Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies! Yes, it’s a thing, and no, they do not sacrifice on flavor or texture. These healthy chocolate chip cookies are incredibly chewy and perfectly sweet—no one will be the wiser! They’re made 100% with whole-wheat flour, are naturally sweetened, dairy-free and are lower in sugar than just about any other chocolate chip cookie recipe.
If you’re looking for healthy chocolate chip cookies with no refined sugar, you’re in the right place!
If you’re looking for dairy-free healthy chocolate chip cookies with coconut oil, you’re also in the right place!
If you’re looking for healthy chocolate chip cookies with almond or peanut butter, you’re in the right place.
And if you’re simply looking for a healthier chocolate chip cookie recipe, well I’m glad you’re here! These cookies have been tested time and time again and I can confidently say, healthy factor aside, these are dang good chocolate chip cookies. But luckily for you and me, they also happen to be made with wholesome, clean ingredients.
These cookies are:
- Naturally sweetened
- Gooey when warm
What makes this cookie recipe “healthy”?
For starters, these cookies ditch the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat pastry flour, making them 100% whole-grain.
And instead of refined white and brown sugar these cookies rely on unrefined coconut sugar. Not only is it more natural, but it adds more flavor than brown sugar does!
In place of the butter, this recipe uses a flavorful combination of unrefined coconut oil and creamy natural almond butter. This combination makes these cookies dairy-free and lower in saturated fat than most cookies. Not to mention the heart healthy fat the almond butter adds!
What you’ll need for this cookie recipe:
These cookies are packed with healthy and wholesome ingredients.
- Whole wheat pastry flour (one of my favorite baking ingredients!)
- Baking soda
- Unrefined coconut oil – unrefined is more nutritionally dense than refined is. It’s also more flavorful! If you aren’t keen on coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil instead—it’s less flavorful.
- Creamy natural almond butter
- Coconut sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- Kosher salt & flaky sea salt
- Bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
How to easy make healthy chocolate chip cookies
One of the reasons I love this recipe so much is that it doesn’t require a stand mixer, or even a hand mixer. All you need is a big bowl and a whisk.
Everything about this recipe is very straight forward, but the most important part is to pay attention to the mixing process and to do each round of mixing/resting (we’ll get there). And the chilling. The chilling of the dough—albeit annoying—is e.s.s.e.n.t.i.a.l.
- Whisk together the flour and the baking soda; set aside.
- Whisk coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and salt together until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest for three minutes.
- Vigorously whisk the coconut sugar and oil mixture again for 30 seconds. Let rest for three minutes.
- Vigorously whisk the coconut sugar and oil mixture again for 30 seconds. Let rest for three minutes.
- Vigorously whisk the coconut sugar and oil mixture one last time for 30 seconds. Let rest for three minutes. (This process is important for dissolving the sugar and creating a chewy cookie.)
- Add almond butter to sugar mixture and vigorously whisk to combine for about one minute.
- Using a rubber spatula, add flour to sugar mixture (reserve about ½ teaspoon flour mixture to toss with the chocolate chips) and mix to combine. Have patience, it WILL combine.
- Toss chocolate chips with reserved flour to coat; add to cookie dough and mix just to combine.
- Using three tablespoons (#20 scoop) of dough at a time, roll dough into balls and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Chill dough balls for at least 30 minutes.
- Arrange six dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet set two inches apart and bake 12–14 minutes (12 minutes will result in a gooey cookie, 14 will result in a chewy cookie).
Optional step: if you like the chocolate chips to look melty like mine do, use the handle of a piece of silverware to lightly swirl the chocolate immediately after the cookies have come out of the oven. However, this certainly isn’t necessary!
The second image in the above grid is what the cookies will look like if you do not swirl the chocolate.
Chill, chill, chill
It is SO important that you scoop and chill the dough soon after mixing up the dough. If you aren’t ready or don’t have time to form the dough into balls, pop the dough in the refrigerator to chill until you are.
Do not let the dough sit out at room temperature or the coconut oil could begin to separate from the dough.
The importance of bake time
I give a range of baking times with this recipe for a few reasons. One, all ovens are different. Yours might run a little hot or it may run a little cool. Start checking them at 12 minutes, and when their edges feel set, pull them.
The second reason I give a range is because this also depends on how you like your cookies. Less time in the oven results in a ooey gooey cookie. More time creates a chewier cookie—both variations are great it just depends on preference. Now, if you like your cookies more dough then cookie, then I would recommend pulling these out at 11 or even 10 minutes.
How you measure flour matters
This is true for all baking, but especially whole-wheat baking—the way you measure flour really matters. Instead of dragging your measuring cup through the flour, you need to first fluff the flour. Yes, fluff. To do this, use a large spoon to stir the flour, do this a couple of times—this adds air to the flour and helps to unpack the compacted flour.
The second part is to not drag your measuring cup through the flour at all. Use that large spoon to spoon flour into the cup then level it off with a flat edge of a knife.
Alternatively, you can also rely on a food scale. Which I find makes baking easier and more fun.
Baking with coconut sugar
Nowadays it’s pretty easy to find coconut sugar. If you’ve never bought it before, look for it in the baking aisle next to the other sugars.
I prefer coconut sugar over most refined sugars (regular cane and brown sugar) because it’s far less processed. But let me be clear, it’s still sugar and it’s still metabolized like sugar in your body. However, one of the benefits of coconut sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, which means it’s metabolized slower in the body and causes a lower and slower rise in blood sugar levels.
Now that you have coconut sugar, you may be curious how else you can use it. You’re in the right place! Use coconut sugar in these Healthy-ish Cinnamon Rolls, Homemade Graham Crackers, and Healthier Puppy Chow.
Can you freeze the cookie dough?
Yes! This cookie dough freezes wonderfully! I recommend scooping and forming the dough into dough balls as directed in the recipe. Freeze the dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once frozen solid, transfer the dough balls to a resealable bag, or Stasher bag. Frozen cookie dough will last up to three months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to bake, arrange the frozen dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet as directed in the recipe. (No need to thaw the dough prior to baking—they’ll actually do better if you don’t.) From frozen, bake cookies at 375ºF for 14–16 minutes.
How long do these cookies last?
Store these healthy chocolate chip cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days—though they’re best eaten within 3 days.
Pro tip—pop one of these in the microwave for five to ten seconds and you will be in ooey gooey chocolate heaven!!
You may also like…
- Healthy Trail Mix Cookies
- Chewy Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy Banana Bread
- Healthy Cinnamon Rolls
- The BEST Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Bread
- Healthy Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe!
Don’t forget, if you make these healthy chocolate chip cookies, leave a comment and rating below!
To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the bar below the recipe. Happy baking!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 ⅓ cups (5.15 oz;146g) whole-wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup packed coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup melted unrefined coconut oil*
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup creamy natural almond butter*
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks*
- Flaky sea salt
- Whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside.
- Combine coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, egg, egg yolk, salt and vanilla, whisk until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain, 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes then whisk vigorously for 30 seconds and rest for 3 minutes. Repeat process of whisking and resting 2 more times, ending with resting, until mixture is thick, fluffy, smooth and shiny. Whisk in almond butter and beat until thick, 1 minute.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture (reserve ½ teaspoon flour to toss with chocolate chips) until nearly combined. Toss chocolate chips with reserved ½ teaspoon flour to coat; add chocolate chips to dough and mix just to combine.
- Working with 3 tablespoons (#20 scoop) dough at a time, roll into balls and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets.
- Chill sheets with dough balls for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 375ºF with rack set in middle position.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are golden brown, puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 12–14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to a wire rack, sprinkle cookies with sea salt, and cool completely.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (best within 3 days).
I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical when I made the dough, but OH my gosh. These cookies are SO dang good. Super chewy, coconutty, and just the perfect amount of sweetness. the finish of salt is perfect too! Already making these again this weekend, thanks for the great recipe!
Hi Lynn! The dough does seem questionable at first 😉 So glad you enjoyed these!
THESE ARE SO GOOD! So chewy, omg. LOVE THESE!
ahh yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed these!
These are the bomb!! love this recipe!
Yay! I am so glad you enjoy them Carolyn!