Healthied up Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I make these bars two different ways depending on the company I’m serving. I make the first version for my family, it’s oil free and uses less sweetener so it tastes a bit healthier and results in a more cake-like cookie but is still delicious!

The second version is good for convincing company that being vegan doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor! It has a small amount of oil and more (unrefined) sweetness and tastes and crunches more like traditional cookie bars, but is still relatively healthy compared to regular vegan cookies. Try both recipes to see which one is your favorite! Enjoy!

Healthied Up Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oil-Free & Less Sweet Version:

  • 2 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (for Gluten Free option substitute Cara’s all purpose GF mix)
  • 1/2 C. Rolled Oats (use certified Gluten Free for GF version)
  • 1/2 C.  raw agave
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1 T. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 2 t. Vanilla
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 C. Vegan Chocolate Chips

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, ground flax, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Add agave, apple sauce, almond milk, vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir til just combined. Pour into an 8×8 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Do not over bake, that’s the secret to the awesomeness of these babies. Let cool for 10-15 minutes then cut into 16 squares.

Tiny Bit Naughty Version:

  • 2 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (for Gluten Free option substitute Cara’s all purpose GF mix)
  • 1 C. Rolled Oats (use certified Gluten Free for GF version)
  • 1/2 C.  raw agave or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 C. raw sugar
  • 1/4 C. Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 C. Almond Butter
  • 1 T. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 2 t. Vanilla
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 to 1 full C. Vegan Chocolate Chips (depending on your chocolate meter)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, raw sugar, ground flax, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Cut the coconut oil and almond butter into the flour mixture. Add agave, almond milk, vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir til just combined. Press into an 8×8 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes then cut into 16 squares. 

Try to eat just one.

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189 comments

    1. You could use unbleached all purpose flour, but they would be less healthy. 100% whole wheat flour has been used by others who’ve made this and they didn’t like the heavy results. Whole wheat pastry flour is just whole wheat flour ground super fine so that it behaves more like white flour in baking…..

        1. I used to make it with baking powder and soda, I figured the baking soda is fine on it’s own so I took out that baking powder but forgot to update the method. Sorry! Fixing it now.

  1. mmmm… made a version of the naughty ones yesterday… with white whole wheat (not pasty) flour… peanut butter since i had no almond… but less coconut and pb than recipe called for… super success!!!! fast, easy and sooo delish!!! thanks!!!!!!!! — S :D

  2. update! messing with this recipe… gluten free versions.
    tried it with oat flour and a little brown rice flour… added walnuts, dried cranberries and shredded coconut… rave reviews from 16 and 13 yr olds … not to mention the hubs.

    next up: coconut flour… fabulously versatile recipe!! thanks again! :D

  3. finding that if i add just 1/4 c more almond milk, i get better texture (less crumbly) on gluten-free versions. oops!!… no rolled oats(!!) … so added a little extra shredded coconut instead and they came out great! letting them cool before eating… (IF you can!!!) helps a LOT!! (you get bars and not moosh!!) this is the yummiest, most versatile and fun recipe i’ve played with in awhile!!! THANKS!!! <3

    1. Yes, I love your experimentation with this! Coconut sounds fabulous. I adjust my almond milk sometimes too because at times the measure I have above is just right, other times the mixture seems a tad dry. You just get a feel for those things. So glad you are enjoying these. We really, really love them! xx

  4. ok… GF versions… do NOT use any coconut flour!! DRY…
    i’m using ~half oat flour and half brown rice flour plus the rolled oats …and twice the almond milk… seems to work fine. adding shredded coconut, chopped nuts, dried cranberries with choc chips.. YUM!! sometimes 3/4 oat to 1/4 rice – works nicely,too. tried subbing coconut for brown rice flour… uh, NO! maybe with 2 1/2 x the almond milk?? if anybody else tries this… can you please post? thanks!! happy baking!! — S :D

  5. update: coconut flour ones actually taste fine… a little dry, but not bad.
    however… they will NOT be good when they get even a little stale… so NOT shipping to gluten intolerant son halfway across the country for xmas. maybe store in freezer till he comes to visit in Jan.

    1. You are too cute. I haven’t tried coconut flour yet. I really like Cara’s gluten free mix best (in the link above) but I’m sure there’s lots of combinations that work well. I’m just not that good at gluten free baking so I stick to the ol’ standard.

  6. I made these for Christmas (the healthy version) and they were awesome. I will definitely be making them again, maybe with some fruit and nuts so I can feel even better about being addicted to them.

    1. I love feedback like this Jeff! Fruit and nuts would be totally awesome in this. I’m starting a green smoothie challenge later in the week, maybe you can join me :)

  7. I just made them (though with gluten free flour mix). They taste wonderful, but are incredibly crumbly. What should I do to fix that?

    Thanks! Erica

      1. i make them with GF oat flour… plus extra 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk. i’ve decided that oat flour is the *key* for GF sweet baking.

        rice flour… which is nearly always the base of GF flour mixes… no matter how finely ground… seems to always make my items too grainy and crumbly.

        GF oat flour takes care of that… smooth and yummy. just add that extra liquid and see what you think! i’ve even created a GF gingerbread recipe using oat flour… it’s smooth and rich… does NOT taste like GF!

        also used it in pumpkin choc chip cookie recipe i found someplace else… working like a charm.

        1. p.s. GF oat flour baked goods seem to ship across the country just fine! yaaaay!!!! thanks to USPS priority mail service… GF, vegan and (almost all) organic baked goods that look and taste like gramma’s original home baked stuff… arrive fresh (not stale!!) is what i’m getting from recipients. yahooooo!!! :D

  8. p.p.s. correction!!! with GF oat flour, i actually *double* almond or coconut milk. (been making half-batches till i figure it out… so got used to adding 1/4 cup milk to original 1/4 cup i was using.) that is TWICE the almond or coconut milk cuz oat flour absorbs more liquid than other flours i’ve tried … both wheat versions and GF in this recipe. try it and see what you think.

  9. I made these for my husband yesterday. He gobbled up the “sundae” I made him with a warmed cookie bar topped with soy vanilla ice cream and vegan chocolate syrup!

  10. Oh my gosh. Oat flour instead of whole wheat is… beyond words. I didn’t even use milk, just a cup of water instead! SO good :)

  11. Oh yum! I can’t believe I haven’t come across these on your site before. They look so gooey and chocolately yet healthier, just how I like it! I love a bar cookie, they’re like the baking equivalent to one pot cooking! :D

  12. Reblogged this on Honk If You're Vegan and commented:
    One of the bloggers I really admire is Somer from Vedged Out. She just celebrated her 1-year-Blogiversary (congrats Somer!) AND she just got a book deal. She’s one awesome chica, with loads of wonderful recipes. I’ve been wanting to make her Healthied up Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars for a while, but I never get around to it. I thought if I reblogged them I’d remind myself to make them (I also thought some of you might like to make them). Happy baking! Celeste :)

  13. I would definitely choose the Tiny Bit Naughty version! I didn’t know gluten-free oats existed. I’m going to hunt for those. We have 3 coeliacs in our family, and I’m always on the lookout for new sweets to bake for them when we have family gatherings.
    PS. Great blog!

  14. In the ingredients you call for baking powder, yet in the recipe it calls for baking soda. Which one should be used? Thanks

  15. Amazing, simply amazing, I made some substitutions because I didn’t have a few of the ingredients on hand, but I can’t believe this is healthy, like…how!

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