Chewy, nutty, and bursting with flavour, our vegan applesauce cookies with oats and raisins will surely become your new breakfast favourites! With just a few wholesome ingredients like oats, nuts, and dried berries, they are easy and quick to prepare.
We wanted cookies that would be vegan, gluten-free and be suitable for people with diabetes or on a low-sugar diet. So we got rid of eggs and refined added-sugars and used a flourless dough.
Gluten-free and vegan cookies usually lack those fundamentals ingredients like gluten-rich flour and butter to make them soft and chewy. That is why we resorted to the all-powerful, wondrous applesauce! Applesauce is a two-in-one marvel deal: you get a healthy substitute for both added sugars and fats.
The result? Cookies rich in fibres and proteins made without added-sugars, and with slow-release carbs that keep hunger at bay for longer. All for 120 kcal per cookie.
We love to help our readers learn about healthy foods and how to use them effectively. So keep reading if you are curious about the nourishing ingredients we used for this recipe. Otherwise, skip straight to the recipe below, and let us show you how to make healthy applesauce cookies in just a few steps!
Here are a few interesting facts about the ingredients we used.
Oats are rich in fibres, including beta-glucans that helps lower bad cholesterol and boosts your immune system against fatigue and stress. We suggest you use jumbo rolled oats as they are minimally processed. They are better because they release energy in your body slowly, preventing spikes in blood sugars.
Almonds and hazelnuts add a rich nutty flavour to the cookies. They also provide fibres, vitamins, and plant-based proteins. Almonds are among the nuts with the highest amount of vitamin E, an important antioxidant helping in the fight against cells-damaging free radicals.
Blackcurrants are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, boosting your immune system and overall health.
Applesauce is an excellent fat substitute in baked goods and will keep them moist and soft. Also, preparing sugar-free cookies with applesauce means fewer calories and more fibres for you!
NOTE: The default ingredients yield about 12 cookies and one serving consists of 2 cookies.
How many calories in applesauce cookies?
We calculated that a single cookie has around 120 calories. In absolute terms, the ingredients that add the most calories in classic cookies are flour, sugars and butter. Our vegan applesauce cookies are flourless, have no butter and no added sugars.
You may wonder why there are still quite a few calories in our cookies, even though we didn't use any of the high-calories ingredients mentioned above.
Not all calories are created equal. What matters is how our body gets those calories, the source. A woman could get all her 2000 kcal for the day by eating crisps and unhealthy supermarket snacks, or by eating wholesome and nutritious food. The result for your body would be quite different.
Our applesauce cookies give you a nutritious source of energy (calories) to get you ready for the day ahead. The main ingredients are apples, oats, nuts and raisins, all rich in fibres, vitamins and precious antioxidants.
Moreover, you get slow-release and low GI carbs that prevent blood sugar levels from spiking and make you feel satiated for longer. The easiest way to stay healthy and stick to our diets is by avoiding sudden moments of hunger. During hunger-attacks, we are more vulnerable to helping ourselves to unhealthy snacks to feel better quickly. We can prevent moments like this by consuming food that releases energy slowly so that we end up eating less and feeling full for longer.
Therefore, we have selected only wholesome ingredients for these cookies to give your body the right type of energy and lots of nutrients.
Can I use applesauce in cookies instead of sugar?
Applesauce can undoubtedly be used as a substitute for sugar, as we have done in our vegan applesauce cookies recipe above. We encourage you to try if you haven't already. Notice that it won't make your bakes as sweet as using an equivalent amount of added sugars. Let us tell you why below.
Our applesauce has no added sugars, only apples and water. Therefore, the amount of sugars in applesauce is equal to that of the apples themselves. On average, 100 grams worth of apples has 10 grams of sugar. In comparison, 100 grams of white added sugar has, unsurprisingly, 100 grams of sugar. So it's safe to say that replacing white sugars for applesauce in the same quantity, will result in less total sugars in the recipe.
It's important to know that not all sugars are made equal. Some are healthier than others, much healthier. When you eat white refined sugar, you are getting 100% sugars and nothing else. Fruits like apples instead, also carry essential nutrients and fibres. These additional healthy elements are not just beneficial for you on their own. They also slow down the digestion and absorption of sugars in your body. The result is less sugar in your blood, a paramount objective for people with diabetes and folks on a weight-loss diet. Foods that don't increase blood sugar level excessively or too fast are called Low Glycemic Index foods (low GI). They are your friends.
Apples are low GI foods so applesauce can be an excellent substitute to sugars for both people with diabetes or anyone on a low-sugar diet.
Now let's take a look at how much applesauce to use when replacing white sugars.
In theory, if a recipe requires 50 grams of white sugars and you want to keep the same, you would use at least 500 grams of applesauce. In practice, you would never do such a thing. Applesauce is very sweet, as fructose tastes sweeter than glucose. Moreover, applesauce tastes fabulous, far better than plain white sugar. So there is no need to add as much.
If you are trying to cut on sugars, or you are already following a low-sugar diet, just use 1:1 applesauce to sugar and see how that goes. We like it that way as we barely ever use white sugars in our cooking and are used to it. You could go with 2 to 1 applesauce to sugar for something sweeter, or more.
If you want to make your applesauce sweeter without adding in refined sugars, you could:
Use apples with more sugar content, like the Gala or Fuji varieties.
Add in high-sugar fruits in the applesauce. For example, you could add the flesh of one fig for every four apples. Add the fig to the applesauce as it cooks, and then blend everything in the food processor.
It is critical when replacing sugar with applesauce that you adjust the liquids in your recipe accordingly. If you need a sticky and compact dough and too much applesauce makes it runny, then add more of the solid ingredients, like flour or nuts, in the same proportions used in the recipe.
Can applesauce replace butter in cookies?
Applesauce is an ingenious replacement for butter and fats as a whole. We love how simple and natural applesauce is, and just how easy it is to prepare. So even though it may not mimic butter as well as margarine, we think applesauce is miles ahead both margarine and butter when baking healthy food. It is also vegan, which means that it is suitable for people on a dairy-free and egg-free diet!
Don't get us wrong, butter is a critical component in tasty recipes, as is fat. But part of the challenge and fun of preparing healthier food or allergen-free food, is to find ingredients that do sufficiently well, or even better, than the originals.
And applesauce delivers quite well on that front. Just like butter, it helps bind the solids and gives a soft and chewy dough. Moreover, it is quite fun to experiment with applesauce, as the sweet and flavourful taste of apples combines with the other ingredients and delivers unexpected and fanciful new flavours.
So how much applesauce should you use to replace butter? We would suggest you stick to a 1:1 ratio. So if a recipe calls for 100 grams of butter, use 100 grams of applesauce instead.
Note that, as we explained in the above FAQ, you can use applesauce to replace sugars as well. In that case, you would use more of it. Just make sure you add enough solid ingredients to get the right consistency.
Can I use applesauce in cookies instead of eggs?
Applesauce can effectively replace eggs in cookies and bakes. We use eggs in cookies for binding of ingredients, colour and gloss, and taste. Let's see how applesauce can take on these requirements and let's compare it with other vegan egg replacements.
By far the most crucial objective of eggs is binding the ingredients to form a compact dough. When we beat egg whites and yolk together, we get a viscous liquid that proves very effective at tying the flour and the sugars together in a dense and sticky dough. Applesauce is also quite creamy and viscous, and so it can be used instead of eggs to make dough for cookies and cakes. Another common way to replace eggs is the so-called "flax-egg". We use it in recipes such as our vegan peanut butter chocolate cookies . Check that out for more info.
As far as colour is concerned, eggs give a beautiful yellow/orange look to the dough. Applesauce by itself cannot produce quite the same colour, but we have a neat trick that will get you closer: turmeric. By adding a bit of turmeric to your applesauce, you get a beautiful yellow colour that will make your dough stand out. Stir in half a teaspoon of turmeric at a time, until you get the desired colour.
The gloss you get by brushing the top of cookies or pie crusts with egg whites, also known as "egg wash", cannot be replicated with applesauce, unfortunately. But this is not as critical as the binding of ingredients, so no big deal. If you are looking for a vegan alternative to "egg wash", try melting a teaspoon of honey in warm almond milk and brush it on your bakes.
Finally, let's consider the flavour. Well, applesauce doesn't taste like eggs. But it is delicious, and surely more satisfying than other vegan egg replacements, like flax-egg. For those that find the taste of eggs overwhelming, applesauce will be a great alternative.
We recommend you give applesauce a try next time you fancy egg-free cookies and bakes. It will make your dough sticky enough to be easy to mould, add a delicate apple flavour, and provide healthy nutrients and fibres.
Can applesauce replace oil in cookies?
Applesauce can be used as a substitute to oil as well as butter when baking cookies.
Whether you are already replacing butter with oil or not, you can make your bakes even healthier by giving applesauce a try. The one we made in the recipe above is nothing more than apples and water. So, there are no fats, and as we explained in the FAQ above, the sugars in apples are also quite healthy.
You can use a ratio of 1:1 when replacing oil with applesauce. So if your recipe uses 50 grams of oil, use 50 grams of applesauce instead.
- Jumbo Rolled Oats
- Baking Powder
- Almond Milk
- Maple Syrup
- Sugar-Free Applesauce
You can buy apple sauce, or you can make it yourself. It's straightforward, and we will show you how below.
Note that you will need two medium-sized apples to make the 50 g of applesauce stated in the ingredients. If you are changing the quantities using our handy converter, remember to adjust the number of apples accordingly.
Let's start by peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. Then add them to a pan with enough water to cover them, and bring to the boil.
Simmer until the apples get soft enough that you can easily poke through them with a fork.
Drain the apples and transfer them in a food processor. Blitz until they form a smooth sauce and set aside.
Using your food processor, blitz half of the oat flakes into a fine flour.
In a mixing bowl, combine the oat flakes, oat flour, baking powder, salt, and chopped almonds and hazelnuts.
Then, add the almond milk, maple syrup, applesauce, and dried blackcurrants.
Work the ingredients until they come together into a cookie dough.
The dough is ready if a pinch of the mixture stays in one incorporated ball when pushed together. Otherwise, add a splash of cold water or milk. You should get a soft and moist batter, but not too sticky. If needed, add flour or almond milk to reach the right consistency.
Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes in a bowl covered with a tea towel.
Next, scoop a spoonful of cookie dough, roll it in the palm of your hands, and flatten it down on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Press with your fingertips to spread the cookie and give it a round shape.
Repeat this step until you have used all the dough.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until they are lightly golden. The cooking temperature is 180°C (356°F) if using a fan oven or 200°C (392°F) for a static oven.
Next, transfer the biscuits over a wire rack to let them crisp up as they cool down. The frame helps the air flow around the entire surface of the bake, not just the side facing up. Proper airflow is essential to keep the bottom from getting soggy.
All done! Enjoy these healthy vegan applesauce cookies with our superfood spirulina latte!
Check out our baking guide for neat baking tips and tricks!
You can make almond flour yourself by blitzing almonds into a fine powder using a food processor.
Instead of blackcurrants, you can use Goji berries, dried blueberries, or even chocolate chips.