Soft and chewy, with tons of hidden veg and nutrient dense ingredients! These vegan oatmeal cookies are PERFECT! Made in one bowl, simple to prepare, and a truly feel-good snack or dessert you won’t feel guilty about eating. These secretly healthy cookies make a wonderful make ahead breakfast, snack, or dessert.
This recipe was originally published in July 2018. It has been updated for content and photos.
You may be noticing a zucchini trend in desserts on the blog, and that’s because zucchini is truly INCREDIBLE in dessert.
Just like in my chocolate zucchini bread and zucchini muffins, you will NOT taste zucchini. So even if you completely dislike zucchini (like Mr. Healthy Kitchen – insert eye roll), you will LOVE these cookies, pinky swear!
But if you’d prefer a more classic version, be sure to check out my healthy vegan oatmeal cookies instead.
Here’s why you’ll love these cookies
- They’re free from dairy and eggs, making them suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.
- No refined sugar here. Just a small amount of pure maple syrup and ripe bananas to deliver all the sweetness you need.
- Not only these vegan oatmeal cookies free from refined sugar, but they’re also gluten free (be sure to use certified gluten free oats, if needed) AND they’re oil free, too!
- As mentioned above, they’re ‘zucchini hater’ approved, but they are also kid approved. My 2 and 4 year old boys devoured a handful of them before I could snap a few pictures!
- All you need is 1 bowl, 9 ingredients and 15 minutes of hands on time.
- They make a wonderful, healthy, guilt free snack, breakfast, or dessert that is freezer friendly, and delicious!
How to make zucchini oatmeal cookies
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Gather your ingredients and grate your zucchini using a box grater, or a food processor.
NOTE: If your zucchini feels very moist to the touch after grating, squeeze out the excess liquid over your kitchen sink.
You may use whole or ground flax seeds, either work, and make sure to use ripe bananas. If you have any with brown spots, even better.
Mash your bananas into a large mixing bowl. (photo 1)
You should have about 1 ¼ cup of mashed banana. (A touch more or less won’t affect the recipe.)
Add the peanut butter and maple syrup to the mashed banana and mix well. (photos 2-3)
Next, add the dry ingredients: oats, flax seeds, hemp heats, cinnamon, baking powder. (photo 4)
Mix the dry ingredients into your wet batter until combined. (photo 5)
Now add the shredded zucchini and mix to distribute. You should have a thick batter, but don’t add any extra liquid. (photos 6-8)
Set the batter aside to rest for at least 5-10 minutes while you preheat your oven.
Once rested, scoop your batter using a cookie scoop or tablespoon onto your prepared baking tray. You should get about 24-28 cookies. (photos 9-10)
Using your hands, flatten and shape your cookies into a disc shape. They won’t spread much while baking. (photo 11-12)
And finally bake your cookies for 18-20 minutes before removing from the oven. (photo 13)
Let the cookies rest for at least 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling.
The first 5-10 minutes are crucial for your vegan oatmeal cookies to completely set.
How long do they keep?
Your zucchini vegan oatmeal cookies will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Refrigerate for 5-7 days in a sealed container, or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap to keep a little longer.
Or, you may freeze for up to 2 months. Make sure to fully cool your cookies to room temperature before freezing.
- If you have very picky eaters who don’t like eating anything that appears green, peel the zucchini before shredding. I like the bright green ribbons throughout, so only peel if necessary to hide them more.
- No need to squeeze the zucchini first, unless your zucchini appear very wet once shredded. I’ve made these cookies both ways, and there wasn’t much difference in the final result, so feel free to skip this step to save time. However, if your zucchini feel moist to the touch, squeeze out the extra liquid over your kitchen sink.
- The batter will be thick, do not be tempted to add any additional liquid. The natural moisture from the zucchini will moisten these cookies plenty. Do not add milk, or any other liquid to these zucchini oatmeal cookies.
- You may sub the peanut butter for almond or pecan butter or any nut butter you prefer. Or if you can’t have nuts at all, try wow butter or sunflower butter instead.
- I’ve tried rolled oats, and quick cooking steel cut oats, both work without any notable difference in taste or texture, so use whatever you have on hand.
- If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you may use another liquid sweetener, like date syrup, or agave syrup, instead.
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- 3 ripe bananas mashed (1 ¼ cup mashed)
- ⅓ cup crunchy peanut butter or smooth, but I like the texture of crunchy
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 cups shredded zucchini approx 1 medium zucchini
- 1 cup rolled oats or quick cooking steel cut oats
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup flax seeds or ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. Then add the peanut butter and maple syrup and mix well. Then, add the oats, hemp hearts, flax seeds, cinnamon and baking powder and mix to combine. The batter will be thick.
- Now stir in the shredded zucchini and set aside to let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Then, using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop the batter onto your prepared tray and shape your cookies, so they're round disc shapes, as they won't spread much in the oven.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cool for at 5-10 minutes to completely set.