Friday, January 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies (Gluten Free, Casein Free, Soy Free)

One of the joys of cooking on winter evenings in my kitchen is the fact that no matter how delicious the cookies are, you WILL NOT get a decent picture of them. The lack of good light seems to do that.

So therefore you get a picture of a squirrel in the quaint seaside town of Beaufort, NC. The squirrel says the cookies are very good, and quite healthy and you need to try them even without a picture!

Actually, these cookies look very similar to how mine turned out, so if you really need a picture, there you go.

These cookies are actually a revision of Heidi's cookies. I added an egg and a small amount of natural sweeteners and I varied the fiber and bulk of the cookie.

The past few weeks I have been following a low-carb diet to try to lose some weight and lower my blood pressure. I am not completely sure of the actual carb count of these cookies, but I know they contain a LOT of natural fiber, and other than a few tablespoons of honey and natural sugar from the bananas, they are extremely healthy for you.

Ground flax seeds are a great source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, natural fiber, and B vitamins. Quinoa also provides additional protein, natural fiber, and a high amount of nutrients such an manganese, magnesium, and iron. Blackstrap molasses also adds potassium, manganese, magnesium, and calcium! These cookies are really an oasis of good nutrition!

I LOVE how they turned out! I have been eating these cookies as my mid-morning snack all week and they are just delicious! If you have a chocolate craving, these cookies will hit the spot. For the chocolate chips I used a 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar cut up into bits. It worked perfectly and I love the texture it added to these cookies.


I was finally able to get a good picture of these cookies, I think you will really enjoy them! They are chewy and delicious!

Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies
(AKA... pretty darn tasty and healthy cookies! No added refined sugar, gluten free, soy free, and casein free)

Wet Ingredients:
2 large ripe bananas, mashed to oblivion! (about 1 cup of mashed bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
*1/4 cup coconut oil, slightly warmed (will mix better with bananas this way!)
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
* 3 tablespoons raw honey (optional -- add if you need additional sweetness)

Dry Ingredients:
*1 cup gluten free rolled oats
*1 cup flaked quinoa
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
1/3 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Possible Add In's:
6 ounces chocolate chips (or a high quality dark chocolate bar cut into pieces)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mash bananas, egg, and coconut oil together. Add remaining wet ingredients. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together all dry ingredients, except chocolate chips. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined. Mixture will be thick! Fold in chocolate chips and any other add in's that you would like!

Using a spoon, drop mixture by tablespoons on to a greased cookie sheet (or use a silpat mat or parchment paper). Shape the cookies by hand into circular cookie shapes. (Cookies will NOT spread!)

Bake for 12-14 minutes until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks and store in a tightly sealed container on the counter (if they last that long!)

Makes approximately 30 (2") cookies.

(Printer-friendly version.)

Carrie's Recipe Notes:

-An estimated carbohydrate count is 10 carbs per cookie, if you make 30 cookies. So these are still relatively high in carbs, but they are a nice naturally sweet treat if you are saving carbs for something special. I may to to make another version of these cookies using shredded zucchini and no oats to see if I can make them with very few carbs.

-If you do not have access to gluten free rolled oats you can use 2 cups of flaked quinoa instead (or vice versa.) You can also use puffed millet for part of the amount of either grain.

- The honey is completely optional. There is enough sweetness with the banana, cinnamon, and chocolate chips that you do not really need additional sweetener, but it also adds a nice texture to the cookie dough if you choose to use it.

- If you do not have coconut oil, I suggest using softened butter or a lightly flavored oil such as extra virgin olive oil, or canola oil. Use the same amount.

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  1. There is no way to get a good picture of anything in my house no matter what time of year it it. In the summer time I take whatever it is outside and snap pictures. My neighbors must think that I am nuts!

  2. Oh my goodness, this recipe looks lovely! Anything low carb and gluten free gets my attention. :) They ARE much healthier than standard GF cookies. Will have to give these a shot! Thank you so much for sharing, Carrie.

  3. lea -- I take a LOT of pictures outside too! It's the best light I have! I'm right there looking weird with ya!haha!

    Lauren -- Wow! Thanks so much for stopping by! You are such a low-carb celebrity to me!! I feel honored! Since I made these cookies a week ago, I've realized how much sugar and carbs they really have! I'll have to work on them with the erythritol and other foods to make them a better low carb treat!! ;-)

  4. Carrie,
    My husband and I are on the low carb train with you! Time to get back to my pre-baby size. We're doing the South Beach diet, and while before I never would have tried it because I didn't believe in diets, it has truly changed my way of thinking about food. I feel like I am eating all of the time too, which is important for a "hungry" girl like myself. Low glycemic foods are so important for both of us considering diabetes runs in the family.
    Go to recipezaar and do a search under cookbooks for south beach diet and also this website has had some great ideas
    I started on Jan 2nd and have already lost 8 pounds. I hope this helps you out!
    p.s., those cookies sound so great...I love using bananas when I bake!

  5. thanks so much for the recipe. I am always looking to add to my gluten free diet.

  6. Looks and sounds fantastic! I'll use our honey (we keep bees), when I make them. I need to get some flax seed and quinoa flakes first. BTW, LOL on the squirrel. We have a million of them in our yard (seriously, someone should do a count!). I've been concentrating on eating healthier, more low carb ... even doing a bit of the food combining and it's working. :-) Good luck to us all!

  7. This recipe looks awesome and I love the fact that you didn't use refined sugar. And I know what you mean about post-baking photographs. Sometimes my favorite and tastiest creations don't come out looking that good in the photos. I always do better taking pictures of the raw ingredients (the "before" pictures). It doesn't matter, sometimes a random and unrelated photo is more fun anyway. Love your squirrel!!
    Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely give it a try.