Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kale Coconut Chocolate Chip Courage Cookies Recipe (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

I overdid it with kale on Thanksgiving. Our T-Day menu included kale fritatta for brunch and a kale salad for dinner.  During the bestover weekend that followed, I probably ate kale at least 8 times.

Days later, looking at the sad remains of a fresh bunch of kale from our farmer's market, I was certain that there was nothing I'd like to eat less than that kale. However, I felt a little guilty about the prospect of letting it waste.

Then I remembered Sarah invited me to participate in The Seasonal Diet's online holiday cookie exchange, another thing I was feeling guilty about because I really wanted to do it but I was so afraid that my cookie recipe would be terrible. (I've never created a cookie recipe before. I also tend to burn cookies.) I feared I would somehow single-handedly destroy my friends' business and ruin my reputation.

After hearing myself out, I reasoned that that is totally improbable. I decided to confront my fears and get over feeling guilty by not continuing the things I was feeling guilty about-- wasting food and being a flake.

And thus the Kale Chocolate Chip Courage Cookie was born! This cookie is delicious for all the reasons sneaking kale into a chocolate smoothie is delicious. (After conceiving the recipe, I checked with Fifty Shades of Kale cookbook to see if kale and chocolate cookies was a real thing and sure enough it was in there. I think my cookie recipe is better, but it's nice to know this kind of treat is tasty to people besides myself and could make it into a published book.)

My husband, who doesn't like weird food combos said, "These are pretty good. You don't really taste the kale." Then continued stuffing his face. That means they're a winner!

These cookies are vegan and gluten-free. They're also free of processed sugar besides that in the chocolate chips.

Read on for the recipe. I hope you'll find the courage to make these unexpected treats.

Kale Coconut Chocolate Chip Courage Cookies

Print Recipe

Kale Coconut Chocolate Chip Courage Cookies [Vegan + Gluten-Free]

Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Total Time: 42 min
Serves: 18


  • 12 cup old fashioned oats uncooked (get gluten-free oats if that's important for you)
  • 12 cup raw almonds (almond flour can work too)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (optional, I didn't include this.)
  • 14 tsp salt
  • 18 tsp cinnamon
  • 12 cup kale leaves without stalk (Measure is based on the leaves pressed into a cup.)
  • 13 cup dried fruit (I used combo the last raisins in our apartment and a few prunes.)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T almond butter
  • 1 flax egg (1 T flax seed meal + 3 T water: Whisk until foamy. Let sit for 15 minutes.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 13 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 cup dried, shredded unsweetened coconut
  • extra coconut and coarse salt to sprinkle over cookies


  1. In Vitamix high speed blender, blend oats, almonds, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a flour by going up to 5 speed. You can also pulse them in a powerful food processor.
  2. Add kale, dried fruit, coconut oil, and almond butter to dry ingredients in the pitcher (or food processor bowl).
  3. Whisk vanilla into flax egg, then add the mixture to the pitcher (or food processor bowl).
  4. Blend, going up to high gradually (if your machine has speeds). Use tamper when you hear it make a high pitched noise. To put it simply, you want everything to mix together without becoming liquid. Keep in mind you want a ball of cookie dough not a smoothie or pesto. (It's sort of like making energy bars.)
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and shredded coconut.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Use a tablespoon to scoop out little uniform sized balls of cookies. Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle shredded coconut and grind some salt (or sprinkle coarse ground salt) onto the cookie tops.
  9. Press cookies down with fork. This is the secret to cute perfectly round cookies!
  10. Pop into oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  11. Slide cookies while they're still on the parchment paper onto cooling rack. Enjoy them when they're finally not too hot to give you a greedy burn (about 5 minutes).

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Olivia Lovejoy is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

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  1. WOW I'm definitely going to give these a try! We haven't found flaxmeal in France yet but we DID find KALE!!!!! Very funny&classic France--it's called "Chou" (cabbage) and then "Curly Kale" (just like that, in English!) for the more specific name. I can't wait to try these cookies!! Perfect timing--we're going kale crazy after being reunited :)

  2. Hey Savannah! Hooray for finding kale in France!!! Absolutely,try the cookies. The flax helps hold the cookie together. If you can't find flax meal, (or whole flax seeds to grind) you can use chia seeds or an actual egg.

  3. Oh these cookies are divine! I have made them 3 times already and this is what I've found:

    I like dates as the dried fruit for their flavor and creamy texture.
    I prefer using a food processor to the Vitamix (faster to mix and easier to scrape out dough and clean).
    I like to blend in the kale right after the dry ingredients - it seems to incorporate better, at least using the food processor.
    I use regular egg in lieu of flax (because we aren't vegan and always have eggs around!).

    Thank you so much for developing and sharing this recipe, Olivia! It has become one of my go-to sweet treats!

  4. Oh yay! Thanks for the helpful tips. I'll have to try it that way. I'm afraid of dates (they look like bugs!) but I'll get Richard to help with that part. LOL! I am starting to crave these cookies again! <3

  5. I totally need to try these. I keep telling people about them but haven't tried them yet. I heart kale!

  6. Jill, I know you will love these! We need to make a tea date in Brooklyn and I'll sneak these into whichever cafe we meet in. Maybe a dog friendly one so we can sit outside with Toby. Heck, if I use carb chips Toby can eat one too. Plan?



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