I lived in the dorms during my freshman year of college, and with only a small fridge the size of a microwave and no kitchen, I purchased a meal plan and ate most of my lunches and dinners in the dining hall. Although usually somewhat skeptical of the entrées, I could always count on the salad bar for healthier options before stopping by the dessert station for sweet treats. Even then, I needed my daily fix!
Sometimes I felt adventurous and sampled their latest raw vegan carrot cake or tofu chocolate cupcakes, but their cookies were always the best. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, tuxedo… Those were the softest and chewiest you’d ever imagine. It was like biting into little circles of heaven!
But with the extra chewy factor and ample amounts of cinnamon, the oatmeal raisin cookies were always the first I’d reach for. I often headed down to dinner with my next door neighbor, who enrolled in many of the same classes and quickly turned into my study buddy. Since oatmeal raisin were his favorite too, we’d grab a plate to nibble on while quizzing each other about mechanisms and equations for our next chemistry and physics midterms.
Thank goodness the rest of the freshmen seemed to avoid that flavor!
So now, quite a few years later, I decided that it was finally time to develop a recipe of my own that rivaled—if not surpassed—those oatmeal raisin cookies. Something incredibly soft, unbelievably chewy, and absolutely irresistible… Exactly the opposite of the boring, bland, or dry reputations oatmeal cookies sometimes attract. And of course, being me and my blog, I wanted to make them healthier.
So… These are it! They’re the Ultimate Healthy Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They’re chock full of hearty oats, sweet raisins, and lots of warm cinnamon. They’re also just 100 calories with no refined flour or sugar. Trust me, you’ll never need another recipe ever again!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEALTHY OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES
Now let’s go over how to make these ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies! I’m going to walk you through some important ingredients you’ll need and a few keys steps to help you avoid some of the more common issues. I cover many of these things in the video beneath the recipe too. If you’d rather skip straight to the recipe and start baking, go right ahead!
To start, you’ll need whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour. No refined all-purpose flour in these cookies! You’ll also need instant oats (also called “quick cooking” or “one minute” oats). Instant oats are smaller and thinner than traditional old-fashioned rolled oats. This means they soften faster, which keeps your ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies supremely soft and chewy! You can usually find instant oats in canisters right next to the old-fashioned oats at the grocery store. (And no, they’re NOT the same thing as in those flavored individual brown paper packets!)
If your cookies turned out dry or failed to spread on the baking sheet, it’s mostly likely because there was too much of either of those dry ingredients, especially the oats. They act like little sponges and soak up moisture, so adding too many will quickly turn the cookies crumbly.
I promise these ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies are worth taking the extra 10 seconds to measure your flour and oats correctly!
Whereas traditional recipes usually call for a full stick (or more!) of butter, you just need 2 tablespoons of coconut or oil butter. That really helps keep your ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies low calorie and low fat, and if you use coconut oil, they’re also dairy-free!
Also unlike traditional recipes that use refined granulated sugar, you’ll actually sweeten your ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies with honey, agave, or pure maple syrup. These are unrefined sweeteners, and they all work equally well!
Then here’s one of my favorite tips for making the best ever healthy oatmeal raisin cookies…
Don’t add your raisins into the cookie dough straight from the package! Instead, hydrate your raisins first. This is super simple to do! Add them to a microwave-safe bowl, cover them with water, and place a lid or plastic wrap on top. Microwave them on high for 1 minute. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes (or while you measure and mix together the rest of the ingredients!). By the time you’re ready to drain them and stir them into the cookie dough, they’ll be exceptionally plump and juicy… Which definitely creates the best healthy oatmeal raisin cookies imaginable!
Now that your cookie dough is all mixed together, chilling is mandatory. Most of the time. If you added the correct amount of oats and flour, the dough should be wet and look more like thick muffin batter. Chilling will help stiffen the dough so it doesn’t spread as much while baking. If your cookie dough is already stiff, skip the chilling and bake it right away.
(The video just above the recipe shows what the textures before and after chilling should look like!)
However, your ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies will only spread some after chilling (not excessively!), so if you want wider, somewhat thinner cookies, make sure you flatten them slightly before baking. Just give them a little pat with a spatula. If you prefer thicker cookies, skip that and bake them right after scooping them onto the baking tray.
Finally, do not overbake these cookies! I always pull mine out slightly early, then let them sit on the warm baking sheet longer. This allows the centers to continue to set without turning the outsides crisp and crunchy. Your ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies will stay soft and chewy for an entire week that way!
These Ultimate Healthy Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies didn’t stand a chance at my house. Even with just me eating (and sneaking) them, they only lasted four days. I hope you enjoy them just as much!
And when you make your own oatmeal raisin cookies, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your ultimate healthy oatmeal raisin cookies!
The Ultimate Healthy Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 1 cup (100g) instant oats (measured like this & gluten-free if necessary)
- ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120mL) honey or agave
- ¼ cup (40g) raisins (see Notes!)
- Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the honey or agave. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the raisins. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
- Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten slightly. Bake at 325°F for 11-14 minutes (see Notes!). Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Here is what the cookie dough should look like just before chilling. It resembles thick muffin batter more than cookie dough!
Here is what the cookies look like before and after baking. They some, but not too much, so be sure to flatten them slightly with a spatula just before popping the baking sheet in the oven.
You may also like Amy’s Other Recipes…
♡ Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Almond Joy Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy oatmeal cookie recipes!