Sugar-Free Cranberry-Oat Cookies

Cranberry Oat Cookies from Carrie on Vegan |

They weren’t kidding about that winter storm that blew through California this weekend! Check out what I encountered on my way home from San Diego yesterday:

What’s that white stuff? OMG, it’s SNOW!!!

Can one wear flip-flops in the snow? Oh wait, it’s 29 degrees, I think not.

Fortunately, once I was over the mountain and safely tucked back into the desert, the temperatures and weather returned to a normal warm, sunny state.

Aren’t I a good aunt? Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor whatever could keep me away from this adorable kid (11 weeks old now):

Besides major snuggle time with him, I also got to see my two high school friends (one of whom is the baby’s mama), my mom, my grandma and my blogger friend Ginny from The Silly Canner. She is newly vegan and is doing incredible. She comes at veganism from a similar yet different perspective than me and is so inspiring.

I took food with me on this trip and I also found healthy, vegan food on the road. My friend Valerie lives near a great health-food market that sustained me for a few meals. I had one dinner from the hot bar that included a rice pilaf, black beans and steamed veggies. It hit the spot, binkies not included:

I also wanted to share the recipe for the cookies that I made to bring along with me. I call them “cookies,” but they don’t have any added sugars except for ripe bananas and dried fruit. They are sweet enough to serve as a dessert or snack, but I also had them for a breakfast, too. They have almond butter and sunflower seeds which give them enough heft to be a treat or a meal. I’ve posted similar recipes before, so these fall between my Grab-n-Go Chocolate-Banana Oat Bars and my Banana-Sweetened Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, but there is no chocolate in these.

They start with two ripe bananas:

Mash them into a bowl:

Add the rest of the ingredients:

Stir into a “batter”:

Form into cookie shapes and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes:

Like I said, these cookies are so versatile and would be great for kids because there is no added sugar and no chocolate which could cause excitability (I used carob powder instead):

Here’s the recipe:

Sugar-Free Cranberry-Oat Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, dried shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoon flax meal
  • ¼ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries (I like the Eden Foods brand)
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder (optional, but gives a mild chocolate flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅓ cup raw, unsalted almond butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place the ripe bananas in a medium bowl and mash using a fork. Add the oats, coconut, flax meal, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, carob powder (optional), cinnamon, applesauce, and almond butter and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon the batter into 12-15 rounded cookie shapes onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Be careful not to burn.


Hope everyone has a great (not snowy) Monday!

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  1. Robyn :) says

    We are getting rain from that storm now :)

    I found Tempeh at the HyVee. I almost didn’t as it was stacked without the name showing, but I happened to run into my vegan friend from work who had some in her cart!! She said our local grocery store back in town has it, too :) I will be making your tempeh tacos this week.

    I also requested the book Eat To Live at the library, but am going to get it on my Nook when I go to Barnes and Noble as well.

    Looks like you had a great weekend!

    • says

      Hi Robyn! That’s great, let me know if you like the tempeh. It’s full of protein so it makes a wonderful addition to salads or soups. I just love the texture, I hope you do, too. And, of course, please let me know how you like Eat to Live. I found it to be accessible and compelling and, as you know, it’s changed my health and my life for the better.

  2. Amanda says

    Hey Carrie,

    Such a cute baby! This comment doesn’t have anything to do with your post and I’m not sure you’ll know all of the answers, but I’m going to try you. :)

    1. Why/how does almond milk (at least Silk brand) have no fat? Are the fats from the nuts somehow extracted or filtered out during processing? Do you know if home-made almond milk have similar nutritional characteristics?
    2. What “food group” does nut milk go into? I often review what I ate at the end of the day so I can assess how many veggies/fruits/beans/etc I ate, and I never know what to think of almond milk as…
    3. Do you know anything about powdered peanut butter (like PB2)? I just ordered some peanut flour (cheaper than name brand powder peanut butter), and supposedly you just mix it with water/a bit of salt to make a peanut butter-like spread. I think in order to get peanut flour they just remove the oils from the nuts. Do you know if this changes the nutritional value a lot, besides just removing fat? Meaning do you know if this process would remove a lot of the good nutrients from the nuts?

    Sorry for my lengthy questions, just thought you might have some good info about this.


    • says

      Hi Amanda! I love answering questions, so let’s see if I can help.

      1. Wow, great question! I’m guessing that the packaged almond milk has less fat than whole almonds because it has been strained. So, the final product likely contains less almond than it does water. I don’t strain my almond milk after I blend it so the resulting milk would contain the same amount of fat as eating the whole almond. In fact, that’s exactly why I don’t strain mine because I want all the nutritional benefits of the whole food.

      2. I would put whole (unfiltered) almond milk into the “nut” or “fat” category of foods. If you are using a packaged kind that has any added sugars, then I would put that in a dessert or discretionary category.

      3. I am not familiar with powdered peanut butter but I did a little research on it and it sounds like it is basically a dried form of peanuts. I would read the ingredients label carefully of any product that you buy and make sure there is no added sugar or salt. Also, I would use the product sparingly because the peanuts have been roasted and there is the risk of acrylamides in roasted nuts.

      Hope this helps!


      • Amanda says

        It does help, thanks! I got the peanut flour instead of the PB2 because it doesn’t have any added sugar or salt :) Not sure if it is roasted though…


  3. says

    I had such a nice time w/you Carrie; so glad we could meet up again! :)

    Crazy snow! I can’t believe that was only miles away from us! Hope you’re settled back in at home – warm and toasty!

    Thank you again for the AWESOME cookbooks – I already love them!!!


  4. Lynne says

    This recipe looks great! Where do you find apple-juice sweetened dried cranberries? Is there a brand you’d recommend?

    Also, is it hard to find glueten-free oats?

    Just starting the ETL program and looking for a dessert idea. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Lynne! Eden Foods makes an apple-juice sweetened cranberry. You could also substitute raisins for the cranberries or another dried fruit that doesn’t have any sugar. Also, I have found gluten-free oats at Trader Joe’s and Bob’s Red Mill makes a brand, too. If you aren’t gluten-sensitive, then you can just use regular rolled oats. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Did you check out my recipes page? I have a whole list of ETL-friendly desserts. :) Here’s the link:


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