These healthy zucchini breakfast cookies have the texture of a bread and contain wholesome ingredients, like oats, and have no added sugar! If you’re looking for healthy cookies for toddlers (and babies!), this is it! You and your child can enjoy them for breakfast or snack and will make for a great school lunchbox addition!
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Fun fact! Once upon a time (in my twenties), I was OBSESSED with baking and even worked as an assistant baker at a catering bakery. I seriously considered becoming a pastry chef. Around the same time, I also obtained a certification as a wedding planner. Ultimately, I went back to school to obtain a Masters in Nutrition. I guess it’s safe to say that my twenties were a time of much “experimentation” as I decided to turn my back on my first career choice in search of my true calling.
But I digress.
Back to baking. So many people ask me how I have the time to constantly come up with new recipes to share, and the answer is being in the kitchen truly is therapy for me (well most of the time. When I have a screaming toddler at my feet, not so much). So I make time! I’ve struggled a lot with depression and anxiety in the past, and baking really helps me to relieve some of the tensions and stress I carry. It also gives me such a HUGE sense of accomplishment.
When it comes to desserts, I believe that they should be an indulgence and fully embraced. That they should be savored not feared. NO! I don’t want a sugar-free cookie. I want to fully experience the real thing that won’t leave me feeling dissatisfied and most likely to set me off on a binging spree soon after.
However, when it comes to baking for babies or toddlers, my approach is different. I’ve mentioned how critical the first years are for developing lifelong eating habits and preferences. Also, the current recommendation is to avoid sugar until age 2.
No doubt our little ones are going to grow up and encounter all kinds of treats. And when that time comes, we need to have a strategy for handling sweets to help them navigate this sugar-filled world while helping them to develop a healthy relationship with food.
But until then, let’s use their ignorance to our advantage.
And if you are in search of healthy cookies for toddlers, you’ve come to the right post. These zucchini breakfast cookies are packed with fiber, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat! They have just the right amount of sweetness without any added sugar. And remember, our littles ones have more tastebuds than us so they will experience flavors more intensely.
You’re truly going to appreciate how easy these cookies are to make with minimal ingredients. The hardest part is preparing the zucchini.
How to prepare zucchini?
- There’s no need to peel the zucchini
- Grate using the coarser side so you can see the actual zucchini pieces
- Wrap in towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible
- Add it to the batter at the very end. If you mix it in earlier, the batter will become wetter than ideal.
Tools Needed to make Zucchini Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- A large mixing bowl
- A box grater – use the side with the larger round holes for getting coarsely shredding the zucchini
- A mini ice cream scooper – helps ensure you get same-sized cookies so that they bake evenly. It also helps shape the dough into nice ball sizes. You don’t want to flatten the batter as they won’t rise nor spread much. These cookies are not meant to be your typical flat cookies. “Bread meets cookies” is what these are.
- A large baking sheet
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat – makes cleanup a breeze!
How to Store:
- On the counter: in an airtight container for up to 3 days
- In the refrigerator: will slow down the cookies from browning. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days
- In the freezer – I like to use the flash freeze method and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, leave out on the counter for 1-2 hours or thaw in the fridge overnight. There’s no need to reheat.
Healthy Zucchini Bread Breakfast Cookies
- 1 cup (100g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (120g) spelt flour or almond flour, see note
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 medium banana, mashed (120g or 1/2 cup), see note
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup (100g) shredded zucchini, about 1 medium zucchini
- 1/3 cup (36g) chopped walnuts, or other nuts or seeds (for babies: 2 tablespoons ground)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, add the banana, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Be sure there aren't any banana chunks.
- Add in the oats, spelt flour, baking soda, and cinnamon
- Fold in zucchini and walnuts
- Using a mini ice cream scooper (or a tablespoon), scoop out the dough and place on baking sheet. Don’t flatten!
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden and the inserted toothpick comes out clean. If you're using different flours, may need to adjust the cooking time. I've tried with almond flour and it took around 20 minutes. You want to bake until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove and let cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.