These tasty oatmeal date cookies use the natural sweetness of dates rather than any added sugar to make a relatively healthy, easy and delicious treat.
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For a long time my son didn't have a particularly sweet tooth, other than fruit. Unlike quite a few kids, 'cookie' and 'cake' were not words early on in his language development. In fact he wouldn't even try his own cake on his second birthday. I have to admit being pretty glad, but also knew that realistically that would change, even with parents who are not hugely sweet-toothed.
And true enough, it now has. There's one coffee shop that I go to where he almost immediately asks "cookie?" and starts pointing at various things he would like. While I don't mind now and then, I would prefer it to not be too much of a habit.
In preparation of that becoming more common, I wanted to make cookies that didn't have too much, or any, sugar in them to feel better about the times he does have them. But for both him and me, they still need to taste good. After all, it's still being sold as a treat. And these tasty bites most certainly fit the bill.
Using natural sweeteners
Natural sweeteners are a great way to make some sweet treats that bit healthier. Honey is one option, but you can also use various fruits like apple (often in the form of applesauce) or banana. In this case, the sweetness comes from dates.
I use either medjool dates or dates that are semi-hydrated (often labelled as "soft and juicy"). While both do tend to be a little more expensive, they blend a lot easier without needing to soak the dates first. With soaking, you have the chance that
Here I have added oats for a bit of texture and a little cinnamon for flavor. Both are pretty natural partners to dates and work well. I debated adding vanilla and didn't, but I think I might try it next time as I am pretty sure it would also be good.
You may look at the recipe and say 'what, half an egg?' I know, it's a bit odd, but I prefer to make smaller quantities as we don't get through cookies all that quickly. Feel free, of course, to just double the recipe.
These cookies hardly melt and expand in the oven. As a result, I recommend you flatten them a bit before baking. On the up-side, you don't need to worry about leaving too much space between them.
These oatmeal date cookies are soft, flavorful and so tasty. They're not chewy or crunchy, so I guess it's almost verging into scone territory. But they look like and are sold as cookies in my house, and get both kid and grown up thumbs up. And that's good enough for me.
Try these other healthier cookies:
- Spiced maple oatmeal cookies (GF, vegan)
- Maple chestnut cookies (GF, vegan)
- Healthy apple oatmeal cookies
- Healthy cranberry apricot cookies (GF, vegan)
- Plus get more sweet and savory snack recipes in the archives.
Sugar-free oatmeal date cookies
- 4 oz medjool dates 110g, pitted weight - around ½ cup, well packed (see notes re alternative)
- 2 oz unsalted butter ½ stick/55g, softened to room temperature and cut into chunks
- ½ egg beaten
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour 46g plain flour
- ½ cup oats 45g, old fashioned rather than quick
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
- Roughly chop the dates and blend with the butter and egg (food processor works well).
- Add the remaining ingredients and either pulse a few times if using a food processor or stir until combined. If using food processor, you may need to stir at the end to get everything well-mixed.
- Take spoonfuls and roll slightly in your hand then put on a baking tray and flatten slightly.
- Bake for approximately 15mins until starting to brown.
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