My Favourite Little Drop Cookies

date nut drop cookies recipe gluten freeIf you love carrot cake and oatmeal cookies then you will love these easy and versatile little drop cookies as much as I do. They take no time at all to make, and are packed with healthy goodness, not to mention they’re gluten- and dairy-free.

Actually, they’re vegan. This was not the goal, but a happy coincidence (for those of you who are vegan). There are no eggs in this recipe, or sugar: they’re sweetened naturally with maple syrup and/or dates.

I used to make these in Vancouver after dinner for a warm treat with tea and a movie, and then take the leftovers up the ski hill the next day. They’re also fantastic in the morning for breakfast or to pack for a hike, as they give you all the energy you need from oats, nuts, coconut oil and dried fruit. In fact, next time I hike Lion’s Head or Table Mountain, I’ll be bringing some of these babies with me. The ginger adds a lovely little zing in the background, but feel free to leave it out if you’re not a fan.

I make these cookies often – more often than any other baked good. They’re super healthy, and they don’t make you feel guilty for eating them, despite them being cookies. I have tried using a variety of different ingredients in this recipe, playing around with chopped dark chocolate, cranberries, walnuts, vanilla, and different spices (try nutmeg or allspice)… So feel free to experiment with your favourite ingredients. Just don’t leave out the grated carrot – it helps to hold them together. My favourite versions are the one pictured here (recipe below) and the one that substitutes the dates for dark chocolate and the almonds for walnuts.

If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use butter, but you should really go out and get some Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. And I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could substitute the oat flour with almond or coconut flour (or any other flour you prefer).

Gluten-free Date Nut Drop Cookies

1 cup of oat flour (you can make your own in a food processor)
1 cup of rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp of sea salt
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup chopped almonds (or walnuts)
1 cup grated carrot
¼ cup chopped medjool dates (or other dried fruit/chopped dark chocolate)*
¼ cup or more of maple syrup (or honey)
½ cup coconut oil, melted (or butter)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

*If you’re not using dates, add a bit more maple syrup to compensate for the lack of sweetness

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Mix flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
Add chopped nuts, dried fruit, and grated carrot.
In a smaller bowl, mix together maple syrup, coconut oil and grated ginger. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Using your hands, drop golf-ball sized cookies onto a prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.

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