These cookies are the perfect way to use up your zucchini bounty. Plus, they’re healthy, low in sugar, and kids love them!
I love zucchini, really, I do.
But in the summer when it’s so plentiful and my CSA just delivered another 5 of the squash (to complement the other four already in my fridge) I begin running out of recipes quickly.
After we’ve had Zucchini, Corn and Black Bean Enchiladas, Zucchini Lasagne, Zucchini and Potato Cakes, Zucchini Bread Pancakes, and Zucchini Crusted Pizza (does pizza really NEED zucchini anyway?), it’s time to move onto sweeter options – and let’s face it – options my kids will eagerly eat.
But the problem is that I’m not so keen on giving my kids treats loaded with sugar. Just because bread or cookies technically have a vegetable in them, doesn’t automatically make them healthy if they’re stuffed with sugar.
So I love it when I can find a way to trick my kids’ taste buds – give them a treat they love but that’s essentially healthy and low on the sweet stuff.
These zucchini chocolate chip cookies fit the bill. Sure there are a few chocolate chips in them and the sugar isn’t entirely removed, but these cookies are essentially wholesome – featuring oats, eggs, wheat flour, coconut oil, coconut flakes, and yes, zucchini.
The secret to these deceptively sweet treats is replacing brown and white sugars with sucanat and stevia. Trust me on this one – with all the other flavors going on in these morsels of goodness, kids won’t detect a difference.
And if you’re unfamiliar with sucanat, here’s the deal – sucanat is essentially unrefined pure dried sugar cane juice. Unlike brown and white sugars, it retains its molasses content, preserving vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be removed.
But not to worry – if you don’t have sucanat in your pantry and don’t feel like searching for it – brown sugar works as a substitute.
And then there’s the stevia – that all-natural zero calorie sugar substitute – that used in the right way really tricks kids into thinking they’re having something majorly bad for them when really what they’re eating is entirely nutritious.
But beware – not all stevia products are the same – some have more concentrated sweetness than others so read the packaging and adjust ratios accordingly.
In this recipe, I use Pyure brand stevia which suggests using 1/2 cup of stevia for every cup of white sugar. Check your brand’s ratios and adjust accordingly.
But back to the cookies – these little guys remind me of a mix between zucchini bread and chocolate chip cookie dough. And the chocolate chips…let’s be honest, that’s really the draw – especially for kids. Who can resist gooey melted chocolate as it comes out of a warm oven?
And why stop with just one batch? With so much zucchini and requests from my kids to eat these cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I often double the recipe which will make them last all of about a day longer (and tear through my zucchini bounty faster than lasagne).
But like many healthy cookies, these treats don’t last very long on the kitchen counter, so make sure there’s enough room in your fridge to store your zucchini nuggets of goodness long-term.
Of course, that will be easy enough since you’ve used up so much zucchini to make them in the first place.
And before you know it, these cookies may have you – and your kids – wishing zucchini season lasted all year long instead of just summer.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sucanat (see notes above) or brown sugar
- 1/8 cup of stevia (see notes above and adjust ratios)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes (I prefer unsweetened)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I use bittersweet Ghiradelli)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, sucanat, and stevia and mix until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini and mix until combined.
- Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
- Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set (they will still be slightly moist). Remove cookies from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
- After the cookies have cooled, they are best kept in the refrigerator
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