Healthful Double Chocolate Cookies

A nut-free (school-friendly), double chocolate version of one of the most popular cookies on my site. Made with a banana-batter, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chunks, and oats. Butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and potentially sugar-less cookies make great after school, travel, or post-workout treats.

Healthful Double Chocolate Cookies

A lot of people have baked these cookies over the past decade. People love them because they're free of any added refined sugar, egg-free, no butter, and gluten-free. They're studded with generously with chocolate, and they're fantastic. The number one question related to them is how to make them nut-free - so kids can take them to school. I took a trip to Tucson last week (I'll post the video soon :), and took the opportunity to remix the recipe. The originals are favorite travel snacks, and I was confident that experimenting with a chocolate version wouldn't be a bad idea. The new version is double chocolate (chips and cacao), and made with crushed sunflower seeds, in place of almond meal. Enjoy! -h




Healthful Double Chocolate Cookies


Healthful Double Chocolate Cookies

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Healthful Double Chocolate Cookies

3.95 from 18 votes

You can use unsweetened carob, or grain sweetened chocolate chips, or do what I did and chop a bar of 70% dark chocolate. You can make your own crushed sunflower seeds in a mortar and pestle or by in a food processor until it is the texture of sand - don't go too far or you'll end up with sunflower seed butter. Ground pepitas will also work in this recipe. And lastly, the coconut oil works beautifully here, just be sure to warm it a bit - enough that it is no longer solid, which makes it easier to incorporate into the bananas. If you have gluten allergies, seek out GF oats. You can watch a video of this recipe here.

  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
  2. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, sunflower seeds, cacao powder, shredded coconut, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 1 - 2 tablespoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. Until golden on the bottoms.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
weeknight express
101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Post Your Comment

3.95 from 18 votes (17 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wow these were absolutely amazing! I usually make pretty decadently sugary and buttery cookies, but this recipe has entered my rotation as an equally delicious and decadent option in its own right. I didn’t have cocoa powder on hand so I subbed melted unsweetened chocolate and used a bit less coconut oil.5 stars


    Thanks Jenna – so happy you’re enjoying them!

    Heidi Swanson

Hi Heidi, can we use any substitute for coconut flakes here? Thanks

HS: Hi Uma – you can just leave it out if you like.


Would you consider doing a ‘finger food’ tag or post? I realized recently I was looking for recipes to make for three different occasions recently: travel, a friend who just had a baby, and a potluck. I realized the thing they all had in common was I wanted something that was good finger food without being too messy. I’ve found some great recipes (savory and sweet) on your site for this but they are always little surprise finds. Any chance you’d be up for collating? Archives or in the future? Thanks!

HS: Will do Mekayla – or maybe a round-up of sorts!


Since I stumbled onto this recipe, I make these cookies all the time! Everyone I share them with asks for the recipe. They are so delicious and satisfying! I don’t know how many folks I’ve sent to your beautiful website. 🙂


I made these for a health minded group and they were a hit. I found that refrigerating the dough before forming the balls helped. I put a bit of cinnamon in mine and used hazelnut meal instead of the sunflower. I may be tempted to add a wee bit of honey, or coconut sugar next time if I was serving to others. But, for me the lure is finding indulgences that aren’t full of sugar.


Thank you, Heidi, these are fabulous!


Just wondering what could be substituted for shredded/dessicated coconut which I loathe! Seems to be in so many cake recipes now. Thank.s

Abigail Harman

These are delicious! I couldn’t be bothered grinding sunflower seeds so just subbed it with 1/4 cup flaxmeal and a heaped tablespoon of sunflower seed spread. I only used 100g chocolate as that’s all I had on hand (and organic dark chocolate is expensive!). Also used 1 cup quinoa flakes and 1 cup gluten free oats. So yummy and perfect for the kid’s lunchboxes (and, let’s be honest, my lunchbox too!) Thank you!


These look amazing! I would love to send a batch to my son who is currently deployed. Mail takes about 3 weeks to get to him, and he has no way to refrigerate things. Any idea on how long these will keep? I love your website and all the fantastic recipes (and photographs) you post.

HS: Thank you for the kind note Barbara! To be honest, these cookies are definitely on the moist side, and I think you’d be better off with more of a shortbread cookie for a special long-distance package like this one. I love these, for example.


What a great recipe without having to use any sugar!!!! – thanks so much. Most cookies are way too sweet as we are just so used to it. I’m going to make some right now. Linda from Canada


I just LOVE your healthy & healthful recipes Heidi. Some creations have become regular items in our diet and some of your recipes & books have been added to my library. One question about these cookies that has not been addresses in the comments: are these soft or crunchy cookies? Thanks again.

HS: Hi Cheryl, they’re definitely not on the crunchy side of the spectrum.


In response to Betsy’s question about a banana substitute…I wonder if mashed white beans would work with a bit of sweetener thrown in? I might have to give that a try–I’m not allergic, but do not care for the flavor of bananas in my baked goods. Btw, I just made your coconut red lentil soup for Soup Friday with my colleagues and it was a hit! xo

HS: It might! I’d love to hear how it goes :)!


I think you could use unsweetened applesauce for the oil – I haven’t seen her reply to that question yet. It would be a little more sticky but should be a straight swap. I make a version of these all the time without the oil — bananas, applesauce and eggs – so I guess if you can’t do dairy, you wouldn’t use the eggs, but that’s my bit. 🙂


Would both natural and Dutch process cocoa work here? Heidi, do you have a preference for type and brand?

HS: Hi Pat – I use natural – Navitas Natural cacao powder for this batch…


I just made these and put everything in the food processor except oats and chocolate chips. Didn’t even grind the sunflower seeds first. They turned out great! Even my daughter and her friend liked them and wanted seconds. Usually she doesn’t like my “healthy” treats. This will be in regular rotation at our house.

Ariel Tindolph

These are baking right now. Thanks for posting. Love that it’s vegan.


Hi, Heidi,
I want to prepare this nice cookies. Do you know the ingredients in gramm?

HS: Apologies Barbara – I didn’t have a chance to weigh out the ingredients this time around.


I made these with pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds (a delightful mistake that worked out). YUM.

Frances Darwin

I made these Saturday and shared them with others yesterday. They were enjoyed! One person asked for me to share the recipe. I can certainly do that, but I want to know how you crush the sunflower seeds. For your recipe for pesto, you indicate that you use a mortar and pestle. I have been able to use that quite well for making pesto and for making aioli. However, when I used this method for the sunflower seeds, it took me more than an hour. So which method of crushing do you use for making these cookies?

HS: Hi Kelsey! Yes, I use a mortar and pestle, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes – yikes, maybe they were stale. :/ Alternately, a bit of pulsing in a food processor or with a hand blender should do the trick.

Kelsey Lane

Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m curious about the role of the baking powder since the cookies don’t seem to rise? I’m so excited to have another use for ripe bananas!


I really enjoyed making these: after watching the gem video, I thought of travel as I assembled them. (On the topic of misc. media posts: also a fan of the HK/Making a Cookbook post from before and your appreciation of the publishers there – shout out to my childhood city!) Re. the video production: since the recipes have been simple, it occurred to me you might consider a special label on the blog/youtube channel for those recipes that use easy-to-find ingredients and simple appliances (e.g. mortar and pestle, yaay). Perhaps it could be called the “101”s of 101? This site remains such a treasure, thank you.

HS:Thanks Greta~! I’m trying to think through how to organize them, so thank you for your feedback 🙂


Looks so delicious!


These double chocolate cookies are delicious! Followed the recipe exactly, except made them a bit smaller (more cookies!), used 1 cup of Enjoy Life dark chocolate chunks, flavour is great!


Recipe worked great. So yummy for that late afternoon chocolate craving. Thanks Heidi!

Tarah M

I love the addition of video to your already wonderful blog. You asked for recipe requests. Quinoa walnut cookies, spinach chop, pomegranate glazed eggplant with tempeh, miso curry delicate squash, to name just a few? Thank you.


Made them with cocoa nibs ground to make “powder.” With the addition of dark chocolate, they’re plenty sweet. Without chocolate, the bananas lend a very slight sweetness. I doubled the recipe and everything worked fine but a bit too salty (we’re pretty low salt). Will make again.


Yum! I’ve just eaten three. Super fun to make with my 3-year-old, too! The mortar and pestle and banana-mashing steps were particularly thrilling.
Oh, and my son says to tell you the chocolate chips were really good. 😉


Would another kind of oil work?


Wondering if pumpkin .or applesauce could be substituted, in reference to Betsy’s question? I often trade out based on what’s available and ripe at home.


I tripled checked the recipe, since there was no sweetener in these. I proceeded, thinking perhaps the 6 ounces of chocolate would compensate. These are good, but not quite sweet enough for us. I think they are worth tweaking to our tastes, and I will repeat with the addition of a bit of coconut or brown sugar!


These look amazing. I’ve made something similar without the sunflower seeds and with the addition of oat flour. I’ll be trying these as soon as my bananas ripen!


Is there any substitute for the coconut? My other half is allergic to all nuts, plus coconut.


Is there a sub you recommend for coconut oil? Thanks.


Just wanted to stop in and say that I made these last night, and they are delicious. Super easy, too. Thanks!


I think my 2 year old son would love these! Do you think the dough would freeze ok?

HS: Hi Charlotte – yes, absolutely!

Charlotte Rolt

The cookies look big. Would it be a problem to make them a quarter of the size?

HS: Hi Kelsey, you can make them any size you like, just adjust the baking time accordingly – smaller cookies will bake a bit faster.

Kelsey Lane

These look delicious! I’m excited to try them. Oh, and thank you so much for writing “healthful,” not “healthy!” 😉


I can’t do rolled oats – do you have any suggestions for a good substitute? Flour is fine for me!

HS: Hi Adda! – keep an eye out for other rolled grains – I’ve seen rolled quinoa, rolled rye, rolled barley, etc…

Adda Birnir

If my little is adverse to bananas or we may not have handy at the moment, what is a good substitute (no food allergies)?

HS: Hi Betsy, this one is a bit tricky because of the volume and consistency of the banana…I’ll have to think on it a bit, but my sense is a swap might not work here. :/


Hi Heidi! I love this 🙂 May I ask you what scoop number you use to make the cookies? Thanks!!

HS Thanks Laura – I think it’s about 3 tablespoons-ish….


Can regular, unsweetened cocoa powder replace the cacao? What is the difference between the two?

HS: Hi Jessica, you can use whatever cocoa or cacao powder you like here.


Looks like my son might even eat those! If we prefer almond meal, how much of it to replace the crushed sunflower seed?

HS: Hi Susan! No problem, use the same amount – a straight swap.


More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.