I’ve always let my kids help out in the kitchen when I’m cooking. It was important to me that they be confident in their ability to cook their own healthy meals. The extra spills and messes that I dealt with when they were young were a completely worthwhile price to pay for the proficiency they have now.
However, I didn’t realize so many years ago that my determination to prepare them for their own futures would make my future easier too. They’re all still young enough to be living at home, but the older ones are able to make dinner some nights!
This coconut chocolate no-bake cookie recipe is the result of letting them test their skills in the kitchen. I don’t make desserts often, but when I do, I usually stick to low or no-sugar options like chia seed pudding. Then I remembered the no-bake cookies I used to make as a child with my mom. These slightly healthier ones are the result of my kids’ experiments.
Healthy Cookies? Coconut Chocolate No-Bake Cookies Are!
Well, comparatively healthy anyway. Healthier than the original for sure. If you haven’t heard of no-bake cookies here’s the scoop — the cookie scoop.
My mom made no-bake cookies by boiling butter, a little milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan. After a couple of minutes, she stirred in rolled oats, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. The cookies are called no-bake because the mixture is scooped onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and left to set.
As a cookie goes, that’s not too bad, right? Whole grains from oatmeal, peanut butter for protein. I don’t like to use too many grains though, so I thought we could tweak it a little. The end result was delicious.
Ingredient Substitutions for Grain-Free No-Bake Cookies
- Coconut instead of oats – still plenty of fiber and minerals without the grains.
- Almond or other nut butter instead of peanut butter – same texture, nice nutty taste, and protein. While I don’t really have a problem with natural peanut butter I do prefer properly prepared nuts over legumes most of the time. The fun part of this substitution is that you can use any kind of nut butter you like!
- Honey or maple syrup instead of refined white sugar – I know, honey and maple syrup are still sugar. But I like that I can easily find organic and minimally processed ones. And because they naturally taste sweeter and because we just like things to be a little less sweet, I can use a lot less than the original recipe.
We also experimented with adding chopped nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chopped dried fruit to the recipe. They all worked really well. As long as you keep the basic proportions of the ingredients, there are endless ways to mix up this recipe.
More Wellness Mama Cookies
- Chewy Chocolate Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies – This grain and gluten-free recipe is my family’s favorite.
- Coconut Macaroons
- Gingerbread Cookies with Dates and Molasses
- Jam Thumbprints – This one’s not mine but is another that brings back memories. I bet it’d be good with the blackberry chia seed jam from this chia pudding post.
Coconut No-Bake Cookies Recipe
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter or coconut oil.
- Stir in sweetener and cocoa powder and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer 2-3 minutes, but be careful not to let it burn.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla exctract and nut butter.
- Add two cups of coconut and mix to combine. Add more coconut if needed until the finished mixture is thick, but still just a little bit wet.
- Use a spoon to scoop the mixture onto a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet in cookie-sized servings.
- Let the cookies sit at room temperature until set or chill in the freezer for 15 minutes until they have hardened.
- Store in an air-tight container in the freezer until ready to consume to maintain the texture.
My kids love helping out in the kitchen, and this recipe is an easy way for younger kids to help out with an easy recipe that they will love to eat once finished, especially since they can help choose which ingredients to add!
Which desserts did you make as a child? Do you ever still make them?