Oatmeal-raisin Cookies

These delicious oatmeal-raisin cookies avoid eggs, dairy, oil and refined sugar in favor of flax seeds, pecans, banana and dates. Yum!

1 cup water
6 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup raw, unsalted pecans

2 cups rolled oats, ground into flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons whole flax seeds, then grind them
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice (optional)

3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ ripe banana, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside. Place pitted dates and pecans together in a bowl with the water and soak for at least 30 minutes.

2. Combine all of the dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, flax, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 5-spice) in a large bowl and mix with a fork.

3. Combine the dates, pecans and their soak water with the lemon juice, banana and vanilla in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix; add in the raisins and walnuts.

4. Using a one-tablespoon measure, place a scoop of cookie dough on your baking sheet and press down just slightly (oil-less cooking don’t spread as much). Bake for 15-18 minutes on the middle rack, until cookies are lightly browned on top (check at 15). Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes: Regular (whole) rolled oats work best (as opposed to quick or instant oats). / If you don’t want to grind your own oat flour at home, you can use packaged oat flour, or experiment with different whole-grain flours. / A Vitamix or Tribest Personal Blender work best to blend the wet ingredients, although a regular blender would work too, especially if pecans and dates have soaked thoroughly (this enables the natural fats and sugars from the nuts and dates to be evenly distributed throughout the dough). / Chinese 5-spice is a wonderful blend of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, clove, and ginger. It adds a little something special to the cookies, but is not required.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15-18 minutes
Makes: about 2 dozen cookies

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  1. How did you know I’ve been desperate for something “familiar” and decadent? I’m going to make these today… Thanks for the recipe! By the way, made your veggie burgers (barley and garbonzo beans) yesterday. They’re excellent!

    • Hi there! The cookies are really yummy. I made them for Friday’s class and they were a big hit :) Glad you enjoyed the burgers!

  2. Oh, heavens these are delicious! I don’t think I’ll ever make the sugar and butter filled versions again. Thanks for making healthy food taste yummy!

  3. You’re so welcome! 😉

  4. can you do this with regular dates? double the amount? soak longer?

  5. What do you mean by regular dates? I think you can use any kind of date. If they are smaller than medjool then maybe add more, and yes, if they are fairly dry, go ahead and give them a long soak.

  6. Sorry, I meant deglet noor pitted dates. Cheaper, and what I have on hand. I thought I heard they were not as sweet….but I could be making that up! 😉

  7. Hi Andrea, yes, so I’d use a few more. I’d say they are not quite as sweet, but sweet enough. Play around with the recipe and see what works for your tastes. Thanks!

  8. I tried making these and they did not turn out at all. :\
    I think I used the wrong oats. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flower instead making my own oat flour. Is that wrong?

  9. Hi Kris, just use regular rolled oats (not instant or quick); Whole wheat flour should work too, but maybe try oat flour (you do not need to grind your own). If you tell me how they turned out/what the issue was, I may be able to help more.

  10. My wife is allergic to flax. Can they be eliminated in this and other recipes (pancakes) or is there an appropriate substitution?

  11. Hi wready, sure, just leave them out and if add a bit more flour if need be :)

  12. Tina S. says:

    Hi Cathy, thank you so much for these wonderful recipes. I am trying these oatmeal cookies tonight. I cannot eat bananas, so I switched it with 1/2 cup applesauce. I am hoping it works out, they are in the oven now.

  13. Hi Tina! You’re so welcome :) Let me know if the applesauce worked out OK, I’ll add it to the recipe.

  14. Any idea of the nutritional info??

  15. I make a similar cookie for my kids that adds shredded apples, zucchini, and carrots, nearly 3 cups total shreds. We use chia in place of flax but otherwise very similar (applesauce instead of banana). I love the idea of the dates as sweetener though! We use them to sweeten other things but I just blanked on using it with these cookies, so thanks!

  16. I want to make these for my Dad but he is not eating any nuts – can I just not use the nuts? Or is there something I can put in their place?

  17. HI Cathy – is this 2 TBSP of whole flaxseed, ground, or 2 TBSP of ground flaxseed? Thanks!

  18. what if I have already ground flax meal, Cathy? Would I still use the same amount? Thanks!

  19. Doesn’t baking powder have sodium in it?

  20. Hi Cathy, two questions – can I cut this recipe in half and can these cookies be frozen?Not sure if I trust myself around 2 dozen cookies :)

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