These healthier oatmeal chocolate chip cookies have NO sugar, NO white flour, and only 2 tablespoons of butter in the whole batch! They are the perfect way to satisfy your mad chocolate cravings when you are supposed to be losing holiday pounds. Originally posted January 12, 2016.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with bite taken out and hand lifting it

I saw this bumper sticker today: “How’s my driving?   Shoot me a text.” HA!

overhead shot of healthy cookies with oatmeal and chocolate chips

So my best friend Sarah announced on Facebook yesterday that she had just spent 4 hours creating the “Daniel Craig in Casino Royale 6 Week Meal Plan” as requested by her husband, and if anyone wanted a copy they could shoot her an email. (Click HERE if you want to see it! Thanks Sarah!) It is exactly what it sounds like: 40 days of meals similar to what Daniel Craig ate while training to be James Bond.

healthy cookie recipes close up from overhead

Eric and I were talking later and he was wondering if he should do it. I said no, I prefer soft bellies actually (mine included, most importantly). And I also said, “Daniel Craig is like 65 and not cute. Like a grandpa. But with abs. It’s disturbing.”

And he said, “You’re just wrong, Karen. Daniel Craig is legitimately hot.”

Well there you go, Daniel Craig. You win today. I think my husband has a man-crush on you.

But really, am I the only one?? Pierce Brosnan made a much sexier James Bond if you ask me.

healthy cookies on a baking sheet with bite taken out

Are you following a diet or any kind of meal plan this January? I had plans. But I also just ate 2 cookies, so…

Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

But at least they were healthy-ish ones! My friend Amy from Amy’s Healthy Baking wrote a book all about Healthier Chocolate Treats and this is one of her recipes. How cool is that?? She is so talented. Her blog is all about healthy baking. Definitely check her out!

low calorie cookies on a baking sheet

These Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for January! (Or anyone who’s trying to look like Daniel Craig…) They are moist and lightly spiced with cinnamon.

Seriously, you can’t beat a cookie made from scratch and I’m not just talking about taste. These are no store-bought treat made of low-quality carbs and unhealthy fats stripped of nutrients during processing and preservation. No! The first ingredient alone, oats, is considered to be one of the healthiest whole grains out there, chock full of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants! And that brings me to a good question.

healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies being lifted by hand

Is an oatmeal cookie healthy?

Um . . . what even is healthy? Okay, I’m joking, but actually it’s good to step back now and again to think about what healthy means.

“Healthy” basically boils down to two things:

1.Calorie in versus calorie out. Balance. If you are eating fewer calories per day than you use, your body is still getting the daily calories it needs by burning excess fat, assuming you have excess fat. Otherwise, you are starving your body.

Bottom line, if your body isn’t getting your necessary calories somehow, you’re not eating healthy.

2. High-quality nutrients. Food doesn’t just provide energy (calories), it also provides the building blocks of life (nutrients). Variety matters. I don’t care how “healthy” kale is, eat nothing but kale every day and you will not get all your nutrients.

Bottom line, eating a wide variety of foods is the only way to get all those wonderful macro and micro nutrients.

So? The skinny on Skinny Oatmeal Cookies? Are they healthy?

Folks, the good news is homemade oatmeal cookies can be a part of a healthy diet! The bad news is they have to be a small part of a healthy diet. (I hate it when there’s a catch.)

Like I said above, these cookies have nutrients aplenty. But with all those nutrients comes a lot of calories, all inside a little cookie. When big calories come in small packages, you don’t feel full fast and that can lead to excess eating. One of the best things about this better-option cookie recipe is that it only makes 12-15 cookies, which helps to keep portions under control.

healthy chocolate chip cookies shot from overhead with bite taken out

Ingredients for Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oatmeal

Here’s all you need! (Quantities given in recipe below.) These cookies are built on pantry essentials, win! 

  • Quick oats. While you can substitute old fashioned oats, I don’t recommend it (see below.)
  • Whole wheat flour. Substitute white flour if you want! 
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Kosher salt. Substitute table salt if necessary, but use a little less.
  • Butter. Salted or unsalted butter is fine.
  • Vanilla
  • Large eggs
  • Honey
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Optional: raisins, craisins, or toasted walnuts (yum!)

healthy cookie recipes on parchment paper with a bite taken out

What’s the difference between quick oats and regular oats?

Oats are one of the healthiest whole grains, and that includes quick oats, one of the ingredients in these cookies. Quick oats are smaller, drier, flakier, and more processed than old fashioned rolled oats. (They are partially cooked and then dried. Good news, quick oats are still a whole grain.) Unless you’re in a pinch, use quick oats for this recipe. They absorb moisture and take on a softer, cookie-er texture than old fashioned rolled oats.

How to Make these Healthier Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now for the best part: baking! Here’s a simple overview of what to do and what to watch out for. (Step-by-step instructions given in the recipe below.)

1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.Mix dry ingredients together: oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure you spoon and level your flour. I always do it with two measuring cups. Scoop with one cup, dump it in the one you need, then level off with the top of the measuring cup.

how to measure flour correctly using measuring cups

bowl of dry ingredients for dough in a glass bowl

3.In a separate bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the vanilla, then the egg. Whisk in the honey.

adding honey to a clear glass bowl, stirring egg into batter

4.Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until it has just come together. Don’t overdo it, over mixing makes for tough cookies. (Then wipe out the bowl you used for your dry ingredients and toss it back in your cupboard!)

adding dry ingredients to cookie dough in glass bowl on white counter

5.Save out about half of the chocolate chips. Use a sharp knife to roughly chop the remaining chocolate, then fold it into the dough.

chopping dark chocolate chips on a cutting board with a knife, adding to dough

The chocolate chips are divided: half in the dough, half jammed into the warm cookies after baking for maximum showiness. If showiness isn’t your thing today, own it. Toss all the chips in the dough with reckless abandon.

6.Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or freeze for about 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step! Yes, we’re modern humans. Yes, we’re pressed for time. Yes, Daniel Craig has multiple action scenes as James Bond available on YouTube for you to consume while waiting 30 minutes. Chilling this lower-calorie cookie dough helps mimic the higher-calorie cookie texture and shape.

raw oatmeal chocolate cookies dough with a spoon

7.Shape the dough into about 12-15 cookies, depending on how much dough you ate. (What, just me?? I mean who can say no to this goodness??) Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

cookie dough balls lined up on pan ready to bake

8.Bake in the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes, or until they have juuust started to brown on the edges.

baked oatmeal cookies just out of the oven

9.Remove from the oven and immediately press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies. They will melt immediately into pools of dark glory.

healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

10.Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Before we move on to the recipe, here are some common issues with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies you might need answers about!

Why are my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies flat?

Traditional oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are made with a heck ton of butter. If you put a stick of butter in the oven, it’s going to bake flat, right? Same thing will happen to your cookies if you don’t have the right balance of ingredients. If you are looking for some amazing (traditional, full-fat) oatmeal cookies that don’t bake flat, check out my Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies or these Very Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

For today’s skinny cookie recipe, this is not going to be a problem for you at all! These are low fat cookies. There are only 2 tablespoons of butter in the whole batch. You are not going to have a problem with these cookies baking flat! Just make sure you follow the instructions to chill the dough before baking.

How to store Skinny Oatmeal Cookies (Do they freeze well?)

Yes! In fact, try freezing single-serve portions before you let this buttery softness hit your tastebuds to better manage your waistline. Just let the cookies cool completely and toss them single-layered inside a ziplock. Squeeze out extra air. Viola, tomorrow’s treat, done today!

low calorie cookies stacked with a bite taken, lifting with hand

Another option is to freeze the dough itself. Spoon the dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (or a plate) and put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place frozen dough balls into a labeled, freezer-safe storage bag. No need to thaw! Bake them straight from frozen, tacking on a couple minutes to the bake time. Freshly baked cookies, anytime you want! 

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with bite taken out

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Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These healthier oatmeal chocolate chip cookies have NO sugar, NO white flour, and only 2 tablespoons of butter in the whole batch!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (scant)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  • Pull out 2 medium bowls, one for dry ingredients, one for wet.
  • In one bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Melt the butter in the other bowl. You don't have to melt it all the way, if there are a couple lumps it's okay. Let cool slightly.
  • Whisk in the vanilla, then the egg. Whisk in the honey.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir until it has just come together (don't overdo it).
  • Save out about half of the chocolate chips. Use a sharp knife to roughly chop the remaining chocolate, then fold it into the dough.
  • Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or freeze for about 15 minutes.
  • Use your hands to shape the dough into 15 cookies (or 12 if you eat a lot of dough like me...)
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes, or until they have just started to brown on the edges.
  • Once you remove them from the oven, immediately press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies.
  • Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  • Drink with lots of milk!

Notes

Source: slightly adapted from Amy's book Healthier Chocolate Treats

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie, Calories: 158 kcal, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 181 mg, Potassium: 114 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 14 g, Vitamin A: 83 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 64 mg, Iron: 1 mg