These Chocolate Vegan Protein Cookies are made with just a few simple ingredients for a vegan, flourless, and delicious protein cookie that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep them on hand for a filling breakfast, quick snack, or a nourishing dessert!
The Chocolate Cookie You Can Eat for Breakfast
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Actually, it’s more that whatever you put in your body after you “break the fast” is most important, but that’s a topic for another day. Of course, traditional recipes like Superfood Instant Pot Oatmeal in a Jar, Paleo Breakfast Egg Wraps, and Breakfast Muffins with No Added Sugar are always great options to add to your meal prep routine, but once in a while, we all find ourselves needing a quick nutrient-dense bite! And while I personally love fresh fruit like bananas to start the day, it’s nice to add a little bit of sweetness to your day too. One of my favorite ways to do this is with dark chocolate because it’s sweet without being overpowering and full of antioxidants! As tempting as it can be to start the day with my Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies or Vegan Glazed Mac Nut Cookies I know doing so would not keep me full or energized for long, due to lack of protein.
So, in an effort to satisfy my desire for something sweet while also fueling my body with nourishing ingredients, I created these chocolatey banana vegan protein cookies! Not only are they made with cocoa and dairy-free chocolate, but they’re also packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber for a wholesome “dessert for breakfast” kind of morning. You’re welcome! Healthy breakfast cookies that just about anyone will love. And trust me, this recipe has been tested time and time again and has continued to be approved by kids (even picky eater kids) and adults alike! Dare I say it? Yep, they just might be the perfect protein-packed dairy-free breakfast!
Are you drooling yet? Intrigued? Let’s get baking!
Nourishing Ingredients & Alternatives
As always, I kept these chocolate hazelnut cookies as simple as possible. However, while the ingredient list is short, the number of health benefits in each one is long! Even better, I’m providing you with alternatives to make baking a breeze.
Nut Meal – To keep these vegan protein cookies allergy-friendly, I used hazelnut meal (which is simply ground hazelnuts) instead of flour. It adds healthy fats, fiber, and a slightly sweet, buttery flavor to the cookies.
Pro-Tip: While ground whole hazelnuts or almond meal can be used in its place, double-check that you’re using almond meal and not almond flour as it doesn’t contain the skin of the nut. Note that coconut flour is not a suitable option as it is too dry.
Vegan or Dark Chocolate Chips – Given that they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, I used vegan dark chocolate chips for this recipe, but any chocolate you prefer would be just as tasty.
Coconut Oil – If you’re in a pinch, you could test this recipe with a creamy almond butter or avocado instead, but I highly recommend sticking with coconut oil if you have it as it is rich in MCT fats, aids in nutrient absorption, and more!
Coconut Palm Sugar – If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, raw or unrefined sugar works just as well. Feel free to adjust the amount used based on your personal preferences. If you want to reduce the amount of sugar used, opt for xylitol or Stevia instead. However, coconut sugar is best for providing a more nutty or molasses-like texture.
Swap: If a sugar alternative is used, be sure to adjust the baking time, and check on your cookies 10 minutes early to prevent burning.
Protein Powder – The secret to the super chocolatey flavor is the chocolate protein powder! For the best texture, I used a vegan powder with sprouted pea protein. Whey protein powders would work as well, but the taste and texture might be slightly altered, and obviously, they would no longer be vegan. Or, if you aren’t looking to add extra protein to your diet, use oat flour instead! You’ll likely need to add an extra pinch of sugar to offset the flavor.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – If you prefer, you can omit the cocoa powder from these vegan protein cookies. For a more nutrient-dense option, try using cacao powder in place of cocoa powder!
Nutrition Tip: Cacao powder is a wonderful superfood that adds that intense rich chocolate taste without any added sugar and 700mg antioxidants per serving.
Optional Ingredient Toppings
These chocolate hazelnut cookies are packed with flavor, but I love to add a few additional toppings for added sweetness and texture. For this recipe, I enjoy dipping half of each breakfast cookie into chocolate and sprinkling hazelnut pieces on top. I promise you won’t regret it. If you’re looking for something a little different, feel free to try my suggestions below or create your own toppings!
- Sliced banana
- Drizzle of melted nut butter
- Dried fruit
- Sea salt flakes
How to Make Healthy Breakfast Cookies with Ease
The only thing better than how good these breakfast cookies taste is how easy they are to make! If you’re anything like me, they’ll be on repeat in your house. In fact, you might want to save yourself some trouble and go ahead and make two batches. To make sure your vegan protein cookies turn out perfectly every time, be sure to take a look at the baking tips below!
- If you are not using a pre-ground nut blend, prepare it ahead of time by tossing whole nuts into a food processor and processing them until a flour-like texture is formed.
- If the batter does not thicken to resemble a cookie dough batter once all of the ingredients have been mixed in, roll it into a ball, and place it in the fridge to chill for 45 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Don’t flatten the cookies until after they have baked!
- For slightly softer cookies, bake for 8 minutes. Or, if you like your cookies on the crispier side, cook them closer to 9 minutes instead!
Is it Better to Use Plant Protein or Whey Protein Powder?
When it comes to protein powder, not all kinds are created equal. However, the “best” choice is the protein powder that fits your dietary needs and preferences. Of course, both plant-based protein powders and whey protein will be composed primarily of protein. However, the source of protein varies from powder to powder.
Plant-based proteins are typically made out of pea protein, hemp protein, or another natural source. They are often more easily digested than their whey counterparts, especially by those with dairy intolerances, and often contain more fiber than whey alternatives.
Pro-Tip: Look for plant protein powders with SPROUTED rice, pea, or nut protein for better digestion and absorption.
Whey-based protein powders contain high amounts of protein and essential amino acids. For those who do not suffer from dairy intolerances, they are a great option. Look for grass-fed whey protein if possible.
Ultimately, both plant-based and whey protein powders have great health benefits and can be included in a healthy diet! To keep my recipes as all-inclusive as possible, I opt for plant-based sources.
How to Store Vegan Breakfast Cookies
These chocolate banana cookies are the perfect healthy breakfast or easy snack to add to your meal prep rotation! I recommend making a big batch to last throughout the week. To keep them fresh, place them in an airtight container, and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or, pop them in the freezer for up to 2 months!
I promise, these vegan protein cookies are so good, you won’t believe they aren’t dessert! They’re definitely one of my favorite ways to start the day, but I’m dying to know your favorite breakfast recipes. Leave me a comment and let me know what they are down below.