These no-bake choc oat cookies are legitimately lush! Vegan, low FODMAP and totally moreish. What’s more, you don’t even have to turn on the oven, although you may need to clear some space in the fridge.
People who know my love for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen are often surprised by the fact that I don’t bake. The truth is it makes me nervous. Probably because it takes me back to my school days and the anxiety I felt as my easily over-stimulated brain attempted to fuddle its way through maths and science. The chemical reactions that take place when flour meets liquid are, to me at least, the equivalent of some magical formulae that I just don’t get.
Thankfully there’s nothing anxiety-inducing about a no-bake version, except maybe trying to find adequate room in my permanently messy fridge.
So I share these in solidarity with my non-baking friends out there. Whether you’re lacking the know-how, the will to turn on the oven or 100 other reasons for not cooking today. We may not be giving Mary Berry a run for her money anytime soon but we can be smug about the fact that this gut-friendly cookie recipe means we don’t need to worry about our soggy bottoms. At least for today.
People are often surprised that you can eat oats on a low FODMAP diet. This is because low FODMAP is not the same as a gluten-free diet and allows small safe-servings of wheat-containing ingredients. Although oats are naturally gluten-free they are often contaminated with wheat during the harvesting process. You may need to choose gluten-free oats if you need them to be certified as wheat-free.
Most types of oats have safe low FODMAP servings but it changes depending on the variety. As oats can be a bit of a confusing topic keep reading below the recipe to check out more details in the specific FODMAP notes section.
To make these cookies gluten-free you’ll need to use certified gluten-free oats. The wheat content of oats is generally low enough to be tolerated on the low FODMAP diet, provided you don’t have any underlying health conditions or dietary requirements that require you to avoid wheat or gluten.
Possibly, but it’s not something I’ve experimented with. These no-bake cookies rely on the sticky sugar syrup to form them and help them to stick together without the need for baking. If you wish to avoid sugar for health reasons then you can try to substitute the sugar with a fodmap safe sweetener such as stevia. I don’t ever cook with stevia or artificial sweeteners so I have no idea if these products will create the same sticky syrup that’s needed to hold these cookies together.
Sometimes people think they need to avoid sugar on a low FODMAP diet. Sucrose (aka sugar) is actually made up of equal parts glucose and fructose which is why it’s not considered high FODMAP. The equal parts of glucose help our body to digest fructose. When we limit fructose on the low FODMAP diet it’s in those foods which contain an excess of fructose in comparison to glucose.
Many typical ways that “healthy” vegan desserts are sweetened are actually considered high FODMAP. Things such as;
These should all be avoided or limited in the elimination phase of the diet.
Yes. The cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. For best results freeze the cookies on a parchment-covered tray in a single layer. As soon as they are frozen you can transfer them all into one container.
To thaw, remove the number of cookies you want from the freezer and thaw on a plate at room temperature. If you want to thaw all the cookies at once you still need to remove them from the container and thaw them in a single layer on a plate or tray. This helps to stop them from sticking together once thawed.
No-bake cookies are naturally softer and fudgier than baked cookies. The knack to getting them to set perfectly is in the syrup. If you don’t boil the sugar mix for long enough to thicken up into a foamy syrup the cookies will be too soft. However, if you boil it for too long you risk the sugar crystallising and the cookies becoming bitty, brittle and not holding together. See the recipe video for a visual guide to how thick the syrup should look.
I prefer to eat my cookies the day after cooking when the oats have softened slightly and the cookies have become slightly chewier.
Once you’ve perfected the recipe you could experiment by adding;
- protein powder
- chopped nuts or seeds
- cinnamon or mixed spice
- coconut shreds
- dehydrated raspberries
As written this recipe is FODMAP safe at up to 3 cookies per portion. Each individual cookie contains approx:
- ½ Fructan serving - 10g oats = <¼ serving + 5g dark chocolate = <¼ serving
- ¼ GOS serving - 10g oats = <¼ serving
- 0 Mannitol
- 0 Sorbitol
- ¼ Fructose - ½ teaspoon peanut butter = <¼ serving
- 0 Lactose - All my recipes are vegan and therefore free from dairy and lactose. Yay!
Always refer to the Monash app for current safe serves and FODMAP categorisations.
FODMAP Ingredient Notes
FODMAP safe serving of 40g or ¼ cup. Many people are confused at sugar being included as a low FODMAP ingredient. The reason sugar (sucrose) is usually well tolerated is that it is made up of equal parts fructose and equal parts glucose. The presence of an equal or higher percentage of glucose helps our bodies to absorb and digest fructose.
When we avoid fructose on a high FODMAP diet we only need to worry about those foods which contain an excess of fructose, in comparison to glucose. Unfortunately, many artificial sweeteners, those ending in 'ol' and many natural sweeteners such as dates, applesauce and overripe bananas are all incredibly high FODMAP.
Dairy-free dark chocolate
FODMAP safe serving of 30g. It contains high amounts of fructans at serving sizes of 125g. *If you are vegan or malabsorb lactose then please be aware that not all dark chocolate is dairy-free, always check the label. If you’re using a non-dairy free dark chocolate then it also becomes moderate for lactose at a serving of 80g.
Oats are another of those ingredients that can seem confusing on a low FODMAP diet. Depending on which type you choose, rolled, coarse, groats or flakes, the safe portion sizes differ. All oats used in my recipes are regular rolled oats which have a safe serving of 52g/½ cup. Servings of 78g/¾ cup become high for fructans and GOS. Please note that this is their dried weight, before cooking.
Regular oats are considered FODMAP safe at recommended serving sizes but those with a gluten or wheat allergy will need to choose gluten-free varieties. Unfortunately, gluten-free oats specifically are not listed in the Monash app so you’ll need to decide for yourself if you’re happy to assume their safe serving is the same as for regular oats.
Listed in the Monash app as FODMAP safe at 50g and containing fructose. However, U.S versions are listed as FODMAP safe at 32g and containing Fructans and GOS. As I am based in the U.K I class my peanut butter as containing fructose.
I recommended almond, macadamia or soy protein in the elimination phase as these are the ones that are FODMAP safe at 250ml/1 Cup.
- PB Fit peanut butter powder (225g). This is the brand that I use, it’s the only one I’ve ever tried but I really like it. I bought mine on offer at Aldi so it’s worth shopping around. Ideal for getting the perfect consistency for dressings and marinades.
- Food Thoughts Luxury Dark Chocolate Chips (200g). Made from single origin fair trade beans with 70% cacao. Vegan, gluten-free and kosher. Surprisingly many cheaper brands of dark chocolate available in the supermarkets actually contain dairy so make sure you read the labels closely.
- Glebe Farm Organic Gluten Free Oats (450g). Sustainable wholegrain British organic oats. Certified gluten and wheat free by Coeliac UK. Also available slightly cheaper as regular oats for anyone that doesn’t require gluten-free.
* We use affiliate links here to help support our work. Purchasing through these links does not affect your consumer rights or the price you pay but may result in The Irritable Vegan receiving a small commission payment. We thank you for supporting us in this way whilst you shop.
- Celery free
- Garlic free
- Gluten free options
- Mustard free
- Nightshade free
- Onion free
- Sesame free
- Soy free
- Wheat free option
- Lactose free (check chocolate is milk free)
- Mannitol free
- Sorbitol free
Please always double-check your ingredients to ensure your products, brands and version is “free from” if required. Where we list free from FODMAPs please be aware we are referring to free from excess FODMAPs as defined by low/high FODMAP limits in the Monash app and not a true allergy-safe definition of “free from”. Most plant foods will still contain some level of FODMAPs but in amounts that are considered to be tolerable for most people on the low FODMAP diet.
No-Bake Choc Oat Cookies
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 110 g / ½ heaped cup brown sugar
- 125 ml / ½ cup Almond milk
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter powder - Sub regular peanut butter if preferred
- 120 g / 1 heaped cup rolled oats - GF if required
- 60 g / ⅓ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips - Sub with vegan dark chocolate if preferred
- Prepare 1-2 small baking trays covered with non-stick mats or baking paper. They need to be big enough to take 12 cookies in total and small enough to place flat in the fridge.
- In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the coconut oil over medium heat until just melted.
- Add the sugar and lightly break it up before stirring in the almond milk.
- Allow the mixture to come to a rolling, foaming boil and hold it there for 2 minutes. It should thicken slightly to resemble a maple syrup. Be really careful when dealing with hot syrup and be ready to turn down the heat sooner if it seems as though the syrup may boil over.
- After 2 minutes carefully remove it from the heat and stir in the peanut butter powder or regular peanut butter. Sprinkle over the oats and stir them and the peanut butter carefully into the syrup. If you’re using peanut butter rather than powder it won’t melt completely into the syrup, this is fine and you won’t notice once everything is mixed together.
- Turn off the heat, leave for a few minutes then stir through the chocolate chips and gently fold everything together. If using dark chocolate then break into small pieces first. Don’t leave it to sit for too long as you need it to still be warm when you’re shaping the cookies.
- Whilst the mixture is still warm, scoop up rounded 1 tablespoon portions and place them onto your prepared trays. Leave room around each cookie to allow it to spread out slightly.
- Leave the cookies to cool and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Once the cookies have cooled, roughly line a sealable container with baking paper and store the cookies in two layers with a piece of greaseproof paper in between to prevent sticking. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a week (if they last that long!) If it’s too warm in your kitchen you may need to continue to store them in the fridge, I prefer mine stored in the fridge as they stay a bit firmer and chewier.
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