Who’s ready to detox off of all that holiday sugar and food?! I sure am. But to be honest, I’m not totally ready to give up the cookies since those are my favorite holiday treat! So in aims to have those cookies BUT also a bit of a detox from the sugar, I’ve brought you these delicious and healthy peanut butter oatmeal cookies. They are filled with protein from the peanut butter and the egg, naturally sweetened with honey (and there’s some brown sugar), filled with heart-healthy oats, and flavored with some vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.
There are no “weird” vegetables or other exotic ingredients are included in this recipe. There are tons of great recipes out there that make treats a lot healthier, but sometimes the ingredients included in them are close to impossible to find. My goal for this recipe was to keep it using easy every day ingredients that just about anyone has at any given time.
They are soft, chewy, and full of flavor. They hardly even taste healthy at all because of the amounts of flavor! I brought these cookies to a family Christmas party and the guests didn’t even realize they were a healthy version they all loved them so much. After several recipe requests, I knew this recipe was a winner!
Truth be told, these are probably healthy enough for breakfast! That’s exciting right?! They are also gluten free, so long as you remember to check your oats and make sure they are certified gluten-free. And while we are talking about oats, you’ll also want to make sure you get the old-fashioned oats instead of quick oats. I’ve experimented on this recipe with both types of oats and the quick oats don’t work.
Although these do have a bit of sugar, there isn’t too much and it can be lessened depending on how used you are to “healthy foods.” If you are a long-time healthy eater you can definitely get away with reducing the amount of sugar a bit. If you are big on sweets and not so much on healthy eating though, you’ll want to leave the sugar in these. The good news about the sugar is it’s half sweetened with a natural source of sugar - honey. You could replace that honey with agave nectar if desired, but I prefer the honey in these.
If you are looking for a way to make these cookies vegan or egg-free, they unfortunately do not work well with an egg substitute (or a flax egg). Stick to the inclusion of the egg in this recipe for these cookies.
As with most recipes, feel free to adjust the amount of the cinnamon to your personal preference - love it? Add some more! Hate it? You could even omit it entirely. The vanilla extract can also be increased, but I wouldn’t recommend omitting it as it adds a ton of flavor.
Last, but not least, under-baking these cookies just slightly is what lends their soft and chewy texture. They aren’t as good (in my opinion) when they are crispy or over-baked. Stick to the time listed in the ingredients and just watch them carefully if you decide to bake them longer than the prescribed time written.
To keep these cookies soft and fresh, store them in an airtight container or re-sealable bag. They stay soft and delicious for a few days and after that you’ll either want to freeze them or eat them up. If you do freeze them, a quick 30-second pop in the microwave and they are as good as freshly baked!
I hope you love these cookies and they help you get back on track for healthy eating in 2014!