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
- ½ cup butter (or coconut oil)
- ½ cup maple syrup (or honey, or coconut sugar, or stevia drops to taste)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond butter (pecan butter, or tahini)
- 2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened, may need up to 3 cups)
- 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?
Discussion (44 Comments)
These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them. I make a similar no-bake chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookie that my kids love better than traditional chocolate chip cookies. I typically use peanut butter because it’s a fan favorite at our house, but I want to try making homemade pecan butter and using it here.
I made these with crunchy almond butter. So good! Thanks for the recipe!
I made these last night – they were awesome and so easy to make! My husband loved them too.
So you mentioned that you sprout your nuts before you make them into butter do you use mostly almonds? And does it take along time? I love all your ideas and recipes what a great mother and teacher you are.thank you for sharing!
I was wondering the same thing.
I like this recipe and may have to make it soon.
Hey: could all of you who have “made something like this or similar” please share recipes? I would love to have lots of options since I drive 5 hours a day, and need something that is healthy and mouth-pop-able to eat!
Lankanto is a natural sugar substitute. It is granulated and would be used just like regular sugar but it has no calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.
I spelled it wrong – the product is Lakanto and it is made from monk fruit. I used it in a very similar recipe the other day and they were great. No worrying about the effects of sugar either.
I make something similar and find it is a great way to get my kiddos some healthy fats. I add cacao butter, gluten free oats and chia seeds in mine. I don’t use as much maple syrup, but I sometimes add dark chocolate chips. Honey also works well. Since my recipe has more oil, I keep it in the frig or freeze. It is one of our favorites.
Chocolate is a migraine trigger for me. Do you think you could just skip the cocoa, or would it need a bit of coconut flour, maybe, instead?
You could try Carob powder in place of the cacao. It is naturally sweeter so you would likely want less added sweetener.
Do you know how many stevia drops you’d use? And would you increase the oil or nut butter if you use stevia to keep the consistency right? I always loved these cookies as a child. I follow a ketogenic diet for brain health following Lyme disease and CIRS. Using stevia would make these appropriate for the occasional ketogenic treat. Thank you!
I grew up eating chocolate peanut butter nobakes.. they are one of my favorite desserts! Now I make them with coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut sugar… but recently was wanting to have a no-grain option. This is a great idea! Thanks!!
Okay I tried your recipe today and they are yummy! My mom’s recipe calls for 1/2 C butter, 1/2 C milk, 2 C sugar, 3 T Cocoa, 1 t vanilla, a big glob of peanut butter, and 3 C oats. I had been reducing the amount of sugar in those down to 1/2 C so yours weren’t too different sweetness-wise.. but ya know what I did this time? I only had 1 C of coconut flakes, so I crushed up all the nuts I had on hand to make 2 more cups! I got to thinking about Lara Bars and how those are always made with nuts… so I crushed up cashews, pecans, and walnuts and put those in with the coconut flakes. And they were pretty good!! And so filling. Having to slow down and chew the nuts and coconut flakes, plus getting fuller on them, definitely helped me eat less of these in one sitting instead of gobbling up wayyy too many of the oats nobakes at once! An unexpected bonus to the no-grain version! 🙂
What are your thoughts on xylitol and erythritol???