You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Vegan Oatmeal Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies are a great lunchbox treat

By Vicki Brett-Gach


Oatmeal Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies are a welcome lunchbox treat.

Vicki Brett-Gach | Contributor

I curl up with a good vegan cookbook like many others do with a novel. I have at least 50 favorites that I refer to regularly for inspiration, and am always adding to my collection.

Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, is one that I read cover-to-cover last year. Her New York Times bestseller provides a gentle introduction to vegan living, and explains why a plant-based diet offers benefits for our planet, and can be a catalyst to health for many people.

Even vegans need treats now and then, and one of Alicia Silverstone's recipes is for "Oatmeal, Walnut, and Dried Plum Cookies." It is a nice combination, and an unusual one. But it's not for everybody, and I had a hard time selling either walnuts or dried plums to the crew at home.

I have since put my own twist on these cookies, and now make them regularly. I eliminated both the dried plums and the walnuts, and added chocolate chips and dried strawberries instead.

I made several other changes too, most significantly swapping in white whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose flour in the original recipe.

Over time, I have gradually reduced the oil from 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) to only 3 tablespoons, added extra vanilla, plus a little soymilk. I also make these cookies larger than the original recipe, and increased the baking time.

Just a quick note about dried strawberries. They are not quite as common as other dried fruits, but can usually be found at both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

If you are new to vegan baking, you may not realize that many (even most) supermarket chocolate chips declare milk products in the ingredient list. Happily, both Ghirardelli and Trader Joes make semi-sweet chocolate chips without dairy! But always read the label to be sure.

My non-vegan husband (he calls himself half-vegan) said, "These cookies are too good." My son, who is usually completely whole-wheat-averse, ate the cookie dough raw. I am not recommending this practice, but as he pointed out himself, it is safe because this dough has no raw eggs.

Leftover cookie batter, if you have any, will definitely stay fresh in your refrigerator for a few days. These cookies are great in a lunchbox, or a yummy treat with a late afternoon cup of coffee. Official results are in, at least at our house: Two thumbs up.

Oatmeal Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone)

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt (scant)

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons soymilk

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon molasses

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup dried strawberries, diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium-size bowl, mix together maple syrup, soymilk, oil, vanilla, and molasses. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and dried strawberries, and incorporate well.

Scoop heaping 2 or 2 1/2 tablespoon-size balls of cookie dough onto parchment paper, leaving room for cookies to spread during baking. Flatten tops slightly.

Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to baking rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 15 (three-inch) cookies.

Vicki Brett-Gach is an artist, writer, wife, mom, and enthusiastic vegan, and loves to help family and friends discover that you do not have to be vegan to enjoy delicious vegan food. Vicki understands the challenges a new vegan can face, and welcomes your questions and comments at



Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

These sound delicious! Have never thought to make oatmeal cookies with strawberry before. This recipe twist does remind me that I used to add craisins to Joanne Stepaniak's Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with great results. I look forward to trying these!

Vicki Brett-Gach

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

rsa221 – Craisins would probably be very good too. I have a feeling that any dried fruit that you enjoy would be a very nice addition!


Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 6 p.m.

This is interesting. This article is now listed as having been posted at 1:30 PM, even though the two comments (one of which is mine) were posted this morning. Is this celebrating some sort of "Back To The Future" anniversary?


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

nothing better to do

Jessica Webster

Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

DBH - I changed the publication time on this story to feature it on the homepage. You must really be paying attention!

Jim Corcoran

Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Delicious vegan food is one reason why the number of vegans has doubled in less than 3 years. Here are two uplifting videos that will help people understand just some of the implications of this lifestyle: and


Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

Even though these cookies are rightly characterized as "treats," for those of us who are nutrition-conscious, or for those of us on diets which are more easily followed by knowing what we are consuming, a nutritional analysis per serving would be very useful and highly appreciated. And the same goes for any recipe, of course, "treats" or not.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Jessica, in rereading your reply above, I think it is likely that you will always have some doubt about the accuracy of information garnered from nutritional websites. Therefore, in addition to determining what resource the AP uses (as I wrote yesterday), another option would be to use the USDA information (at ) which lists extensive nutritional information on over 7900 foods (both generic and name brand). Entering the information into a basic spreadsheet template would give the recipe originator detailed, accurate and reliable information on any particular recipe. And for the rare item not found in the USDA database (such as dried strawberries or non-dairy chocolate chips), presumably the originator of the recipe would have that information on the packaging material. Even if not 100% accurate, reasonably reliable estimates of nutrient composition would be much more helpful than no information at all, don't you think?


Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Thanks for the reply, Jessica. I almost always see nutritional information at the end of recipes from the AP, e.g., J.M. Hirsch, and Sara Moulton's recipe (creamy broccoli soup) from a few days ago had the same. Do you know how they obtain their nutritional information for their recipes? Perhaps recipe contributors could use the same resource.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

DBH - There are sites on the web that are helpful in giving you a decent nutritional analysis. Here's one I use fairly regularly: I'm reluctant to publish the info I get from sites like the one I list above simply because I am not 100% convinced that it is totally accurate. At the current time, there isn't a good tool that I am aware of that would help us provide this information with every recipe.