There’s a debate in my house about this spinach cookie recipe. Are these cookies or are they brownies?
Sure, they’re called “spinach oat cookies” and are certainly shaped like cookies. But once you take a bite, the fudginess will have you second guessing the recipe title.
One thing we all agree on – they’re delicious! And best of all, this spinach oat cookie recipe sneaks in a healthy dose of spinach, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
While we may be “sneaking” the spinach into this recipe, I encourage you to let your toddlers in on the secret. The chocolate is really the perfect disguise to hide the green, but by filling our toddlers in on what they’re eating, they can start to connect greens with something delicious and fun. Don’t be afraid to call them spinach cookies!
This recipe is great as is, but it can also be a jumping off place to customize to your family’s preferences. When my littlest was obsessed with all things raisins, I threw them in instead of the chocolate chips. And when the big one discovered cinnamon, I added it to the mix too.
Ingredients in Spinach Oat Cookies
This leafy green is the top-secret star of the show! After all, they are called spinach cookies. It is packed with nutrients, including Vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Spinach is a great choice to serve raw, but did you know our bodies can actually absorb more of these nutrients when it’s cooked?
Is there anything an avocado can’t do? Avocado oil is a great plant-strong swap for butter. In addition to healthy fats to help our toddlers’ brains grow strong, avocado oil is also an excellent source of antioxidants like Vitamin E.
Agave is a great alternative to sugar. First, it is full of antioxidants which can promote healthy brain function. Second, agave has a low glycemic index, meaning it has an easier effect on blood sugar levels.
This complete protein has some very important functions in our cookies. The whole egg serves as a binder to keep our cookies together and also adds moisture. The extra egg yolk is what takes these cookies from chocolate-y to fudgy!
Steel Cut Oats:
Using steel cut oats adds an extra dimension of texture to these cookies. Steel cut oats are chewy and a bit nutty. Be sure to use the quick-cooking steel cut oats and don’t skip the resting period before scooping out your dough. While the dough sits in the refrigerator, the oats soak up the moisture for a perfect texture.
Raw cacao is the most natural form of chocolate. It is not the same as cocoa powder, which has been processed and has a different composition. Raw cacao is a great source of antioxidants, and also adds acidity for the baking soda to react. This reaction adds air to the mix, puffing the cookies up a bit.
How to Make Spinach Cookies
Whipping up these delicious bite sized cookies is a breeze. Start by steaming the spinach. This should take no more than 2 minutes. You want the spinach to be just on the verge of wilting, while maintaining its vibrant color. Once you reach that point, you’ll want to get it under cool water pretty quickly to stop the cooking process. Next, squeeze away to remove as much water as you can. Don’t worry, there is still plenty in the spinach to add the moisture you’ll need!
Next you’ll simply blend, mix, and scoop. But don’t skip the resting time in the refrigerator. The steel cut oats need that time to soak up the moisture.
If you’re prepping ahead of time, the dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze individual cookies. Simply scoop them onto the tray as instructed and pop the tray in the freezer. Once frozen, toss them all in a large resealable bag.
Like I said, these spinach cookies are prime for adding your own style. Try switching up the chocolate chips with dried fruit, nuts, or seeds. Or add some of your favorite spices, like cardamom or cinnamon.
If you need to use frozen spinach in place of fresh spinach, you’ll want to use a bit less. On average, one pound of fresh spinach is equal to about ten ounces of frozen spinach, so use about two ounces of frozen spinach in place of the three ounces of fresh spinach.
Remember to thaw the spinach in a mesh strainer and allow water to drain, then squeeze as much of the excess water out as you can.
If you need a nut-free spinach cookie recipe, substitute the almond flour with wheat flour (if you’re not gluten free), oat flour, or cassava flour.
Spinach Oat Cookie Recipe
Makes: ~18 cookies
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
3 oz fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp avocado oil
½ cup agave
1 egg yolk + 1 whole egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking steel cut oats
¾ cup almond flour
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large pot with a steamer basket, steam spinach 1-2 minutes, until just wilted. Transfer to a mesh strainer and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and cool spinach down. Use a paper towel to squeeze as much excess liquid from teh spinach as possible then transfer spinach to a blender.
- Add avocado oil, agave, egg yolk, whole egg, and vanilla to the blender then process until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, almond flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine. Add spinach mixture and stir until incorporated.
- Add chocolate chips and fold into mixture. Transfer bowl to refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Using a scoop, transfer about 1 rounded Tablespoon at a time to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between cookies. Repeat to make about 18 cookies. Use the back of the scoop to slightly flatten cookies.
- Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are set.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle with additional salt (optional)