Are you supposed to have cookies when following a healthy diet? The most obvious answer here is: no. But that’s just because you haven’t seen our recipe for vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies yet.
We’re talking soft, crunchy and not overly sweet vegan and gluten-free cookies that you can have for dessert without going down the dreaded junk food road.
No food shaming here, but have you taken a look at the amount of added sugar and oil in store-bought oatmeal cookies recently? There must be a better way… and there is.
Today, we don’t want to keep our secret baking obsession to ourselves anymore. As you might know, we’re rather picky when it comes to finding the perfect overlap of wholesome yet simple ingredients, awesome taste and low kitchen skills requirements.
And for us, these vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies just tick all the boxes.
You wouldn’t believe how nutrient-dense and even chewy these cookies are without any butter or eggs! For the right amount of sweetness, we added just the tiniest bit of maple syrup – which, by the way, is not much healthier than white table sugar, as we discussed in our recent sugar-free banana bread post. But a little can go a long way.
To take the wholesomeness to the next level, you can use date paste (or puree some dates yourself) and mix it into the cookie dough. More fiber, more nutrients, more softness. In our books, though, this recipe is healthy enough!
But wait, let us first tell you what kind of cookies we are talking about.
Creating Healthy & Tasty Gluten-Free Vegan Cookies
We don’t mess around here. This naturally gluten-free cookie goodness combines all of the add-ins we adore! Because who could ever make the right decision between peanut butter and chocolate?
We love vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
We love vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
Why not just go all in and create vegan peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies?
Ingredients for Our Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Oats – classic vegan staple food easily ground into flour and naturally gluten-free; you can choose rolled oats or quick oats!
- Natural Peanut Butter – adding some protein, wholesome fats and that delicious nutty hint.
- Vegan Chocolate Chips – because we all need some of those sprinkled into our lives sometimes!
- Maple Syrup – just a hint is needed for enough refined sugar-free sweetness. You can also use coconut sugar if you like!
- Aquafaba – this is where the healthy vegan baking magic happens!
Never heard of aquafaba? No problemo, here are the basics for you.
How to Make Aquafaba
Is this a weird new food that’s going to be super hard to find and even more expensive? Nope! We’re positive you’ve held this in your very own hands at one point or another.
It’s simply the brine of chickpeas. You can take it either from a can of cooked chickpeas (in this case, make sure that the salt content isn’t very high because that can add a weird taste) or cook your own chickpeas and reserve the leftover cooking liquid.
The store-bought chickpea brine is more reliable and thicker – plus, it’s much more convenient. So, this is our recommended route.
Step two after obtaining the salt-free chickpea liquid is to grab a hand mixer or stand mixer and whip until it becomes semi-firm. Alternatively, you could whisk it by hand but it will take quite a long time and probably not produce as stiff of a foam.
Something that’s not relevant in the case of our vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but that will be important if trying to make something as fantastic as an aquafaba lemon meringue pie is that for this type of texture, you need to add cream of tartar to the chickpea liquid.
In our vegan peanut butter cookie recipe, the aquafaba is more of a whipped egg white substitute used for binding the other ingredients together.Chocolate Chickpea Ice Cream Recipe →
The Best Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Is there really a need to make cookies more appealing to you? I don’t think so. They certainly don’t last for very long in our household and we never hold back when it comes to healthy sweets.
Especially if you’re new to a vegan diet and haven’t found great snacks at the store, making some delicious homemade peanut butter cookies and customizing them to your liking is a great idea!
This can help with unhealthy junk food cravings because once you get used to treating yourself with healthier versions of your favorite desserts, they will lessen over time while you’re receiving all of the health benefits!
For more vegan snack ideas that are easy to make and high in protein, check out these 30+ recipes we hand-selected.Edible Vegan Cookie Dough →
How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
You’re probably eager to get started now that we’ve won you over on the aquafaba-part (or if you’re a long-time Aquafabian and love that this ingredient is featured in our recipe for vegan oatmeal cookies).
Should you find yourself not randomly having oat flour in your cupboard (just like us), you can simply use rolled oats or instant oats and grind them into flour using your blender! It can even be an old or cheap one; no huge expectations here.
If you don’t have enough oats at home, you can replace some of the oat flour with another flour such as whole wheat or spelt, but you definitely need some of the oat texture – otherwise, you wouldn’t get oatmeal cookies. That’s for sure.
You don’t need to go for 100% ground oats here, try adding some rolled oats into the cookie dough for a chunkier texture if you like!
Pretty much all of the ingredients of the vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies just go straight into the food processor so that it can do its thing. The only exceptions are the aquafaba and the chocolate chips.
After just 15 minutes in the oven, your kitchen will be filled with an irresistible smell, and if you can sneak in a few minutes of cooling, it’s snack o’clock.
Tips For The Best Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Okay, let’s finish with some ideas for the best scrumptious and vegan gluten-free cookies! Our recipe is refined sugar-free but you can add more syrup if you’re not used to this subtle sweetness.
Don’t have maple syrup at home? Any vegan sweetener, such as agave, brown sugar, white sugar or coconut sugar, will do; the even healthier upgrade would be blended dates.
For the best results, we recommend using natural peanut butter instead of those varieties that have added sugar and oil — speaking of which, this whole food treat is completely oil-free. Nope, not even coconut oil is added! Lower calories and saturated fat, still an indulgently delicious treat.
Anyone in your family allergic to peanut butter? Swap it for almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
Not digging the chocolate chip part? We wouldn’t know why, but they can totally be omitted.No-Bake Chocolate Caramel Slice →
Super Easy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Apart from whipping the aquafaba, the recipe for these vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies is as easy as it gets! You can customize the level of sweetness, add some more coconut sugar, peanut butter or seed butter to your liking, or go crazy on other add-ins (find a list below).
Our favorite part is that they are so wholesome — no refined white sugar, no vegan butter or coconut oil are needed for these gluten-free vegan oatmeal cookies.
Just make sure to watch the peanut butter cookies when baking so they won’t burn! Ovens don’t always have an even temperature throughout, resulting in some areas being hotter than others.
How to Store Peanut Butter Cookies
If you’re unsure how well egg-free and dairy-free peanut butter cookies keep, here’s what we have found! They taste the best when still warm and freshly baked (of course!) but you can store and leftover vegan oatmeal cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Some recipes allow for freezing the cookie dough before making the peanut butter treats but this won’t work due to the aquafaba used.
What to Serve With Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Try them on their own, with a glass of dairy-free milk or perhaps a vanilla almond latte — hot or cold, your choice.
We sometimes like to add some crumbles of these vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies on our oatmeal, smoothie bowl or on top of our chocolate chickpea ice cream (which even makes use of the canned chickpeas).
You can also pair them with some fruit. There’s really no wrong way to enjoy this gluten-free wholesome treat!
Delicious Vegan Oatmeal Cookie Add-Ins
As always, we made sure that our peanut butter oatmeal cookies are very easy to adapt to your own preferences — you can freestyle with some of the following ingredients to make your own perfect version!
And there we have found some ideas for future healthy vegan cookie recipes! Share with us your favorite combinations below so we can all create more variations of crunchy and chewy vegan cookies.
More Healthy Vegan Baking Recipes
Intrigued by vegan baking? We have so many more delicious recipes you need to check out for some healthy sweet baked goods!
- 1 ½ cups oat flour* (180 g)
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 5 tbsp almond milk
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ⅓ cup vegan dark chocolate chips (60 g)
- 5 tbsp chickpea liquid, salt-free**
- Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 345 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the chickpea liquid into a glass bowl and mix with a hand mixer for 5-7 minutes to obtain a stiff foam.
- In a food processor, add the oat flour, peanut butter, maple syrup, lemon juice, almond milk, baking powder and baking soda. Process to obtain a sticky cookie dough.
- Transfer into a medium bowl and add the aquafaba on top.
- Using a spatula, gently mix everything to incorporate the aquafaba without destroying its texture.
- Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.
- Scoop the dough onto the baking sheet and press to obtain cookie shapes. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly brown and cross.
- Remove your baked vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies from the oven and let cool before serving.
- *You can make your own oat flour by processing rolled oats in a blender.
- **Reserve the chickpeas from the can for an upcoming recipe (hello, chocolate chickpea ice cream!) and use the brine for these cookies.
- For a sugar-free version, you can use some date paste instead of maple syrup and add some vanilla extract to support the sweetness.
- You can leave some of the oats rolled to add some texture to the cookies.
- The maple syrup can be replaced with agave, rice syrup or coconut sugar.
- If you cannot have peanuts, try other nut or seed butter such as almond butter or tahini.
- For a lower fat version, replace the peanut butter with applesauce.
- Delicious add-ons include raisins, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, poppy seeds and coconut flakes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!