Four years ago while still in school and preparing for a career in the pharmaceutical industry, one of my professors scheduled a rather large and important chemistry exam for the day after Halloween. As a good student, I skipped the costumes and trick-or-treating festivities to study instead.
I barely missed those parts of the holiday, seeing as I lived across the street from a grocery store and always took advantage of the 75% off sale on leftover chocolate Halloween candy the following day, but…
I really missed carving pumpkins.
The week before, I had bought a perfectly plump, bright orange pumpkin from the Trader Joe’s across town, and I had planned on carving it over the weekend a few days prior to Halloween when I had a free hour. However, memorizing chemical equations and reaction mechanisms for my midterm took much more time than I anticipated, so my pumpkin sat plain and faceless in the entryway.
My guy felt really badly for me, so the first weekend of November, he cancelled our movie theater date night, rented a cute animated DVD instead, and pulled out some nails and a sharp knife. He spread newspapers all over the floor before cutting the top off of the pumpkin, gutting the insides, and helping me carve a classic face into the side.
It was so sweet—and better late than never!
Just like our pumpkin carving that year, autumn around these parts waits to settle in until mid-October, or even the beginning of November some years. Although the calendar calls September 23 the first day of fall, we still wear shorts clear through the end of October to deal with the 80° temperatures!
Even though it doesn’t really fell like pumpkin season until right around Halloween where I live, I think that cookie season is all year round… So I baked a few batches of these Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies as a compromise! They’re soft and chewy—not cakey at all—and they just might be my favorite cookie recipe yet!
Have you tried any of my other clean eating oatmeal cookie recipes? They’re the most popular recipes on my blog—and for a good reason! All of these cookies are extremely soft and chewy, but they’re made with entirely wholesome ingredients and contain absolutely no butter, refined flour or sugar. Countless readers have called them the best cookies they’ve ever made!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEALTHY PUMPKIN OATMEAL COOKIES
Let’s go over how to make the best healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies! …with chocolate chips. Because I’m a huge chocoholic and think there’s no such thing as too much chocolate—especially when it comes to cookies!
Just like all of those recipes, this one starts with whole wheat flour and instant oats. Remember, instant oats are not the ones sold in the individual flavored packets! Instant oats are also called quick cooking or minute oats, and they’re sold right next to the old-fashioned oats in large canisters. You can also make your own from old-fashioned oats—see the Notes section beneath the recipe to find out how!
Tip: You can easily make these healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies gluten free, if you’d prefer! Use certified gluten free oats (these are my favorite!), and then see the Notes section of the recipe for my recommended gluten free flour blend.
To create the pumpkin pie flavor, we’ll use pumpkin purée and homemade pumpkin spice made from cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Yes, that’s plain ol’ canned pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling! The latter contains refined sugar, and we’re trying to avoid that in order to make these cookies clean eating friendly. You’ll sweeten these cookies with pure maple syrup instead!
Tip: The pumpkin actually replaces the eggs in this recipe! Then if you use the coconut oil option (or stick-style vegan butter like this!), then your healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies are egg free, dairy free, and vegan!
As for the spices, I almost always prefer to blend my own instead of using pumpkin pie spice because it’s cheaper and I can control the ratio of spices. However, you’re welcome to substitute store-bought pumpkin pie spice, if you prefer, or even add a hint of allspice too. (I’ve started to do that in my pumpkin spice blend. It tastes fantastic!)
Now for one final note… These cookies do not spread while baking, so you must flatten the cookie dough to your desired thickness and width before popping the tray in the oven. I use these mini spatulas to flatten (aren’t they adorable??) because the cookie dough is somewhat wet and will stick to your hands. Then press a few extra chocolate chips into their tops, bake, and enjoy!
FAQS ABOUT HEALTHY PUMPKIN OATMEAL COOKIES
Can I use old-fashioned rolled oats?
Yes—but pulse them in a blender or food processor first! You want them to be about ⅛ of their original size. This is because instant oats are smaller and thinner than old-fashioned rolled oats, so they soften faster and create a better soft and chewy texture in these healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies. By pulsing your old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor, you’ll get a much better taste and texture!
Can I substitute another flour?
Yes! You can substitute white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour in place of the regular whole wheat flour. No recipe modifications necessary! (I’ve also included even more flour options on my Oatmeal Cookie FAQ Page!)
Are these cookies gluten free? Dairy free? Vegan?
Yes! These healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies can be made gluten free with certified gluten free oats and gluten free flour. See the Notes section of the recipe, along with my Oatmeal Cookie FAQ Page, for more information! And if you use coconut oil or stick-style vegan butter, along with vegan-friendly chocolate chips (like these!), your cookies will be egg free, dairy free, and vegan too.
How should I store these pumpkin cookies? And how long do they last?
Keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for at least 5 days (if not longer!) when stored like that. These healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies freeze and thaw really well too!
When you make your own, 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 healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies!
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup (100g) instant oats (gluten-free if necessary and measured like this)
- ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ¾ cup (183g) pumpkin purée
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120mL) pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp (28g) dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp (14g) miniature chocolate chips
- Whisk together the oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the dark chocolate chips and ½ tablespoon of miniature chocolate chips.
- Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten to the desired thickness and width using a spatula. Gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 325°F for 11-14 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Soft & Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
♡ Healthy Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Protein Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
♡ Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Brownies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Pie Protein Overnight Oats
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy pumpkin recipes!