Chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert that is loved by people of all ages. But did you know that they can also be a healthy snack? This recipe for chocolate chip walnut cookies is made with oat flour, flaxseeds, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips, making them a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to being healthy, these cookies are also delicious. The combination of chocolate chips and walnuts is simply irresistible. And the best part is, they’re so easy to make. You can have a fresh batch of these cookies in just 30 minutes.
Looking for more healthy dessert ideas? Try some of these while you’re here:
- Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Light & Healthy)
- Healthy Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Pita Chips
- Turmeric Balls: The Anti-Inflammatory Pick-Me-Up
- Seriously Delicious Peach Melba Frozen Yogurt
- Chewy Granola Bar Recipe
How Are These Cookies Healthy?
These chocolate chip walnut cookies are healthier than many other cookie recipes for several reasons.
- Eggs are replaced with flaxseed for more omega-3 fatty acids
- Dark chocolate is the chocolate chip of choice
- They are sweetened with maple syrup, not white sugar
- Half of the flour is oat flour
- Regular butter is replaced with vegan butter
- And of course the addition of nature’s most perfect nut, walnuts!
Flax Eggs vs Eggs
This is completely a matter of preference. If you are vegan, obviously you will be using the flax egg. However, if you aren’t, then either flax egg or a whole regular egg will work fine. There are a few nutritional differences between the two but I will let you decide which is right for you.
Flax add plant-based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart health. It will also give these chocolate chip walnut cookies some fiber.
And by using an egg, you’ll be adding more protein to the recipe along with brain-boosting nutrients like choline, B vitamins, and essential amino acids. Egg will also add a small amount of fat (less than half a gram per cookie) which is mostly unsaturated and cholesterol (about 16 mg per cookie).
Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) and cocoa powder are rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. Some of these include catechins, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins. These have been shown to have many preventative health benefits for specific diseases, including:
- heart health
- metabolic disorders
- anti-inflammatory diseases
Dark chocolate is five times higher in polyphenols and flavonoids than milk chocolate and white chocolate.
Maple Syrup vs Sugar
Maple syrup beats regular table sugar any day of the week. At least that’s my professional take on it. Just be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup.
While both maple syrup and sugar are considered added sugars, maple syrup has many more health benefits. Here are few of them:
- Maple syrup is less processed than white sugar so it retains it vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- It has a lower glycemic load compared to sugar which means blood sugars will not spike as high
- It contains phenolic compounds that have antiproliferative, antiradical, antimicrobial, antimutagenic and antioxidant properties
Animal studies testing glucose levels in rats revealed that maple syrup may be a suitable substitute for sugar in turns of preventing diabetes.
However, don’t be fooled. While maple syrup does have benefits, it should still be used in moderation.
Oat Flour For Heart Health
Another change I made for these delicious dark chocolate chip walnut cookies is the type of flour used. By mixing all-purpose flour with oat flour, you get some of the benefits of oats.
These benefits come from the wonderful oat fiber, called beta-glucan. This is a soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol and reduce one’s chances of developing atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries from plaque build-up).
The Vegan Butter Difference
Another swap I make was choosing vegan butter sticks over regular butter.
The Earth Balance brand buttery sticks are made from an expeller‑pressed natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit, canola and olive oils). For those with soy allergies, this does contain soy protein and lecithin!
But the good news is that Earth Balance also makes soy-free butter sticks. So look for those instead.
Overall, there are a few differences that may or may not matter to you. Here is a breakdown of how this vegan butter compares to regular butter.
|Regular Unsalted Butter (per tablespoon)||Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (per tablespoon)|
|Calories||100 calories||100 calories|
|Total Fat||11 grams||11 grams|
|Saturated Fat||7 grams||3.5 grams|
|Sodium||0 milligrams||120 milligrams|
|Cholesterol||30 milligrams||0 milligrams|
While unsalted butter has no sodium, it does have more saturated fat and cholesterol than the vegan butter sticks. But, I’ll let you be the judge of what you prefer to use in this cookie recipe.
Walnuts vs Other Nuts
This recipe is fairly healthy due to a few recipe substitutions. Here are the ingredients you will need to make these soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies with walnuts.
Oat flour– You can purchase this ready-to-go or made it from scratch like I do. Simply pulse some old-fashioned oats in a blender or food processor until it forms a fine flour.
All-purpose flour– I still add a half all-purpose flour to this recipe. However, you can try using all oat flour as well for more heart health benefits. Keep in mind that oat flour does not have any gluten, so your chocolate chip walnut cookie recipe may turn out too crumbly.
Maple syrup– I love the taste of pure maple syrup, especially as a substitute for white sugar. Make sure to get 100% pure maple syrup, not golden syrup or pancake syrup.
Flaxseeds– Ground flaxseeds is what you need for these chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. If you do not grind them, you’re body cannot process them and you won’t get the nutritional benefits. For convenience, buy them pre-ground.
Baking soda– A little baking soda helps make these cookies rise during the baking process.
Vanilla extract– I cannot make a cookie recipe without some kind of aromatic flavoring. Vanilla is classic!
Vegan butter sticks– These add more heart-healthy monounsaturated fats compared to regular butter and you can’t even tell the difference.
Dark chocolate chips– Dark chocolate lifts these cookies to a whole new level of decadence. And has health benefits to boot! Look for good quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa or higher.
Walnuts– are walnuts good in chocolate chip cookies? Absolutely! A nice handful of chopped walnuts gives these cookies some crunch and more omega-3 fatty acids for heart health.
>>Another great recipe you might like: Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies [Egg-Free]
How To Make Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
This delectable recipe combines the rich flavors of chocolate and the delightful crunch of walnuts to create a treat that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can whip up a batch of these irresistible cookies in no time.
Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for everyone. Here are the step-by-step instructions to make you own walnut chocolate chip cookies perfectly every time!
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lining your baking sheet with parchment paper. Alternatively you can spray your baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Make your flax egg by mixing the ground flaxseed and water together. Set this mixture aside for the next few minutes until it forms an egg-like texture.
- While you’re waiting for the flax egg, combine the oat flour, all-purpose flour, and baking soda in a large bowl.
- Then add the maple syrup, vegan butter, flax egg, and vanilla extract to the flour mixture. Mix this until it is just combined.
- Fold in your walnuts and chocolate chips until they are incorporated evenly throughout the cookie dough.
- Place heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto your baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on top.
- Let them cool and serve with a cold glass of milk or coffee. Enjoy!
Variations and Substitutions
There are so many delicious swaps you can try with this recipe. Here are just a few ideas.
To Make These Vegan:
You can easily make these chocolate chip walnut cookies vegan by substituting vegan chocolate chips for the dark chocolate chips. All the other ingredients are already vegan-friendly!
Fruit and Walnut Cookies:
If you’re not in the mood for chocolate, try substituting raisins for a walnut-raisin cookie variation. Other fruity options could include dried cranberries, blueberries, dates, or cherries. YUM!
Swap Out The Nuts:
All types of nuts can be included in a heart-healthy dietary pattern. Some other satisfying options include almonds, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts. Always look for unsalted nuts to keep the sodium intake low in this recipe. And for those of you who want a more sophisticated cookie, try toasting your nuts before adding them to the cookie dough.
Lightly roasting nuts helps to caramelize the outside slightly, leading to a richer tasting nut. Just make sure not to over do it. Toasting nuts only takes a few minutes in the oven.
Use Real Egg:
You can substitute one whole egg in place of the flax egg if you don’t have any flaxseeds. This will add some cholesterol to your cookies, but also some protein and brain-boosting choline and vitamin D.
Cooking and Storage Tips
Like other cookies, these dark chocolate chip walnut cookies are very easy to store and freeze (if you have any leftover).
You can store them in a air-tight container at room temperature for up to one week or freeze them to keep them fresh for up to 3 months.
Here are some additional tips for making the best chocolate chip walnut cookies:
- Use high-quality chocolate chips. The better the chocolate chips, the better the cookies will taste.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. The cookies are done when they are just golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool completely before storing them. This will help them stay fresh and chewy.
You can substitute the same amount of regular dairy butter in this recipe. The only difference is that vegan butter has more monounsaturated fats and less saturated fat and cholesterol than regular butter, but this is only a marginal difference.
Yes, you can use other nuts instead of walnuts in this recipe. Nuts are a wonderful source of many nutrients and are heart-healthy! Some other good options include almonds, pecans, or peanuts.
Yes, you can make the cookies ahead of time and freeze them. To freeze, simply bake the cookies according to the recipe and then let them cool completely. Once they are cool, place them in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply remove the cookies from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours.
While whole wheat flour can be used as a substitute, it may alter the texture and taste of the cookies. If you decide to use whole wheat flour, try using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour for better results.
Dark Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 Tbsp flaxseeds ground
- 2 Tbsp water
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup vegan butter (5 tablespoons)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped and unsalted
- Set your oven to 350℉ and prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or spraying with non-stick spray.
- Make your flax egg by mixing the ground flaxseed and water together in a small bowl. Set this aside for about 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and baking soda together. Then add the maple syrup, vegan butter, vanilla extract, and flax egg. Mix until just combine.
- Fold in the dark chocolate chips and walnuts until they are equally incorporated.
- Using heaping tablespoon measurements, place cookie dough 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. You should have 12 cookies.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned on top.
- These cookies can be stored at room temp for up to one week or freeze them to keep them fresh for up to 3 months!
- To make these vegan, substitute vegan chocolate chips (like carob chips). All other ingredients are vegan -friendly.
- If chocolate isn’t what you’re craving, try substituting dried cranberries, dates, or cherries.
- If you cannot find vegan butter, you can use the same amount of regular butter.
Share with me: What did you think of these chocolate chip cookies with walnuts? Pretty amazing, right? I’d love it if you left me a comment and rating below!
Feel free to pin this recipe to save and share with others!
Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience. She has a degree in psychology as well as dietetics. She is also a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ and its Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group among others. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.