These vegan banana cookies are so healthy, you could eat them for breakfast! These banana-bound cookies have no oil, no flour, no butter, and no sugar added. They’re packed with fruits and vegetables, making them the perfect whole food plant based cookie option! You’ll love these healthy vegan cookies with delicious chocolate, hazelnut, and cherry flavors. They’re a great alternative to sugary cereals that will make breakfast feel like a decadent dessert!
Easy vegan banana oatmeal cookies for breakfast? Um, YES PLEASE.
These whole grain “cookies” are one of my favorite ways to use up a ton of ripe bananas. Unlike typical cookies, banana bread, and other baked goods, these have no refined flour and no added sugar. Since they contain no eggs and no dairy, they’re a great fit for vegan diets, as well as egg free and dairy free diets.
This recipe is an adaption of the morning glory breakfast cookies from Food & Nutrition magazine. It's essentially portable servings of oatmeal with some fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds included. Bake a big batch on the weekend, so you’ll have them ready for the week ahead.
I’m serious, you need these healthy vegan banana cookies in your life. They have all of the elements of a good trail mix cookie, minus the added sugar!
- Why are these the BEST vegan banana cookies?
- Ingredients for Vegan Banana Cookies
- Cacao Nib Cookies
- Kitchen Equipment for Plant Based Cookies
- How to Make Vegan Banana Cookies
- Storing Vegan Banana Cookies
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- What are some other healthy alternatives for kids when it comes to snacks and desserts?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Vegan Banana Recipes for You to Enjoy
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why are these the BEST vegan banana cookies?
There are a ton of recipes for three ingredient breakfast cookies floating around the web. They’re pretty much always vegan banana oatmeal cookies with a mix-in (chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc.). They’re good recipes, but here are some reasons you might like these better:
- Loaded with phytonutrients: Phytonutrients are (typically) plant pigments that are non-essential but likely beneficial to our health. The best way to get a variety of phytonutrients in your diet is to eat a rainbow of colorful plant foods. Aside from the bananas, you’re getting carrots, apples, and cherries in this recipe.
- Healthy fats: Choosing fat-free everything actually isn’t optimal for health. We need fat in our diets, some fatty acids are essential! We’ve got some whole food sources of fat in these cookies from the hazelnuts and coconut flakes.
- Whole food plant based cookies: If you want to maximize the potential health benefits from a vegan or vegetarian diet, whole food plant based (WFPB) is the way to go. This way of eating minimizes ultra-processed foods. The focus is on whole plant foods, like you’re getting in this recipe. (Note: Though eating mostly whole foods is optimal, supplements for vitamin B12 are ESSENTIAL with a vegan diet.)
- Cacao nibs cookies: Have you tried cacao nibs? They add some chocolate flavor to these cookies without the sugar you’d get in chocolate chips. If you’ve never tried them, maybe now’s a good time!
- Multigrain cookies: Instead of just using oatmeal, I used a multigrain cereal blend in this recipe. Including a larger variety of whole grains means you’re getting a wider range of nutrients in this recipe.
Ingredients for Vegan Banana Cookies
Here is what you need to make my vegan banana cookie recipe:
- Dry rolled whole grain cereal (rolled oats or rolled multigrain cereal)
- Mashed ripe banana
- Shredded carrot
- Grated apple
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Unsweetened dried cherries
- Ground cinnamon
- Cacao nibs
Instead of rolled oats, I used a multigrain hot cereal that I found at Trader Joe’s. This product is a combination of unsweetened whole grain barley, rye, wheat, and oats. Since the grains have been rolled, they cook in a mere 3-5 minutes!
This cereal is an effortless way to incorporate a greater variety of whole grains into your diet in a flash. If you cannot find this product, it is fine to use rolled oats instead.
Cacao Nib Cookies
I had a bit of fun including some unusual ingredients in this recipe to change up the flavor profile. Cacao nibs are gently crushed cacao beans that provide a wonderful chocolate flavor to recipes. They contain no added sugar and should be added to recipes in small amounts since they have a bitter flavor.
Cacao nibs tend to be fairly expensive, but I have found that a single bag lasts quite a long time. It might be worth splurging on a bag to experiment with. (Maybe split it with a foodie friend!)
(P.S. The FDA permits the terms “cacao nibs,” “cocoa nibs,” and “cracked cocoa” to be used interchangeably on food packaging. However, I usually see “cacao” used to indicate less highly processed products.)
Kitchen Equipment for Plant Based Cookies
To make these vegan cookies, I recommend having the following on hand:
- A medium-sized mixing bowl
- A potato masher or fork (for mashing the banana)
- Parchment paper
- A large cookie sheet
How to Make Vegan Banana Cookies
This recipe for banana breakfast cookies comes together pretty quickly. They are great if you need (near) instant gratification!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large dark cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare the fruits and veggies that you’ll be using in this recipe. Mash the banana with the potato masher and grate the carrot and apple. You can leave the peel on the apple for additional fiber.
If the hazelnuts are not already chopped, you’ll need to roughly chop them. Once all of the ingredients are prepared, stir them together in a medium mixing bowl.
Using a ¼-cup measuring cup, drop scoops of your vegan cookie dough onto the baking sheet. You will end up with eight scoops. Flatten them slightly into a rounded cookie shape with wet hands.
Place the sheet with the cookies into the top third of the oven. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until they are firm enough to hold together. Your house may smell like cinnamon while they bake.
Let the cookies cool to room temperature before enjoying. These wfpb cookies hold together better when cooled.
See, that wasn’t too difficult, was it? These vegan cookies have been making a regular appearance in our household. I bet they’ll become a healthy family favorite for you too!
Storing Vegan Banana Cookies
Put your leftover vegan banana oat cookies in a food safe container, and store them in the fridge. They can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Freeze any cookies that won’t be consumed within this time frame.
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Though the calories per "cookie" are low, these are packed with energy-dense ingredients that are easy to overeat. Instead of modifying the recipe, make this into a more filling breakfast by adding more protein.
Plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt or a couple of hard-boiled eggs may provide enough protein to help keep you feeling full until lunchtime. Vegans will need to add something with legumes, such as soy yogurt or seasoned scrambled tofu.
The dried fruits here are fine for those who need a concentrated source of energy, such as children who might have trouble eating enough before school. However, adults should keep in mind that over-consuming dried fruit can hinder weight loss goals. Choose hot oatmeal topped with chopped fresh fruit instead if you tend to overeat foods packaged in cookie form.
What are some other healthy alternatives for kids when it comes to snacks and desserts?
I offer a variety of healthy snacks on this site, and most are great for kids! Here are a few more vegan snack recipes to make next:
Frequently Asked Questions
How to make vegan breakfast cookies without banana?
With a little experimentation, you can make vegan cookies without banana that are also refined sugar free. Pureed Medjool dates are a wonderful alternative to bananas for naturally sweetening baked goods. The dates taste a bit like a vegan version of caramel. So delicious!
Another thing you could try instead of bananas is applesauce or pear sauce. I have a slow cooker applesauce recipe and a slow cooker pear sauce if you want to make your own. I find homemade applesauce to be sweeter than store-bought unsweetened applesauce, perfect for adding sweetness to baked goods.
Why aren’t cookies healthy? They are basically just flour, milk, eggs, and sugar.
Most cookie recipes (vegan or not) are mostly white flour, sugar, and added oil or fat. These are all very high calorie ingredients that do not provide much in the way of essential nutrients. That is why, by general nutrition standards, cookies are not considered “healthy.”
It’s true that eggs and milk are often included in non-vegan cookie recipes. However, the amount of these nutritious ingredients is often small compared to the flour, oil, and sugar.
Are these vegan banana cookies gluten free?
I used a multigrain dry cereal containing wheat and rye in this recipe, so it contains gluten. To make these vegan cookies gluten free, simply use gluten free rolled oats in place of the multigrain cereal.
Other Vegan Banana Recipes for You to Enjoy
Are you looking for vegan recipes using banana? After you make these vegan cookies with banana, here are some other vegan recipes with banana to check out:
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Vegan Banana Cookies (No Oil, No Flour, No Butter, No Sugar)
- 1 cup rolled whole grains, dry (I used Trader Joe's multigrain hot cereal; gluten-free rolled oats are a GF alternative)
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (3-4 bananas)
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup grated apple (you may include the peel)
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup unsweetened dried cherries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a dark metal baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mash the bananas with a potato masher or a fork. Grate the apple and carrot. Chop the hazelnuts, if they are not already chopped.
- Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a medium-sized mixing bowl. (How easy is this?)
- Using a ¼-cup measuring cup, drop scoops of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You will end up with eight scoops. Flatten them slightly into a cookie shape with wet hands. They don't spread, so no worries if the cookies are close together on the sheet.
- Place the baking sheet about ⅓ of the way from the top of the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies are firm enough to hold together. Let the cookies cool before eating to give them more time to firm up.
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Though the calories per "cookie" are low, these are packed with energy-dense ingredients that are easy to overeat. Instead of modifying the recipe, make this into a more filling breakfast by adding more protein. Plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt or a couple of hard-boiled eggs may provide enough protein to help keep you feeling full until lunchtime. Vegans will need to add something with legumes, such as soy yogurt or seasoned scrambled tofu. The dried fruits here are fine for those who need a concentrated source of energy, such as children who might have trouble eating enough before school. However, adults should keep in mind that over-consuming dried fruit can hinder weight loss goals. Choose hot oatmeal topped with chopped fresh fruit instead if you tend to overeat foods packaged in cookie form. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.