Celebrate National Cookie Day With These Alternatives

Vegan Everything Cookies from the Minimalist Baker

The cookie has been around for centuries and, according to the National Restaurant Association, is traditionally defined in the U.S. as a small flour-based crisp or soft cake. Most people identify cookies with indulgent ingredients such as butter, sugar, and candy, and typically relegate them to dessert or occasional snacks. However, in recent years, health-conscious cooks and those following special diets, such as paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, or vegan, have used nutritious ingredients to reimagine the cookie as a convenient pre-workout energy boost, on-the-go breakfast, or even guiltless dessert. Therefore, in order to honor National Cookie Day on December 4, we’ve rounded up a few cookie alternatives that will keep you energized, satiated, and feeling great.

A Better Breakfast: No time to make breakfast? Start your busy day off right by grabbing a few of these cookie alternatives:

1. Vegan Everything Breakfast Cookies: This banana-based cookie recipe from the Minimalist Baker is packed with protein-rich almond butter and pecans, filling oatmeal, as well as pumpkin, dark chocolate chips, and cranberries.

2. Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies: This Eat. Drink. Love. recipe featuring apples, oatmeal, walnuts, and spices doesn’t need butter or sugar to stay moist and delicious.

3. Chia Seed Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies: This recipe from With Salt and Wit uses power-foods such as chia seeds, peanut butter, flax seeds, and banana to keep you full for hours.

Chia Seed Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookie from With Salt and Wit

Energy on the Go: Need a snack before that strength-training class or to stave off hunger while running errands? Fuel your body with these energy-dense cookies:

1. No-Bake Energy Bites: This simple but delicious recipe from Gimme Some Oven only has seven main ingredients, but is loaded with protein and fiber.

2. Gluten- and Grain-Free No-Bake Snack Bites: This energy bite recipe from Eat Play Love More is gluten-, grain-, and nut-free, and features a combination of dates, which are high in natural sugars, seeds, and coconut.

3. Dark Chocolate and Almond Protein Cookies: This cookie recipe from Greatist packs fiber, protein, and healthy fats in a small package. Experiment with protein powders to find the one that’s right for you.

Dark Chocolate and Almond Protein Cookies from Greatist

After Dinner Treat: Want a delicious treat for dessert without ruining your diet? End your day with these sweet-but-savory cookies:

Low-Carb Pumpkin Cookies from Detoxinista

1. Low-Carb Pumpkin Cookies: ’Tis the season for everything pumpkin. Get your fix with this almond-butter based pumpkin cookie recipe from Detoxinista, which is egg- and grain-free and lightly sweetened with maple syrup.

2. Reduced-guilt Snickerdoodles: This Fitness Magazine recipe substitutes whole-wheat flour for regular flour, yogurt for butter, and reduces the sugar content to create delicious snickerdoodle cookies with less calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat.

3. Carrot Walnut Cookies: This recipe from Whole Foods Market packs carrots, apples, bananas, raisins, rolled oats, and walnuts into one delicious but wholesome cookie.

Carrot Walnut Cookies from Whole Foods