t ginger
                1t cinnamon
                2t baking powder
                1/2t salt
                80g sugar
                80g fat (shortening, butter)
                work in fat

                work the two mixtures together to form stiff dough

                make into cookies, bake 375, to lightly browned
                I've tried several shapes:
                flatten and cut into disks (like biscuits)
                form into 1" balls
                or roll into log and cut into lengths

                1 Reply
                    1. If you like cakey cookies, you can cut half the fat/oil and use applesauce instead. Cut, the sugar, by as much as half, and drizzle w/ confectioners sugar glaze after it's baked, This won't work if you're looking for a chewy, flatter cookie but I really like the cookies made that way. Just start w/ Quakers oatmeal cookies if you need a recipe.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chowser

                        You can also use canned pumpkin puree. I've used it in baked goods. Aside from its unique color, it really is pretty tasteless but marries nicely with the mild cinnamon of most oatmeal cookies. More nutritious than applesauce.

                        Or try date puree -- was it Cook's Illustrated that used it to lower the fat in chocolate chip cookies?

                        Maybe you could add something for that stridently nutritious feel. Like lots of flax seed meal, or, better yet, carob chips!

                        1. re: willownt

                          thanks chowser & willownt. I'll try the puree approach next batch.

                          1. re: willownt

                            I like pumpkin puree, too, though it does affect the taste, if someone doesn't like pumpkin. I love pumpkin cookies and also cut the sugar on those, too, sometimes.

                            1. re: chowser

                              Good to know. I've got some canned pumpkin on hand. Next batch of cookies will contain pumpkin.

                        2. I use the quaker oats recipe, the one you find on the back of the container. Sub half the flour for whole wheat, add 1/4 cup of ground flax, reduce the amount of white sugar by half and the brown by a quarter. If you want to reduce the fat as well you comfortably reduce the butter by about a quarter w/o impacting the texture. More than that and you might want to add apple sauce but I don't care for that at all.


                          You can increase the "healthy fats" with nuts, fiber with raisins. I like to add dark chocolate nibs too.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: foodieX2

                            Here is my recipe: many alterations you can make, cut out the chocolate chips entirely, or at least cut back a bit. Add in some flax seeds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to up the fibre. I usually cut back the sugar by 1/3 as well but this does affect the moisture. The barley flour is a whole grain, so higher fibre as well, I have also used whole wheat or spelt flour in replacement for this, but the barley is best. This is far from a healthy cookie, but at least there are some healthy components to it and much much better than commercial.

                            Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

                            1 cup softened butter or margarine
                            1 cup white sugar
                            1 cup packed brown sugar
                            2 eggs
                            2 tsp vanilla
                            2 tbls milk
                            1 cup all purpose flour
                            1 cup barley flour (or all purpose flour)
                            2 cups regular oatmeal
                            ½ tsp salt
                            1 tsp. baking soda
                            1 tsp baking powder
                            2 generous cups chocolate chips


                            1. Mix the softened butter or marg and the sugars together well
                            2. Add the eggs, vanilla and mils and continue to mix
                            3. Add all dry ingredients
                            4. When all well mixed stir in the chocolate chips
                            5. Spoon on to cookie sheets the size based on personal preference
                            6. Bake at 375degrees 7-10 mins or edges are brown. For chewier cookies cook a shorter time. Cool on a wire rack.
                            7. Makes approx 48 cookies depending on who is around when the come out of the oven.

                          2. Google Nikki's Healthy Cookies. They are not sweet enough to be overly tempting, but they ARE tasty. I am not vegan, so I add an egg, which makes them hold together better.

                            1 Reply
                            1. http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012...

                              These might be what you are looking for. They are not real sweet, and are pretty quick and easy.

                              1. This is a recipe my husband has been messing with for about a year. We kept reducing the amount of sugar until we were happy. It's easy and you can throw in whatever fruit or nuts you feel like.

                                Oat Cookies

                                240 grams Oats
                                100 grams Flour
                                100 grams Brown Sugar
                                2 tsp Vanilla essence
                                1 Egg
                                175 grams Butter
                                Generous handful nuts (macadamia, almond) - optional
                                A handful Sultanas - optional
                                1/2 tsp Cinnamon
                                1/2 tsp Salt
                                1/2 tsp Baking powder
                                20 grams Dessicated coconut - optional

                                Notes / Directions
                                Preheat oven to 180 celcius.

                                Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat.

                                Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix. Add all other ingredients and mix.

                                Place bowl in fridge for half an hour so mix firms up. This makes it easier to shape cookies.

                                Shape cookies into 7 cm circles. Place on baking paper lined trays. Bake for 10 - 15 mins. Check often.

                                1. I'm on the DASH diet - supposed to eat whole grains - so I'm interested in any way to eat Irish oats without having to make oatmeal. Blech.

                                  I've always found raisins to be too sweet. I'm wondering if you could put the raisins in the blender to make a raisin paste and substitute that for some of the brown sugar?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                    Do you mean the relatively coarse steel cut oats, the kind that take 20 minutes or more when cooked in water? In my opinion they are too coarse to cook any other way. Rolled oats and Scottish oatmeal (a coarse meal) work in cookies and breads.

                                    Have you tried oat groats, the whole, uncut grain? You still need to cook those a while (up to an hour) in water. They still release the 'glue' that binds oatmeal, but if you start with enough water, that can be drained off. The resulting cooked grains are more like rice. I keep the milky liquid.

                                    Other whole grains like rye, wheat, and barley can also be cooked whole.

                                    I just discovered in another thread skirlie, toasted oats.
                                    That seems to work best with something finer like Scottish oatmeal.

                                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                                      Here's a guiltless oatmeal cookie recipe http://www.dashrecipes.com/blogs/skin...
                                      and a skinny oatmeal walnut raisin cookie recipe

                                      oatmeal walnut chocolate chip cookies made with tahini http://dashdietoregon.org/resources/r...

                                      another tahini oat cookie: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...

                                      other oatmeal recipes on the Dash Recipes website: http://www.dashrecipes.com/utility/se...

                                      If you find raisins too sweet, maybe you could add dried sour cherries. I added dried sour cherries and pecans to my 2nd last batch of oatmeal cookies.