Think of these breakfast cookies as portable porridge with all the toppings. Made with rolled oats, three kinds of seeds, raisins, dates, cinnamon, and some coconut oil, they’re good for more than just breakfast.
I’ll have one as a snack at any time of the day, and they’re full of protein, fibre, and healthy fats – perfect energy food. If you love oatmeal cookies, you’ll love this super easy, healthy breakfast version.
The cookies are soft, surprisingly rich and buttery, and ultra filling despite tasting like dessert. Sunflower seeds add a lot of flavour and a nice shortbread-like bite.
It’s like a much more convenient form of granola and cookies are always more fun than bars, I think, although I’m sure you could make granola bars out of this too. They end up being huge, hearty cookies, a meal in one!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Rolled oats: I imagine quick-cook oats could be used, but not steel cut.
- Dates: I never use medjool dates for this recipe, just the cheap smaller ones (usually deglet noor), and any work as long as they’re pretty soft.
- Add-ins: switch up the sunflower or pumpkin seeds to sesame, for example, or use dried blueberries in place of cranberries. Don’t alter the amount of chia used.
- Coconut oil: I haven’t tested this, but readers have said that they’ve substituted butter for the coconut oil with good results. It must be a fat that’s solid at room temperature.
You should be able to form cookies without the mixture crumbling, so if it’s dry after making an substitutions, add another splash of milk. Please don’t sub coconut flour 1:1 for the oat flour.
The cookies will be best if you follow the base recipe and only change the additions, like the pumpkin seeds and spices. If at all possible, keep the amounts of oats, sunflower seeds, dates, and oil the same for predictable results.
If your dates are a little hard and dry, soak them in hot water for half an hour. Drain well and use as instructed.
If you can’t see the recipe video, please watch it here on YouTube instead.
How to Store
Storage: these will keep for a couple days in a sealed container at room temperature, but should be refrigerated for longer storage, up to a week.
Freezing: place cooled cookies in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month, thawing at room temperature as needed.
Make Without a Food Processor
I get this a lot, and you can indeed make breakfast cookies without a food processor! There are just a few more steps.
First, use pre-ground oat flour, which you can buy almost everywhere these days. Then switch out the sunflower seeds that you’d be grinding up to form part of the base with almond flour or another nut meal – this takes away the nut-free element, but I’ve never seen seed flour to buy.
Mash the dates with a fork, soaking them ahead of time if needed, and melt the coconut oil. Mix everything in a large bowl, and you’re good to go.
If your dates are on the dryer side, or the mixture seems too crumbly, add a couple extra tablespoons of milk. Mixing by hand doesn’t bring the cookies together quite as well as in a food processor, so a little liquid might be needed.
If you don’t want to go through the extra steps, try these healthy trail mix cookies (made with buckwheat flour) instead.
- Add milk if needed: this is usually only the case if you sub another flour for the oat flour, but if your dough is too dry to form cookies, add a tablespoon or two of non-dairy milk to the mix.
- Make your own oat flour: these do turn out best when you grind the oat flour yourself, as it’s a bit coarser than store-bought, and makes for a better texture. While pre-made oat flour can be used, it’s not as nice.
- Don’t worry about a green middle: sometimes the ground sunflower seeds will react to the baking soda, and the centre of the cookies will turn slightly green. This is normal and not a sign of spoilage.
More Date Sweetened Recipes
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Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- 220 grams rolled oats divided
- 110 grams raw sunflower seeds divided
- 60 grams raisins
- 50 grams chia
- 40 grams pepitas
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 120 grams soft dates
- 70 grams coconut oil
- 60 ml non-dairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease or line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place 110 grams (1 cup) of the oats and 70 grams (1/2 cup) of the sunflower seeds into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Mix on high for a minute or two, until a coarse flour forms.220 grams rolled oats, 110 grams raw sunflower seeds
- Place the flour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining oats, sunflower seeds, raisins, chia, pepitas, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.220 grams rolled oats, 60 grams raisins, 50 grams chia, 40 grams pepitas, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 110 grams raw sunflower seeds
- Blend the dates, coconut oil, and milk in the food processor until the dates have broken down and a paste forms.120 grams soft dates, 70 grams coconut oil, 60 ml non-dairy milk
- Add this to the oat mixture and use your hands to mix very well, until fully combined. There should be no streaks of flour remaining.
- Form 10 large balls with the dough, each about a heaping 1/4 cup in size. Press them with your hands to flatten to about 3 cm (1 in.) high and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat until all of the dough has been used. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden.
- Remove from the oven and cool for about ten minutes on the baking sheet before removing and cooling fully on a rack. They’ll be a little fragile until they’re completely cool.
- Store in a sealed container on the counter for up to three days, or freeze for up to a month.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in February 2018. It has been updated with new information added to the text and recipe.