There’s nothing like a soft oatmeal-raisin cookie! Dates and almond butter stand in for more traditional butter, eggs, and refined sugar. This cookie is rich, due to the almond butter, but for a lower-fat cookie, see Notes. To avoid excess sodium, use sodium-free baking powder.
7 ounces dates (about 14 Medjool or 28 Deglet Noor), pitted, and quartered
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground into flour in a blender
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons almond butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 to 2 vanilla beans)
½ cup raisins (plus extra for the tops of the cookies)
2½ ounces walnuts, chopped (about ½ cup; optional)
1. Place the pitted dates into a blender, cover them with water, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften). (Be sure you have ground your oats into flour before doing this.)
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking mat) and set aside.
3. Place all of the dry ingredients (oats, oat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon) into a medium bowl and stir. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Pour the water off of the dates into a cup. Add the almond butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the date-soak water to the blender of dates, and blend until smooth.
5. Stir the date mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients until all of the dry ingredients disappear. Stir in the raisins and walnuts (if using).
6. To get the most uniformly sized cookies, use a 1 tablespoon cookie scooper (or you can use a soup spoon). Place 9 scoops of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. These cookies will not spread out during baking, so using your fingers, press each scoop down until it looks like an already-baked cookie (about 2½ inches wide). Push 2 to 3 raisins into the top of each cookie at this point.
7. Bake for 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
Preparation: about 15 minutes
Cooking: 13 minutes (per batch)
Serves: 9 (makes 18 cookies)
Notes: For a lower-fat, cakier cookie, use ½ cup applesauce in place of the almond butter. For a lower-sugar cookie, use 2 to 3 fewer Medjool dates.
Cathy Fisher has become a featured recipe expert for the NHA and is the creator of StraightUpFood.com, a blog that offers recipes and information on how to eat a health promoting, plant-based (vegan) diet. Cathy’s education and experience are grounded in her work with the McDougall Program (2006-present) and True North Health Center (2010-present), where she regularly teaches cooking classes to in-patient clients. Cathy graduated with her BA in Psychology, going on the earn a credential in Early Childhood Education and a certification in Nutrition Education. Cathy enjoys presenting to groups and giving people the practical skills they need to successfully shift to a healthier diet.