banana chocolate chunk almond butter cookies (vegan, gluten-free, no sugar added)

Posted on Aug 22, 2012 in Food

These cookies sound totally unappealing.

No sugar. No flour. No eggs. Lots of flaxseed. They are the kind of cookies that get made fun of sitcoms (like something Mrs. Kim would make Lane eat). They are the kind of cookies people would avoid at the company picnic. They are the kind of cookies that would get tossed in the trash if they were sent in a summer camp care package.

But they are also the kind of cookies that fit seamlessly into a clean and healthy diet. They are the kind of cookies that give you a touch of sweetness without wrecking your day. They are the kind of cookies that are so packed full of Omega-3 that they could be called “brain food”. They are the kind of cookies that you can eat after dinner every day without a worry in the world.

Of course, they don’t replace good ole butter, sugar and flour-filled cookies. Those have a place in a healthy and balanced diet, too, just maybe not as big of a spot as these banana-sweetened treats.

The great thing about these cookies is how perfect they are for milk-dipping. They are thick, chewy and cake-y all at the same time. They taste like yummy discs of chocolate chunk banana bread. Yum, right?

If you aren’t all that into the hardcore version of these cookies, you can easily dirty them up a bit with a small bit of added sugar and some not-so-dark chocolate chunks. That being said, I highly recommend trying them as written at first. You might be surprised by how much you like an unsweetened cookie.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Cookies

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 large, very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, all-natural almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups milled flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped roughly

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas and combine with almond butter, vanilla and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flaxseed, baking powder, and salt. Combine banana mixture with the flaxseed mixture until smooth. Add chocolate chunks and fold until well-combined.
  4. Roll dough into 1-1/2″ balls. Place on prepared cookie sheet 2″ apart. Using a wet fork, press dough balls down in a criss-cross pattern.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until solid and browned. Let rest on sheet for 2-3 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on baking rack.
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What’s your favorite cookie? Have you ever tried making it healthier?

22 Comments

  1. Dear Cassie,

    thank you for this great recipe. Even if I don’t like bananas very much, I’d like to try it. I have one qustion about the flax seeds because on the pictures I cannot see how they look like when you use them. “Milled” is not quite clear in my translation into German. Are they like flour or only like roughly chopped?
    Do you think it’s possible to exchange almond-butter with peanut-butter? I cannot get a natural one here.

    Greetings!
    Katrin

    • “Milled” just means it’s ground really, really fine, like a flour. If you have a coffee grinder, you could grind the flax seeds yourself. :)

      And yes, you could exchange the almond butter for whatever all-natural butter you have on hand.

      • Thank you for your answer! I think I just put them into my one for all blender and then I have the right ones. I already guessed that the missing flour has to be replaced somehow ;-) excited how they’ll taste!

      • I tried them today (half the recipe with Peanutbutter instead of Almond) and they are delicious! The color is completely different to yours, because of the self-shredded flax-seeds, they are brown. Like you said they are perfect with fresh milk. Great!!!

  2. These are the kind of cookies i’m going to be making asap!!! Holy deliciousness!!!! I have two favourite kinds of cookies…almond butter chocolate chip and fruit and nut breakfast cookie:)These ones will be added to that list:)

    • This one definitely isn’t as sweet as those two (which I love, yo) but it definitely works for a sweet everyday treat.

      • What would the calorie count be for these?

      • 154 calories per cookie, 10.7g fat, 14g carbs (5.4g fiber, 6.2g sugar) 4.6g protein. Plus 170% of your iron!

  3. Oh my…. these may have to happen today/tonight. I have a ton of flax seed kicking around, some just peanuts peanut butter, and some over ripe bananas in the fridge! Oh, and my mom’s peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are my favourite so these will be a kickass substitute. Thanks!

    • Hope you love ‘em! :)

  4. Girl, I love the Gilmore Girls reference.

    • Anytime I use flaxseed, I think I’m probably doing Mrs. Kim proud. :)

  5. These look good! I can’t wait to try them, and pass the receipe along. I recently spent a week on vacation with a person who requires a gluten-free diet. I was blown away at how difficult it is to be gluten sensitive, especially on vacation! Apparently, it is added to a wide variety of packaged products. Which made me ask the question, “Why?”. The poor guy had a difficult time ordering anything from restaurants because most items couldn’t be verified as gluten-free. On three different occasions, the wait staff came back to our table to tell us that they were out of the one thing on the menu listed as gluten-free. It just made me think, yet again, about things that are added to our food that shouldn’t necessarily be there, whether harmful or not.

    • The restaurant world can be so hard to navigate. I’ve heard that people with allergies have totally hit or miss experiences in restaurants. They either get treated like they are being a pain or get really good service. It must make going out to eat stressful, which is totally against the point of going out to eat!

  6. Quick question – there isn’t any significant difference between milled and ground flaxseed is there? Because I so want to make these with some homemade peanut butter!

    • Nope, I don’t think so! I think they just mean the same thing. :)

  7. I am on a gluten free/sugar free diet and I don’t buy the gluten free treats at the store.Can’t wait to try these! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Hope you love, ‘em Suzanne! If you’ve been off of sugar for a while, you’ll be in heaven. I can’t believe how quickly my tastebuds adapted to picking up on just the slightest hint of sweetness.

  8. I would love these cookies no matter what (I mean, chocolate? bananas? YES!), but I love them even more because you managed to make them both vegan and gluten-free. They look so good!

  9. Haha I LOVE this!! I just made what I thought were “healthier cookies” but these are serious business. I’ve always been scared to make anything COMPLETELY without sugar, but I’m going to try these as soon as my bananas ripen!

  10. I won’t use flax seed. What can I use as a substitute?

  11. I could not help but to jump in on the conversations and also very anxious to try this receipe as well. Since chia seeds can be used like flax seeds, I would ‘guess’ this would be an option in place of the flax seed. One difference with the chia seed, they don’t need to be milled for the body to absorb. But, I for this receipt I personally would grind the seeds. Since I carry lyme disease it is important to avoid sugars, flours and wheat, making this cookie recipe a must try. PS- I also avoid oils, and usually replace applesauce in its place. Fun baking to everyone!

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