Plant-Based Cookies

Article written and reviewed by Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published December 9, 2021

A delicious, diabetes-friendly, plant-based cookie recipe with only 5 ingredients!
The holidays are upon us, and it’s always nice to have a healthy dessert option, so you can celebrate joyfully after dinner with 5 star diabetic recipes without jeopardizing your health.

Not a Seasoned Baker? No Problem!

Anyone can make this recipe, even if you’re a beginner in the kitchen. It’s super simple.
The five ingredients in this cookie batter come together within minutes, and once you slide these yummy treats into the oven, they take only 12 minutes to bake.
We’ll explain each step below. You’ve got this!

Whole Fruits, Yes! Added Sugars, No.

Our plant-based Oatmeal Cookie recipe is sweetened entirely by whole fruits.
But… hear us out! They’re still really delicious, because believe it or not, diabetic-friendly desserts and diabetic dessert recipes are our specialty. These aren't going to make everyone go "ew gross, diabetic cookies." Instead, they'll satisfy your sweet tooth, help keep your blood sugar low, and make diabetic desserts easy for you, and make everyone go "hey, you got any more of those desserts for diabetics?"

Because the natural sugar in whole fruits comes in a complete package with fiber and other nutrients, your body responds to it differently than it does to the refined sugars commonly used in traditional holiday baking recipes (and other holiday recipes too).
The fiber in the fruit means the carbohydrates are assimilated more gradually, and you can enjoy these cookies with peace of mind, rather than with a significant blood glucose spike.
This is why it’s always best to sweeten your dishes with plant-based ingredients in their whole, natural form, such as the bananas and dates in this recipe.
Add rolled oats (an awesome ingredient that's also a breakfast favorite in more ways than one), flax, and cinnamon, and you’ve got the perfect diabetes-friendly dessert!

Can people with diabetes eat fruit?

It’s a very common misconception that people living with diabetes should avoid fruit.
You may have even heard that eating a banana, for example, has the same detrimental effect on your health as eating candy. However, this is a myth.
The fact is, fruit is excellent for our health, even when living with diabetes.
If eating fruit causes you to experience high blood glucose, the problem isn’t the fruit itself. It’s the fat you ate before the fruit that makes it difficult for your body to metabolize those carbs.
In the book Mastering Diabetes, authors Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro explain:
“Even though fruits have been relentlessly marketed as simple sugars, they are in fact complex nutritional packets containing an exceptionally high density of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Micronutrients are some of the most powerful components of whole foods, and when you minimize your fruit intake, you limit the opportunity for all the tissues in your body to absorb valuable anti-inflammatory compounds required for optimal physiological function and tissue longevity.”
For an in-depth explanation on how to maintain a whole food, plant-based diet (including fruit) for effective diabetes management, pick up a copy of the Mastering Diabetes book.
Now, let’s get to those cookies!

Equipment Note

The instructions below recommend using a food processor to blend the wet ingredients in the cookie batter.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender instead, or a mixing bowl, spoon, and a little “elbow grease.”

Ingredient Tips

The instructions below recommend using a food processor to blend the wet ingredients in the cookie batter.

  • If possible, buy your bananas a few days in advance, and wait until they become spotted. When bananas are riper, they’re sweeter and also easier to blend.
  • If your Medjool dates are a bit dry and firm, soak them in hot water for a few minutes before you make the cookies, so they’ll soften up and incorporate more readily into the batter.

Photos by: Stefanie Dougherty @greensagelife
Recipe by: Natalie Goodwin, MS, RD

Plant-Based Cookies | Healthy Holiday Cookies (Only 5 Ingredients!)

A delicious, diabetes-friendly, plant-based cookie recipe with only 5 ingredients!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 226 kcal



  • 1 cup Bananas
  • 1/4 cup Medjool Dates
  • 1 tbsp Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup Rolled Oats



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the chopped bananas, pitted (and softened) dates, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon. Blend or stir until the mixture is smooth and wet.
  • If using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats to the wet ingredients, and stir until they’re thoroughly mixed.
  • Divide the batter into 8 equal portions, and place them on your prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced. Each portion will be roughly 2 heaping tablespoons.
  • The cookies will not change shape in the oven, so flatten them out and gently shape them into cookies before baking.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies’ edges begin to brown slightly.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the slightly cooled cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 2gCalories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 47.9gProtein: 5.3gFat: 2.9gSodium: 3.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Robby Barbaro, MPH

Robby Barbaro, MPH is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and has been living this lifestyle since 2006. In that time, while eating pounds of fruit every day, his HbA1c has been stable with a current A1c of 5.3%, TIR of 92%, and average total daily insulin use of 30 units.

Robby graduated from the University of Florida and is the cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green. He worked at Forks Over Knives for six years before turning his attention in 2016 to coaching people with diabetes full time.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at VegFest LA, and has been featured on The Doctors, Forks Over Knives, Vice, Thrive Magazine, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Robby enjoys exercising every day, spending time with friends, and sharing his lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.