Gluten-Free Healthy Cookie Bites

Gluten free healthy cookie bites

School is just around the corner and I’m all about having healthy snacks in the house for the kids and their friends to chow down on after school. I don’t know about you, but my kids come home from school ravenous and immediately ask me, “Mom, what can I have for snack?”  I often just tell them to open the fridge or pantry and have a go at it. If I’m home I may make them up a smoothie, or some popcorn (well, now thankfully they’re old enough make up their own smoothies and popcorn). Most afternoons though we’re running from one activity to another, so I like to have an easy and healthy grab-and-go snack, like these gluten-free cookie bites, instead of stuffing their hands with something like goldfish.

Also, the new food guidelines are out and the biggest “NO NO” is refined sugar, most of us already know that too much sugar is not healthy, but since the FDA gave it the big “NO” many people are looking for natural sugar alternatives for their favorite treats! There are so many ways to cut back on sugar and still have a tasty, kid approved treat!  These cookies, as well as my guilt-free chocolate chip cookie bites are the perfect segway from your traditional refined sugar chocolate chip cookie to a healthier unrefined sugar, whole-food chocolate chip cookie.

You’re going to be totally surprised at what’s in these cookie bites. First off, they’re paleo, butter and oil-free, grain-free (so yippee for those of you that are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease) dairy free, and the 2 main ingredients are dates and walnuts! Say what? Yep, I was a bit leary as well, until I sampled a spoonful of the batter and let me tell you, I was one surprised and happy mama, and I may have sampled more than a spoonful or two of the batter, shhhhh….

Scooping the cookies onto the parchment lined cookie sheet

The walnuts add such a buttery flavor to these cookies. I mean these cookies seriously taste like there’s butter in them, but like I said earlier, these cookies are butter-free. You can also taste the sweetness of the dates, but the cookies aren’t overly sweet, or don’t taste like a date-filled cookie.

Nutritional highlight of walnuts: Walnuts are extremely nutrient dense. They’re a wonderful source of antioxidants, vitamin E, and minerals such as manganese, copper, phosphorous, and magnesium. They’re one of the few nuts that contain omega-3 fatty acids and ALA. They’re the main “non-fish:” source of ALA.  Walnuts are also known as brain food, (I mean come on, they look like the human brain) not only is the fat in walnuts good for kids’ and their developing brains, but walnuts are also used to treat brain injuries and enhance cognition.

Nutritional highlights of Medjool dates:  Medjool dates are an excellent source of fiber (8 grams per 3 ½ ounces). Dates are carbohydrates that are made up mostly of simple sugars. These simple sugars are easily converted into glucose for our cells to use as energy, so eating dates before and after exercise, will help fortify and replenish energy levels. They’re also rich in B vitamins and minerals copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. They’re a good source of folic acid and trace minerals, zinc and selenium (by the way, selenium is great for the thyroid). They also provide more potassium than oranges and bananas. Dates are also rich in antioxidants and anticancer compounds; so overall dates are better sweetener to choose than refined sugar.

Kid verdict?  Well, my kids pretty much know they have to try anything I bake up, and they loved these. I think they’re getting used to eating these type of healthy treats, so they don’t balk anymore when trying a cookie that is basically made up of walnuts and dates.  They just say, “ok mom, here it goes down the hatchet.”  I’ve also tested these cookies out on my friend’s kids ages ranging from 7 to 15 and everyone one of them has really loved them!  Seriously, I didn’t bribe them at all 🙂

Healthy cookie bites

gluten-free healthy cookie bites:

recipe from Detoxinista
makes 15 cookies using a #40 1 1/2 T scooper

Note: If you want a sugar-free version of this cookie, substitute cacao chips for the bittersweet chips, just note that cacao chips can be a bit bitter that’s why I sometimes do half bittersweet chips and half cacao chips, so there’s some sweet in there. Also, the cacao chips add a crunchy fun texture to the cookies as well.

Note: If you want to make these cookies vegan you can make a chia egg. Take 1 tablespoon ground chia seed (grid this in a spice grinder), 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk, 1 1/2 tablespoons water. Combine the ground chia seeds, coconut milk and water, mix together and let sit until gelled, approximately, 10-15 minutes. 

  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts – you can use halves or pieces
  • 1 cup (approx. 8-9 large) de-pitted medjool dates – You don’t need to buy pitted dates, just get the regular medjool dates and de-pit them
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large or extra-large egg – I used an extra-large egg – You can also make these vegan and use a flax or chia egg, see my note above on making a chia egg
  • 1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips, or 1/4 cup bittersweet chips and 1/4 cup cacao chips – I used these extra dark chips from Guittard

Ingredients for gluten free cookie bites

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack (or racks if you have 2 ovens) to the middle position.

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor, add in the 1 1/2 cups walnuts and the 1 cup dates.

Adding the walnuts and pitted dates to the food processor

Process until a crumbly texture is formed (about 15-20 seconds).

Dates and walnuts processed in the food processor

Add in the 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the egg.

Egg salt baking soda and vanilla added to the processed dates and walnuts

Process to combine, using a spatula to scrape down the sides, until the mixture is well blended (about 15 seconds).

Cookie batter processed in the food processor

Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.

 Chocolate chips added to the cookie batter

Using an ice-cream scooper, (the ice cream scooper I used is a #40 1 1/2 T scooper) or a heaping tablespoon, scoop out the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.  I really love my #40 ice-cream scooper from OXO.  The dough comes out easily and the cookies are the perfect size every time!

Scooping the cookies onto the parchment lined cookie sheet

 

Unbaked cookies on the cookie sheet

Dip the tines of a fork into water and gently flatten each cookie. Don’t make them too flat, but just press down lightly in the cookie ball with the fork.

Unbaked cookies pressed on the cookie sheet

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges are slightly golden brown. I baked mine for exactly 12 minutes, and they were perfect.

I have to admit, they may not be the prettiest cookies fresh out of the oven, but they taste amazing and darken up and get browner in color as they cool down.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool.

Baked cookies on the pan

Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator (for 5 days) and if you want to keep them longer, then store them in the freezer (for up to a month).  Just pull them out for a few minutes if storing them in the freezer for them to thaw out a bit.

We enjoyed these cookies at room temperature on the first day, and then we stored them in the refrigerator and WOW, they were SO amazing and even tasted better on day 2 and day 3 and so on…  The chocolate chips get all crunchy and the cookies firm up when kept in the fridge, making for a nice texture.

Healthy cookie bites
If you’re looking for another kid and adult approved gluten-free treat, then you have to try these brownies. I know it’s a bit presumptuous to call these “THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE BROWNIES,” but to be honest, they’re the best I’ve tasted, and they also happen to be a gluten-free version of my favorite brownie ever, so you might say that I’m a bit biased, but I’m a bit of brownie and chocolate cake addict, so I happen to know a thing or two about chocolate desserts, and I know tasty brownie when I try one. If you like fudgey, chocolaty and rich brownies, then you’re going to LOVE these!

The best gluten free brownies
If you like healthy after-school treats, then try one of the below. All are kid approved!

Guilt-free dark chocolate chip cookie bites!  These are Zoe’s favorite cookies and she begs me to make them weekly!

Gluten free healthy cookie bites

Coconut granola bark. We go crazy for this bark.  I break it up, store it in a large jar on the counter and it just goes..

Coconut granola bark

I also break this bark up into smaller pieces and make yogurt parfaits for the kids.

Yogurt parfait

My kids and I also go crazy for these no-bake dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars.  These are sort of a Kind Bar copycat.

Granola bars on table with milk

You have to try these no-bake cacao superfood energy bites!  These are made with with the following WHOLE FOOD ingredients; walnuts, Medjool dates, cacao powder, unsweetened coconut, brazil nuts and
chia seeds. These bites are also; gluten-free, grain-free, egg & dairy-free, paleo and don’t contain any refined sugars, plus they’re kid approved!

No bake cacao superfood energy bites

Oh, and I can’t forget our most popular recipe yet, my homemade popcorn with coconut oil.  This popcorn gets made daily in my house, whether it be for a movie night, or after school snacking.  Yum!

Popcorn with coconut oil

With love Jackie

Gluten-Free Healthy Cookie Bites

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Jackie Grandy
Servings

15

cookies
Prep time

10

minutes
Cook time

12

minutes
Total time

22

minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1½ cups raw walnuts - you can use halves or pieces

    • 1 cup (approx. 8-9 large) de-pitted medjool dates – You don’t need to buy pitted dates, just get the regular medjool dates and de-pit them

    • ¼ teaspoon fine kosher salt

    • ½ teaspoon baking soda

    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    • 1 large or extra-large egg - I used an extra-large egg - You can also make these vegan and use a flax or chia egg, see my note below on making a chia egg

    • ½ cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips, or ¼ cup bittersweet chips and ¼ cup cacao chips

    Directions

    • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack (or racks if you have 2 ovens) to the middle position.

    • Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

    • In a food processor, add in the 1½ cups walnuts and the 1 cup dates and process until a crumbly texture is formed (about 15-20 seconds).

    • Add in the ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the egg and process to combine, using a spatula to scrape down the sides, until the mixture is well blended (about 15 seconds).

    • Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.

    • Using an ice-cream scooper, (the ice cream scooper I used is #40 1½ T) or a heaping tablespoon, scoop out the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. I really love my #40 ice-cream scooper from OXO. The dough comes out easily and the cookies are the perfect size every time!

    • Dip the tines of a fork into water and gently flatten each cookie. Don’t make them too flat, but just press down lightly in the cookie ball with the fork

    • Bake the cookies for 12 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges are slightly golden brown. I baked mine for exactly 12 minutes, and they were perfect.

    • I have to admit, they may not be the prettiest cookies fresh out of the oven, but they taste amazing and darken up and get browner in color as they cool down.

    • Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool.

    • Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator (for 5 days) and if you want to keep them longer, then store them in the freezer (for up to a month). Just pull them out for a few minutes if storing them in the freezer for them to thaw out a bit.

    • We enjoyed these cookies at room temperature on the first day, and then we stored them in the refrigerator and WOW, they were SO amazing and even tasted better on day 2 and day 3 and so on... The chocolate chips get all crunchy and the cookies firm up when kept in the fridge, making for a nice texture.

      Note: If you want a sugar-free version of this cookie, substitute cacao chips for the bittersweet chips, just note that cacao chips can be a bit bitter that's why I sometimes do half bittersweet chips and half cacao chips, so there's some sweet in there. Also, the cacao chips add a crunchy fun texture to the cookies as well.

      Note: If you want to make these cookies vegan you can make a chia egg. Take 1 tablespoon ground chia seed (grid this in a spice grinder), 1½ tablespoons coconut milk, 1½ tablespoons water. Combine the ground chia seeds, coconut milk and water, mix together and let sit until gelled, approximately, 10-15 minutes.

      Did you make this recipe?

      Tag @marinmamacooks on Instagram and hashtag it #MarinMamaCooks

      Like this recipe?

      Follow us @marinmama on Pinterest

      Did you make this recipe?

      Like us on Facebook

      Nourish your inbox!

      More to explore

      15 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Healthy Cookie Bites”

        1. Hey girl! I hope you make them and love them! We just finished our first batch! We can’t keep our hands out of the cookie jar! 😉

      1. Just made these and I am so pleasantly surprised and impressed! They are DELICIOUS! I usually don’t enjoy date-heavy desserts but these really just taste like sweet chocolate chip cookies! So happy to have these in my arsenal now 🙂

        1. Hi Aubrey! Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you made these cookies up and loved them! Believe me, I was presently surprised as well when I first tried them. I will also let you know that they get better. We’ve been storing them in the fridge for the past 4 days and they still taste as good day 4 as day 1! Bonus! Anyway, thanks for sharing! I really appreciate hearing from people when they make a recipe 🙂 xoxo, Jacquelyn

      2. Hey, these sound delicious and I’m wanting to make it for a wedding event! Only thing is, I don’t have a food processor. What I do have is a hand blender, chopper (one of those things where you put the ingredient in and you press down on the blade and it chops it which I often use for hazelnuts as they are so difficult to chop) and an electric grater. Would any of those subsidise?

        Just read your post about your first week at school. Sounds exciting! and thanks for sharing. In the UK olive oil is often sold in (or at least the most popular brand which claims is Italian) plastic bottles which is coloured green. However, my chilli olive oil is in clear glass. It’s funny how you think they would sell it as it would be best contained.

        1. Hi Beverly! I think the green plastic is totally fine, at least it’s a green container and not clear, but I personally don’t trust plastic, even the BPA free stuff, because it’s artificial, and who knows what else they’re going to find in plastic in the next few years, YIKES! Your olive oil in the clear glass should be fine, just store it in a dark place like a cabinet or pantry. Most glass bottles here are either green or brown in color.

          So lets move onto the important question at hand, the cookies!!! Why don’t you try using your hand blender. I would be curious to know how the nuts and dates break down with one. I think it would be helpful for my readers as well, as not everyone has a food processor or high speed blender in their kitchen.

          You could also pre-chop and finely mince the nuts and dates and then put them in your hand blender to mince them finer, and then transfer the nuts and dates to a bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients, and stir them till well combined. I’m sure the cookies will be great, they may be chunkier in texture, but that may be a good thing! Ok, let me know if you give them a try! They’re honestly my favorite cookie! xoxo, Jacquelyn

      3. These cookies are a hit in our house! My kiddos and I thought the raw “dough” really tasted like traditional cookie dough. It inspired us to create raw cookie bites from your recipe. We omit the egg, and sometimes add coconut flakes. So easy and so yummy!

        1. Yay! Sounds awesome! I totally want to try these with coconut flakes! Sounds delish! Thanks for the idea! 🙂 xoxo, Jacquelyn

      4. I made these too this weekend along with the NO-BAKE CACAO SUPERFOOD ENERGY BITES. We had gluten free houseguests and these were a huge hit with everyone. You really you can’t tell that they aren’t loaded with flour. Super good-I will probably add some walnut pieces to the next batch to give them a little crunch. You hooked me up on desserts this weekend Mama!

        1. Awesome Amy! I’m elated that you made both the desserts for your party! Yippee! Did any of the kids try and like them? I made a batch of both these this past weekend, as we’re all addicted, and I can’t stop eating them. Anyway, I’m happy to hear that they were a success and that I hooked you up! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and say hi! Miss you! xoxo, Jacquelyn

      5. Just tried this recipe (using a flax egg) and it’s delicious! I will add it to my regular arsenal for healthful sweets. I have no dietary restrictions (gluten free, paleo, etc), but I find these bite size morsels deliciously wholesome for all. Thank you for another great recipe!

      6. Made these today. All 3 kids (including the fussier eaters) loved it! Thanks! MNoe searching through for more of your recipes to try. 🙂

      Leave a Comment

      Your email address will not be published.

      Scroll to Top