Packed with whole oats, pumpkin puree, almond butter and flax seeds, these vegan and gluten-free breakfast cookies, which are flavored with maple syrup, warming spices, cranberries and dark chocolate (oh, yes!), are jammed with nutritious ingredients, and yet they taste like treats. Serve them as a quick grab-and-go breakfast, pack them as a school snack, or eat them as dessert. Or, better yet, hide them from your kids and save them for yourself.
The morning hustle
No matter how prepared we (think we) are, weekday mornings are inevitably a hustle. Between getting the kids up and ready, packing up lunchboxes and orchestrating our daily schedules, it’s rare that we have a take-your-time kind of morning. James is the resident morning-meal-maker, but I’m a stickler about giving the girls something nutritious on weekdays. While I’m sure he’d prefer to simply pour them something from a box, I’m the grocery shopper and don’t often buy cereal (there’s power in being the errand-runner!). We’ve found a happy compromise by serving make-ahead breakfasts, from baked oatmeal, to overnight oats, to whole grain pancakes that we made over the weekend. But when things are really nuts—you know, those mornings when you realize one kid still has three pages of math homework to do; one kid has had not one but TWO dirty diapers in the matter of minutes; your husband’s leaving early and oh, forgot to tell you; and you have an important meeting to prepare for—that’s when grab-and-go breakfast “cookies” are a lifesaver. They can be made ahead and stashed in the freezer for last-minute breakfasts or lunchbox snacks.
Breakfast cookies to the rescue!
The recipe was inspired from my banana oatcakes, which have been a longtime favorite around here. With pumpkin, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and cranberries, these spiced pumpkin cookies incorporate some of our favorite fall flavors while filling us up with oats, flax seeds and almond butter. You can add dark chocolate if you’d like, which we always do because who would ever say no to chocolate (hey, it’s good for brain health!). The girls love them and think they’re getting away with some serious shenanigans when allowed to have cookies for breakfast or as a school snack. James loves them because he doesn’t have to make breakfast (plus, he’s a total sucker for cookies). And I love them because they taste damn good while being pretty darn good for you as well.
Get the recipe!
Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan)
- 3 cups (9.5 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix together the oats, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and ground flaxseeds.
- In a small saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring, until smooth.
- Scrape the pumpkin mixture into the bowl with the oats and stir to combine. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate, if using.
- Using an ice cream scoop or two large spoons, scoop the dough into ¼ cup mounds onto the baking sheets. Using damp hands, flatten the mounds into 3-inch cookies that are about 1/2-inch tall. Bake 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, or until the cookies are golden. Let cool completely. Do Ahead: The cookies can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. They can be eaten straight out of the fridge, or they can be heated up in a toaster oven.