These healthy zucchini oatmeal cookies are so easy to make with wholesome, minimal ingredients and no added sugar! Perfect for babies and toddlers, these cookies can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a satisfying snack, or as a nutritious addition to school lunch boxes.
Fun Facts About Me
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.
Sweets for Babies and Toddlers
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.
Healthy Zucchini Cookies
If you are in search of healthy cookies for babies and toddlers, you've come to the right post. If you want to start with a super basic oatmeal cookie recipe, try these 3 ingredient banana cookies!
And if you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini during the summer months or you are looking for ways to get your child to eat it, these healthy zucchini cookies are the perfect solution!
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 most time-consuming part is preparing the fresh zucchini.
I encourage you to grate a whole bunch while you are at it so you can easily incorporate some into your child's meals throughout the week.
Here are some suggestions:
I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.
- Coconut oil - can also use olive oil or melted butter if you prefer
- Rolled oats (Old fashioned oats) - Will add heartiness and a chewy texture to these zucchini cookies. You can also use quick oats but the texture will be softer.
- Spelt flour - If you've never tried baking with this whole grain flour, you totally should give it a try! It has all the nutritional benefits of whole wheat flour but results in lighter texture. Imparts a slight nuttiness and sweetness to the cookies too! You can also use oat flour, all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour or 1:1 gluten free flour blend, if you prefer.
- Banana - use a very ripe banana as it is the only sweetener.
- A box grater - use the side with the larger round holes for getting coarsely shredded zucchini
- A mini ice cream scooper - helps ensure you get same-sized cookies so that they bake evenly.
- A large baking sheet - This is my favorite! Doesn't warp and ensures even cooking.
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat - makes cleanup a breeze!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
- Fold in zucchini and walnuts. Don't over mix.
- Using a spoon or mini ice cream scooper, scoop out the dough and place on a baking sheet.
Tips for Success
- Prepping zucchini: There's no need to peel the zucchini. Wrap in towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
- Add the grated zucchini at the very end. If you mix it in earlier, the batter will become wetter than ideal.
- These soft cookies do not spread much at all. If you want the cookies to be "bread-y" keep the dough ball-shaped. If you desire a chewier texture, flatten slightly using your fingers.
- If you'd like, you can add some semi-sweet chocolate chips for your older child.
How to Store
- I do not recommend storing these zucchini cookies on the counter.
- In the refrigerator: 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 thaw, leave out on the counter for 1-2 hours or thaw in the fridge overnight.
- There's no need to reheat. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.
More Zucchini Recipes
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Healthy Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup (100g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (120g) spelt flour or almond flour, see note
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 medium banana, mashed (120g or ½ cup), see note
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 egg, whisked (See note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) shredded zucchini, about 1 medium zucchini , see notes
- ⅓ cup (36g) chopped walnuts, or other nuts or seeds (for babies: 2 tablespoons ground)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, add the banana, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Be sure there aren't any banana chunks.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
- Using a mini ice cream scooper (or a tablespoon), scoop out the dough and place on baking sheet. You can flatten slightly using your fingers or leave as is.
- 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.
- Be sure to mash the banana with a fork and get it as smooth as possible before adding to the bowl.
- Oat flour or all purpose flour will work well also.
- I haven't tried but several moms have told me that flax egg is a great substitute for the egg.
- For 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.