Here is a healthy versus less healthy but popular and traditional oatmeal cookie recipe. The traditional, familiar, but less healthy version is what you’ll most likely find in newspapers and on package labels because of the heavy use of sugar, white flour, salt, and dairy butter like you’d find in a lot of commercial, bakery-type cookies. This recipe comes from inside the lid on my usual Quaker Oats oatmeal package (old fashioned kind).
I’ve tried this recipe, and yes, it tastes great. The problem is for people told to stay off the white wheat flour, sugar, and salt ingredients, there’s also a need for an alternative type cookie including a vegan oatmeal cookie that doesn’t use eggs. And some people want a cookie with no added butter or other fats as well.
It’s not traditional to leave out the fats in a cookie. After all, you have a century ago people using rendered chicken fat in cookie baking instead of butter. And some use coconut oil. But here’s one recipe that gives you alternatives. But first the traditional recipe found on the lid of my Quaker Oats package. And yes, it does taste great. Here’s the traditional recipe. You’ll find similar recipes in food sections of magazines and daily newspapers for baking with sugar, flour, and butter.
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 cup raisins.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy. Add the eggs and beat again. Then a little at a time add the white all-purpose flour that you have combined with baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix. Last, add the uncooked oat meal and raisins. Mix. Drop a tablespoon full of the mixture on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for a few minutes. When cool, store in a tightly covered cookie jar or covered bowl. Makes about 4 dozen cookies. If you want to shape the cookies into bars, bake longer, about 30 to 35 minutes in an ungreased metal or glass baking pan, usually a square pan about 13 x 9 inches in size.
Alternative oat meal cookie recipe without using white flour, eggs, or table sugar
Now, here’s a healthier recipe because it doesn’t contain white flour and sugar. All you need to do is follow the same recipe with these substitutions.
1. Instead of the 1/2 cup of softened butter, use 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Instead of brown and white sugar, use dried fruit instead.
Mix the raisins with chopped pitted dates or thinly sliced bananas. Omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt because you don’t really need to add salt to a cookie.
To substitute for eggs in baking, you can use 1 teaspoon of flax seed meal and 1/4 cup of water for each egg to be replaced. This ratio of flaxseeds to water to replace each egg is mentioned the book, Sinfully Vegan: Over 140 Decadent Desserts to Satisfy Every Vegan’s Sweet Tooth by Lois Dieterly,
The dried fruit will make the cookie sweet enough without getting your brain too familiar with the taste of table sugar. Also to substitute for fat in baking you can use a tablespoon of lecithin granules and a 1/2 cup of mashed cooked prunes. Or leave out the lecithin granules and just use 1 1/2 cups pitted prunes pureed to replace the fats in baking.
Here’s one example of how prunes replace fats in baking: If you want to substitute fats for no added fats in baking, then combine 1 1/2 cups of pitted prunes pureed, processed in a food processor, or mashed with 6 tablespoons of water to replace butter or other fats in baking. To use, replace all or part of the solid fats in cakes, muffins, and quickbreads with half as much prune puree. Replace all or part of liquid fat with 3/4 as much prune puree. See this prune puree recipe site.
Otherwise, just follow the traditional oatmeal cookie recipe. To make it vegan, omit the butter, eggs, salt and sugar. You’d be substituting instead the pureed prunes for the butter and the raisins and chopped dates or thinly sliced banana wheels for the table sugar. The baking soda is optional.
If you mix all the other ingredients such as the vanilla and use 1/1/2 cups of garbanzo bean flour instead of the white or other all-purpose flour, you’d be making a cookie free of wheat. You could also use amaranth flour or quinoa flour. Or use coconut flour in just 1/4 of the amount and mix oat bran with the oat meal, about 1/4 cup oat bran to those 3 cups of uncooked oatmeal to replace some of the need for flour.
Another option is to add 1/2 cup of grated carrots to this cookie and mix well at the time you add the raisins. So you have a type of carrot-raisin salad tasting cookie sweetened with dried fruit instead of table sugar. Instead of liquid, we usually add the 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated carrots to the mixture and sprinkle some cinnamon and cloves on the cookie. Each to his/her own adaptation.