A healthy cookie for all your fall festivities.
“FALL!” my friends and I screamed, driving through the gorgeous golden aspens on our way to a hike last weekend. I know, it’s weird, but we really were literally yelling at the trees we were so excited—it was just too beautiful not to yell about. In that one day, we went from colorful leaves to snow-capped mountains, then topped it off with some hot apple cider and roasted squash for din-din. The only thing that was missing was my Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies ….because I had made them the day before and they were already gone (insert crying emoji here).
These cookies are a personal favorite; I’ve slowly adapted this recipe over the years to accommodate lots of dietary restrictions—they are free from animal products and gluten, made with whole-grains, lower in sugar than your average cookie, and easy to make.
Pumpkin and chocolate are a delicious combination, the creamy, natural, squashy sweetness mixed with rich cocoa, elevated by warming cinnamon and other spices—I mean yummmm.
Why You Should Eat My Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
While I don’t eat a whole lot of grains, you may have noticed I do occasionally enjoy oats. Eating them every day sadly just doesn’t work for me but I love using oats for occasional treats like these cookies, as a healthier, whole-grain alternative to other flours.
Oats are a wonderful source of manganese, a trace mineral you don’t hear too much about. This essential nutrient plays a role in bone health, the integrity of your skin, and blood sugar control; our bodies use it every single day to stay healthy. We need much smaller amounts of trace minerals like manganese than we do of macrominerals, like calcium and magnesium, hence the fact that they are less widely acknowledged. They still matter, though, and eating a diet rich in plant foods is an easy way to make sure you get enough manganese.
Oats also contain a type of fiber called beta-glucans, which studies have shown to help lower cholesterol, along with a unique type of antioxidant, called avenanthramides. These antioxidants provide an additional cardiovascular benefit by specifically preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles—this is a really good thing, because when cholesterol is oxidized it becomes damaged and starts getting in the way, leading to clogged arteries and inflammation. So stopping that process of oxidation stops that dangerous process, yay oats!
A quick note about oats and gluten—while oats don’t naturally contain the gluten protein, they are often contaminated because of being transported and packaged around other grains that do. So, to be safe always opt for certified gluten-free oats, like Bob’s Red Mill. You can find them on Amazon through this link: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
As a member of the Amazon Affiliates program, I do make a small commission when you purchase products through my links, at no extra cost to you!
Another ingredient in these Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies that I want to point out is cinnamon. This warming spice has been used as medicine for centuries, thanks to its potent essential oils. Cinnamon helps to increases insulin sensitivity and circulation, works as a natural antibacterial, and also helps to ensure proper blood clotting. PLUS, just the smell of it can boost your brain function, so bake some of these up the next time you need to get some work done at home! Your brain and your belly will both be quite happy.
How You Can Make My Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350°F and get out two baking sheets. I like to line them with Silpat baking sheets, which you can buy through this link, but you can also use parchment paper: Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat – Set of 2
Let’s get down to cookie business, friends. Grab your food processor and toss in 1 cup of gluten-free whole rolled oats. Grind the oats up until a nice flour forms, then add your brown rice flour, spices, and sea salt, and pulse for a minute to combine (if you don’t wanna grind your own oat flour, you can usually find it at a natural foods store). Toss this flour mixture into a medium-sized bowl, add the rest of your whole oats, and stir together and set aside.
I’m getting so excited, aren’t you?! These are so, so good. Like dance-in-the-kitchen-as-you-eat-one-off-the-pan good.
Okay, now, add your pumpkin, melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, ground flaxseed, and unsweetened almond milk and mix these all together really well. Slowly start adding your flour/oats mix to this bowl of wetness and begin folding it all together. The dough for my Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies will be pretty thick but just keep mixing it all together until you can no longer see the flour and everything is evenly combined.
You can’t forget to add the extra good stuff, so pour your chocolate chips and chopped walnuts into the bowl and fold those in too. Yes, your arm might be a little tired, but I’m telling you it’s totally worth it. Keep going! Okay, now you can stop.
Use your (clean) hands to grab a few tablespoons worth of cookie dough and make an imperfect, roundish ball. These Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies do not spread out much at all, so I make them into a rustic kind of shape with my fingers when I press them into the pan. If you like “neater” cookies, just roll them into a ball and press down into the pan evenly with the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand.
Bake these sweet little treats for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. If you’re like me, you’ll definitely eat at least one (or three) right away, which will be amazing. But, the ones that you allow to cool will crisp up a bit on top and give you the best of both soft and toasty textures in one.
Pour yourself a big glass of almond milk, or hemp milk, or something else creamy, cold, and delicious and dunk away! These Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are super kid-friendly and the perfect treat for a Halloween party or fall gathering. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
In the mood for a savory pumpkin dish instead? Check out my Savory Pumpkin Pasta Sauce here.
Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield 24 cookies
These are the quintessential fall treat, a little crumbly on the outside with a soft, chewy inside. The chocolate and walnuts compliment the pumpkin and spices just right.
- 1 cup oat flour (from 1 cup gluten-free oats)*
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Blend 1 cup of gluten-free oats in a food processor until a fine flour forms.
- Add brown rice flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sea salt to the oat flour and blend to incorporate. Pour into a medium-sized bowl, mix in whole gluten-free oats and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond milk, and ground flaxseed.
- Slowly add the flour and oats mixture into the wet ingredients, until fully combined. Make sure the flour is no longer visible, the cookie dough will be very thick.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Use your hands to grab a few tablespoons of dough and form into a rustic, roundish cookie, placing on the pan and using your fingers to form the shape you want. These cookies do not spread out, you can fit 12 to a normal cookie sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a cold glass of almond milk!
*If you don't have a food processor you can also find packaged oat flour at some natural foods stores.
Courses Dessert, Snack