Sometimes, you just have to have a warm, melt-in-your mouth chocolate chip cookie. This is the perfect healthy vegan and gluten free cookie recipe to have on hand for when you gotta have chocolate chip cookies, but you’re running low on ingredients. No dates, bananas, nut butter, or almond milk? No problem.
One evening last week, on the eve of Grocery Day, my daughter and I found ourselves in quite the predicament. We both had cookies on the brain, but we were out of all of our usual go-to treat ingredients. We had just polished off a box of our favorite dates, so my favorite date-paste sweetened peanut butter chocolate chip cookies were out of the question. Not to mention we were out of peanut butter. Further more, our last banana had just been whirled into our breakfast smoothie, so no yummy banana oat cookies were happening, either.
The thing is, grocery shopping turns into quite the event when you have a high-energy, strong-willed, very opinionated youngster, like our little one. She is loads of fun, and can be the sweetest of sweethearts, but put her in a grocery cart and it’s like watching Bruce Banner turn into the Hulk. So I try to put off grocery shopping until it is an absolute must. My husband is great at picking up odds and ends to extend the days between the “big trip,” but if I want the right kind of spinach or random ingredients for some recipe idea dancing around in my head, then I had better pack up my little green monster and go.
I get a strange satisfaction out of seeing how long we can go without buying more food. Honestly, I think having less ingredients often spurs my creativity, and sometimes results in some tasty meals and recipes. Plus, it forces us to use up what we have, which means we very, very rarely throw anything away because it’s expired or moldy. Even when it seems like “there is nothing to eeeeat,” I can always come up with something. I like to have a stash of frozen vegetables on hand, and our pantry never seems to run out of dried beans, grains, boxed veggie broth, and homemade canned goods from my parents.
So, back to our cookie predicament. Just when fresh, homemade, melty chocolate chip cookies seemed unlikely, I remembered a recipe I created almost a year ago.
I called these cookies Pantry Cookies, because everything in them came from my pantry.
- rolled oats
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- date sugar (or coconut sugar)
- maple syrup
- unsweetened applesauce (homemade; thanks Dad!)
- coconut oil
- dairy-free chocolate chips
If you keep these ingredients handy, you will never be without delicious (and healthy) homemade vegan and gluten free chocolate chip cookies, ever again. Not to mention, there are like a million and a half other things you can make with these ingredients, but really just having them for the cookies is worth it. They are ridiculously good and come together oh so quickly. Got 15 minutes and a few shelf-stable ingredients on hand? Then you, my friend, have cookies.
These are soft and chewy in the middle and perfectly sweet without making you feel like you overdid it on the sugar. In fact, they are refined sugar free. I love the texture and flavor that the unsweetened shredded coconut adds to these cookies. I can’t explain why, but while these were baking in the oven, our entire house smelled like warm donuts. I didn’t include raisins (we were out of those too!) but I have added them in the past, and it’s delicious.
This recipe is for you my friends, that’s right, I consider you all my friends, and I would never want my friends to be without fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies. Because sometimes you just gotta have a cookie.
Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Pantry Cookies
makes a dozen small cookies
1/2 cup rolled oats + 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut ground in your food processor until a course flour is formed (don’t process too long)
1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp rolled oats
2 Tbsp of date sugar (or coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp fine himalayan pink salt or sea salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips (or more)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients (except chocolate chips). Stir wet into dry, then fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop out the dough using a tablespoon and shape into cookie shapes.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, or until bottoms turn golden brown. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cookies will be fragile when hot but hold together well once they’ve cooled a few minutes.
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