Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Chewy chocolate quinoa cookies

I’m loving all the healthy high protein ‘flour’ subs i’m trying out at the moment. First it was with whole buckwheat groats (still plenty of those recipes to come) and now it’s also with quinoa.  I mentioned before that I was having a big quinoa kick this month, incorporating it in all sorts of recipes both sweet and savoury. It’d such a versatile ingredient and it’s nutritional profile is hard to beat.

I cook batches of quinoa to freeze in cup sized portions, so it’s so easy to add to any recipe or salad at a moment notice.  This cookie experiment therefore took me literally minutes to throw together and was such a success I’ll definitely be trying it out again very soon. I used cacao nibs to make sure I kept to my sugar free Lent Challenge, you could also use regular dairy free dark chocolate chips if you prefer and for a little extra indulgence I may well give this a go next time, although to be honest I quite liked the bitter crunchy contrast of the nibs.
The coconut flakes combined with the quinoa make for a really soft and chewy cookie. The peanut butter helps bind and gives a mildly peanutty taste but you could sub for cashew or almond butter if you want the chocolate to do all the talking.

Recipe: Chewy chocolate quinoa cookies

Makes 8 small cookies


1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup peanut butter (add a pinch of salt if not salted)
¼ cup homemade date syrup and a pinch of stevia (you could use 3 tbs maple syrup of agave if you prefer)
¼ cup unsweeteneed dessicated coconut flakes
¼ cup cocoa nibs or dark choc chips
3 tbs cocoa powder


Mix the peanut butter and date syrup and melt a little in a the microwave on low power if not already drippy. Mix through the remaining ingredients until fully coated.

Scoop into fat cookie dollops and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake at a fairly low temperature (I opted for 160C so as not to risk burning the date syrup) for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven and will firm up to touch as they cool but remain soft in the centre.


For further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.


  1. Hi, the cookies look delicious! Is there anything I can substitute the quinoa with?

    1. Hi Jenna,

      The quinoa pays such a huge part in this recipe that any substitutions would like make a huge difference. In this recipe the quinoa is cooked beforehand so it gives a soft, chewy and moist texture. Maybe cooked brown rice would work in the same way? That's the only sub I can think of but I'm not sure how well it would work out.

  2. Beautiful! What a lovely idea!

  3. Talk about a healthy cookie! You could eat a whole batch of these and not feel guilty. I love it!! I'm all for adding nutritious ingredients to my cookies and quinoa often makes it into the mix. Not to mention, chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination on earth. Can't wait to give these a try!!

    I would love for you to share this recipe on this week's Thank Goodness It's Quinoa, the bi-weekly link party that celebrates all things quinoa. I know our readers will fall in love with this recipe just as I have!


    Happy Friday!


    1. Hi Alyssa, Thank you for stopping by...I had a little look at you link and added this post to ti! :-)

  4. I'm so impressed with your diligence to create an awesome gluten-free chocolate chip cookie without a recipe! I never would have thought to use quinoa, but such a cool idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. You're very welcome...enjoy! :-)

  6. Hello!! I just made a huge batch of these for my mom for Mother's Day, and the look, smell and taste DIVINE!!!!!!!! My mom is a vegetarian, and she has the biggest sweet tooth - so instead of eating junk food, she can snack on a delicious treat and get protein at the same time. I cannot WAIT to give these to her! Thank you so much for posting this recipe and your comments. I will be printing this out and including it in my recipe book!!!!!! :)


    1. Hi Rhea, I'm so glad you made them- hope your mum loves them too! :-)

  7. I've made these over and over again ever since I found this recipe way back. SO good! Pair one with a healthy smoothie or milk in the morning and you've got a delicious breakfast :D Or you could eat it pre/post workout. Or dessert. Really, the possibilities are endless!

    Thank-you so much for the recipe! :)

    1. Yay i'm so pleased....that's the way I eat them too, and yes i also make them over and over! I have just come up with a microwave version for when an immediate snack is needed. :-)

  8. Can you substitute the coconut with something else or just leave it out? I am allergic to coconut.

    1. Hi, You could substitute the coconut for a similar texture such as ground almonds or seeds.


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