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Healthy Digestive Cookies

This recipe was inspired by the amazing Jamie Oliver. They remind me of being a kid and eating digestive cookies!
May 1, 2016 | Joy McCarthy

This recipe was inspired by the amazing Jamie Oliver's instagram. He's my man crush! Ha! Don't worry, Walker doesn't mind. If you've watched any of his shows or cooking videos and you're a foodie you'll know what I mean. His videos ALWAYS inspire me in the kitchen. Anyhoo, back to these cookies, which are awesome!

I have bought PC Organic Chocolate Dipped Digestive Cookies many times so I figured it was time I just made my own from the best ingredients possible. My cookies are made with high-quality whole ingredients and they taste waaaaay more delicious than anything store-bought. Most importantly, they actually taste like digestive cookies. 

What makes them healthy and whole, is the flour I used -- red fife!

Red fife flour is considered a heritage grain in Canada, basically that means it's been around for a while.

And yes, if you are buying stone-ground it is most certainly far more nutritious than your run-of-the-mill (pun intended) whole-wheat flour ย–which I rarely use. 

Stone grinding is a much gentler way to process grains and it keeps more of the nutrients intact. The B vitamins, vitamin E, fatty acids, fiber and various phytonutrients are still there, unlike conventionally processed wheat.

No it's not gluten-free but remember, not everything that contains gluten is evil.

However, red fife has less gluten than other wheat varieties. If you don't have red fife flour, my second choice would be spelt flour.

You can even dip these cookies in melted chocolate like I did ... if you like.

Or you can drizzle them with chocolate!

Drizzle or dip, it doesn't matter, but the extra step to make the chocolate is sooooo worth it!

Before I get to this recipe I must tell you how digestive cookies got their name! I had to research this because I was really curious myself. Apparently, the digestive cookie was first developed in 1839 by two Scottish doctors to aid digestion.

The term "digestive" is derived from the belief that they had antacid properties due to the use of sodium bicarbonate when they were first developed. Which is actually rather silly. The quantity of baking soda in these cookies will have ZERO affect on your stomach acid. But we will leave the name as is... Here's my recipe for healthy digestive cookies!

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  • 3/4 cup organic red fife flour*
  • 1/2 cup oats, blitzed in blender or food processor to a finer texture
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp nut milk
  • Optional: 1/2 cup organic chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (excluding chocolate chips) in a large bowl, flour, oats, baking soda, sugar. Melt coconut oil and add to dry ingredients. Add nut milk and combine.
  3. Roll cookie dough into one large ball and refrigerate for an hour or two. This will make forming the cookies much easier.
  4. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Form the cookies into small balls and then flatten with a fork or your fingers.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. When cookies are done baking, let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  6. Optional: Place chocolate chips in a saucepan on very low heat or use a double boiler to melt completely. Dip each cookie into chocolate and then refrigerate for an hour.


*If you don't have red fife flour you could also use organic spelt or kamut flour.
Makes 18-20 cookies.

As mentioned in the recipe, I recommend you roll them into balls and then flatten them. What I didn't mention in the recipe was that I used this pretty cookie cutter. I picked it up from William's Sonoma. I've been meaning to buy cookie cutters forever! These are the "fluted biscuit" cookie cutters. 

I highly recommend you enjoy these cookies with a cup of JOYOUS tea or better yet, make them for your mama and have tea with her on Mother's Day or any day for that matter. I had a lot of fun dipping and drizzling these cookies with chocolate. Walker may have licked the bowl. 

Walker shoots all my photos for Joyous Health and we had so much fun with this post. These cookies were so photogenic we had too many photos to choose from - that's good problem to have!

I hope you make these for someone special. I truly believe cooking for others is one of the nicest ways to show your love. And before I go, I know you're probably wondering how to make these gluten-free. I think the best sub would be buckwheat flour. Do let me know if you try them with buckwheat (despite "wheat" being in the name, they are gluten-free). 

Thanks for stopping by. Happy early mama's day!  

May 1, 2016 BY Joy McCarthy
Aubrey   •   May 4, 2016

These look delicious!:)

Heather Allen   •   May 4, 2016

Danielle   •   May 4, 2016

I am so happy to see this recipe posted! I have been wanting to make digestives for my Grandparents (and myself) for so long! Digestives always remind me of visiting my Grandparents as it was the only place I ever had them.

Heather Allen   •   May 5, 2016

Betsy abney   •   May 5, 2016

I'm going to try these with Einkorn flour....a new thing for me that I am trying to get the hang of. Thank you for all you share!

Heather Allen   •   May 5, 2016

Ann   •   May 5, 2016

Hi Joy, these look fabulous!!! Do you have any suggestions on possibly making these with gluten free flour(s)?

Heather Allen   •   May 5, 2016

Bethany   •   May 5, 2016

Can we use melted butter instead of coconut oil?

Heather Allen   •   May 5, 2016

Ashley   •   May 6, 2016

I made these last night! So easy and delicious!! They taste like digestives and I've been nibbling at them most of the day :)

Heather Allen   •   May 6, 2016

Sat   •   May 6, 2016

Thanks for this recipe! Can't wait to try them :) this is out of context - I was just reading your blog on digestive cookies and noticed one small spelling error. Only because I know you're a big personality, I assume you'd want to correct it! "Before I get to this recipe I must tell you how digestive cookies go their name" Assuming you meant got :)

Heather Allen   •   May 9, 2016

Nix   •   May 18, 2016

Hi! I"m going to try it w Buckwheat flour so I'll report back. Also could you sub honey or maple syrup for the sugar? And would it be the same measurements?

Heather Allen   •   May 18, 2016

Erin G   •   June 3, 2016

These were excellent! However, is there something else I could use for the oats? Thanks :)

Melissa   •   February 17, 2017

Sharon Hope   •   September 11, 2016

Love the information.


Cailin Banks   •   September 12, 2016

All the flavour with none of the beef tallow :)


Barbara   •   March 24, 2017

What would you suggest to replace the coconut oil? I am trying to avoid coconut per blood type diet. Still want it to be a digestive cookie :)

Rachel Molenda   •   March 27, 2017

hana   •   November 6, 2018

Hello! Thanks for all the amazing recipes. I was wondering if I can substitute the red fife flour with almond or coconut flour

Joy McCarthy   •   November 6, 2018

Maggie   •   March 14, 2019

Where to buy red fife flour?

Joy McCarthy   •   March 15, 2019

Jessica Moyer   •   March 19, 2020

Tried with just regular flour and regular white sugar because that's all I had at this time. Put unsweetened coconut flakes on top. The cookies didn't look like the photo at all but were delicious.

Joy McCarthy   •   March 20, 2020

Laura C.   •   April 8, 2021

Oh WOW - these are so good. I used spelt flour and I'm going to have a hard time not eating them all at once!

Joy McCarthy   •   April 9, 2021

Jacine Harrington   •   April 30, 2021

Can I substitute Canola Oil for the Coconut Oil? Thanks Jacine

Joy McCarthy   •   April 30, 2021

Maryl   •   April 30, 2021

Thank you Joy! Have a FANTASTIC Motherโ€™s Day ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป๐Ÿฅ€๐ŸŒผ

Joy McCarthy   •   April 30, 2021

Shweta Bhandare   •   April 30, 2021

Trying these with bobs red mill gluten free flour.

Joy McCarthy   •   April 30, 2021

Karen   •   April 30, 2021

The half cup measurement of oats is that before the flour is blended or 1/2 cup measurement of oat flour?

Joy McCarthy   •   May 1, 2021

Debra P.   •   May 5, 2021

These are AMAZING! Thank you Joy.

Joy McCarthy   •   May 5, 2021

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