Healthy chocolate chip cookies that are soft and chewy using healthier ingredients that make them high in protein, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. It's also so easy to make them in one bowl, make ahead and freeze away to bake later.
This healthy chocolate chip cookie is chewy and delicious, and actually energizes rather than send you into a sugar drop. The key is in a short list of ingredients which include a healthy shortening made of nutrition-rich red palm oil and coconut oil. Like my cinnamon chocolate chip cookies and my gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, these cookies pair perfectly with a glass of cold milk. And the batter requires no chilling so you can have cookies on the table in 20 minutes!
Why You'll Love This Cookie
Chewy, Soft & Crunchy Edges. Using a healthier shortening with a mix of red palm oil and coconut oil makes all the difference in texture. Did you know there are alternative healthier shortenings now so you can have a chewy cookie texture without eating unhealthy fats and chemicals?
Easy to Make. Make this batter can be made in one bowl, and no chilling before baking is needed.
Make the Batter Ahead & Freeze. Store scooped balls of batter in the freezer and make a single cookie at will.
Nourishing. Each cookie has two grams of fiber and two grams of protein, and thanks to the healthier shortening, is rich in healthy fats, antioxidants that help prevent cell damage from aging and illness, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E, necessary to boost the immune system and provide skin and sleep support.
Shortening or butter - Use a natural shortening nutrient-rich containing a mix of red palm oil from fruit and coconut oil rich in health MCTs. What this shortening doesn't have is the highly processed and nutrient-devoid palm kernel and canola or corn oils found in main-stream shortening. Spectrum and Nutiva are great brands for this. Or use butter. Use Earth balance sticks, not the tub which holds too much moisture.
Sugar. Use a combination of brown and white sugar. For the extra nutrition and for the fair trade certification seal, I use organic cane sugar and coconut palm sugar which is just like brown sugar. The fair trade seal usually means the grower treated their sugar cane workers better than firms that didn't earn a fair trade seal.
Flour. All purpose or gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour works perfectly, creating a tender crumb. If you are interested in oat flour chocolate chip cookies, try my oat flour chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are crunchy while these are chewier and softer.
Aquafaba or Apple Sauce. Use aquafaba, the room temperature liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas. Unsweetened apple sauce also works. Cookies without eggs are usually crisp and flat because eggs stop them from spreading, and add moisture. So I use aquafaba to get the effects of eggs. Three tablespoons of this liquid equals one egg.
Flavors. Vanilla extract and salt. If you want to splurge on vanilla, buy a paste. It really elevates your flavors in a cookie. And don't forget the salt - it won't make your cookie salty, it will just enhance the sweet flavors.
Leaveners. Baking soda and baking powder
Chocolate chips. I use mini chips because they are fun, but any size works. Use at least 60% cacao to increase flavor and nutritional value of the chocolate.
Steps to Make
You can view the complete recipe at the bottom of this post. Meanwhile, here is a brief overview of how to make these cookies:
Step 1: Melt the shortening or butter in the microwave. Add it to a large mixing bowl, with sugars and use a spoon or hand mixer to cream together.
Step 2: Add in the aquafaba and other liquid ingredients.
Step 3: Mix and sift in the dry ingredients. Stir and fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 4: Spoon or scoop about 3 tablespoon of batter to make a large cookie, and I bake about 4 at a time on a parchment lined quarter cookie sheet.
Step 5: Under-bake them. Bake them about 10 minutes, pulling them out while they are still wiggly on top. The under-baking helps influence the chewy texture. The cookies will be barely browned around the edge, and look almost but not quite raw on top.
Step 6: Just out of the oven, sprinkle a few chips on top of the hot cookies so the chips melt. Then let the cookies sit in the pan for a 20 minute rest. They are still baking.
Scoop the dough into balls for make-ahead storage. Line the scoops on a parchment lined pan and freeze uncovered for 30 minutes. Then gently stack frozen scoops in an air-tight container and freeze away for three months.
When you are ready to bake any number of cookies - even just one! - let them thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes and then back according to my baking instructions.
Tip #1: Measure your flour carefully. I don't use a scale but experts recommend it. I use the spoon and level method. Carefully fluff the flour with a fork in the flour bag. Then spoon the flour into measuring cups, and use a knife to level off the top.
Tip #2: Make sure your vegan butter or shortening is at room temperature. Both should be soft and able to be creamed with sugar easily.
Tip #3: Be sure the sugar has been creamed completely into the shortening.
Tip #4: Use unsalted chickpeas and butter. The amount of salt varies per brand in both butter and chickpeas. It's much better for you to control the amount you add by using unsalted butter and chickpeas.
If cookies don't rise:
If your cookies didn't rise, it means they spread too much. Spreading too much is often caused by warm ingredients or over-mixing. Be sure your aquafaba is a room temperature. I normally just take a fresh can of chickpeas out of the pantry, and pour the aquafaba from that. If you have refrigerated aquafaba, set it out for an hour or more to get it to room temperature. Same with butter or shortening. No matter which you use, both need to be soft and at room temperature.
Also, if your cookies didn't rise, it could be that your baking powder or baking soda has expired. Don't go by the date, although you should replace both after six months. Test it yourself.
To test if your baking soda is active:
Put ½ cup of hot water and ¼ teaspoon vinegar in a shallow bowl. Add in ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and watch for an immediate fizzing on the surface. If there is no fizzing, you need new baking soda.
To test if your baking powder is active:
Put ½ teaspoon of baking powder into ½ cup of hot water and watch for an immediate fizzing on the surface. If there is no fizzing, you need new baking powder.
If cookies are too fat:
If a cookie is too fat, it means it didn't spread, the dough or ingredients were too cold, and I mean freezer cold, or the butter and sugar mixture wasn't creamed completely
How to Store
Put them in an air-tight container for 3-4 days and keep them on the counter. After that, refrigerate for two weeks. Add a single slice of white bread to keep them soft once you've refrigerated them. You can also freeze dough balls as I described above under "make ahead."
Other Healthy Cookies
Are you on Pinterest? Perhaps share this image:
Don't miss a thing, subscribe here to get recipes delivered to your inbox!
If you try my recipes, please leave a comment and rating below and tag me on your Instagram post with @greensmoothiegourmet so I can see and share your remakes!!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ cup shortening ( I use Nutiva shortening or Earth Balance vegan butter)
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
- ½ cup cane sugar I use organic
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoon aquafaba (aquafaba is the liquid from a chickpea can; or use apple sauce.)
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour (Or bob's red mills baking 1 to 1 gluten free flour)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cups dark chocolate chips I use dairy free Enjoylife
- Line a quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.1 ½ cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, add shortening and both sugars and mix with a hand mixer until creamed together.½ cup shortening, ½ cup coconut palm sugar, ½ cup cane sugar
- Add in the aquafaba (room temperature) and vanilla. Blend again.4 tablespoon aquafaba, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add flour mixture in two parts and mix the batter until all are combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. You can chill for an hour if you want your cookies exceptionally fat but these cookies don't need chilling if you don't have time.1 cups dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Use a medium cookie scoop OR drop 3 tablespoon of dough per cookie on to the cookie sheet. I fit about 4 cookies on my quarter sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Repeat until all batter is baked.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes.
- Store them sealed in a container at room temperature for 4 days, and then refrigerate for 2 weeks. They are also easy to freeze for several months either as dough or baked cookies.