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Gluten-free Chocolate Quinoa Cookies

These cookies are gluten-free, vegan and absolutely delicious. If you have preconceived notions that gluten-free baked goods are like eating cardboard, then
Nov 7, 2011 | Joy McCarthy

These cookies are gluten-free, vegan and absolutely delicious. If you have preconceived notions that gluten-free baked goods are like eating cardboard, then you MUST try this recipe.

Not only are these yummy cookies easy to make, but they are an excellent source of nutrients. These powerhouse cookies are a source of protein (in fact, a complete protein thanks to quinoa which contains all 9 essential amino acids), complex carbs to keep your energy levels stable, stress-busting B-vitamins, antioxidants found in the raw cacao and more.

Even if you are a quinoa-virgin, this is my personal guarantee these yummy bites of deliciousness will become a power snack favourite in your home.

This recipe is unique not only because it's made with quinoa which makes them soft and chewy, but also because of a sugar I've been using lately in my baking called coconut sap sugar. This sugar is a by-product of coconut, a natural whole food, which has been used for over 5,000 years in food preparation. More about about this wonderful food:

Coconut sap sugar is made from the sweet watery juice that's extracted when the bud of the coconut flower blooms. The sugar makes a delicious sweetener and is loaded with B vitamins, amino acids and minerals, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

What makes it even better is its relatively low placement on the glycemic index (only 35, eliminating worries you'll crash after eating it). Make sure you purchase your brand certified organic to ensure it's free of chemical pesticides.

If you want to learn more about healthy sugars for baking, please check out this joyous video for my brand recommendations.


1 cup cooked quinoa (Note: 1/2 cup dry quinoa makes a little over a cup of cooked. Instructions here.)

1 cup uncooked quinoa flakes (or quinoa flour)

1 cup unsweetened unsulfured shredded coconut

4 large bananas, mashed

1/4-½ cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup dark organic unsweetened chocolate chips (NOTE: Make sure you read the ingredients to ensure they are gluten and vegan)

1.5 tbsp organic raw cacao

1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375F. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork and add vanilla and coconut sugar. Add cooked quinoa, quinoa flakes, shredded coconut and raw cacao. Mix well until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter onto cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Makes 24 cookies.

These chewy sweet cookies are great as a snack to smash the mid-afternoon cravings, pre-workout to boost energy or along with a healthy breakfast such as greek yogurt and fruit. Or for the vegans out there, I suggest you enjoy 1 or 2 of these cookies with a smoothie for breakie! Credit for this recipe goes to my Mom because she is the quinoa-baking-queen! I modified it slighly by adding the raw cacao - hopefully she won't mind ;)


Here are some other fave quinoa recipes made in my joyous kitch that I know will make your belly smile and you'll feel good that you are feeding your family and yourself nutritious meals!

Lentil Quinoa Loaf:

Antioxidant Quinoa Bowl:

Other upcoming classes:

1. Eat Well Feel Well: January 2012. Register and save!

2. Mexico Wellness Retreat 2012 – Exciting!

Nov 7, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy
Nancy D   •   November 7, 2011

These sound amazing! Where can I find quinoa flakes?

Joy McCarthy   •   November 7, 2011
Joy McCarthy   •   November 8, 2011

Holistic mom   •   November 7, 2011

Could I change the bananas for something else maybe apple sauce I have allergy to banana

Joy McCarthy   •   November 8, 2011

Rustic Chunky Applesauce. Plus the health benefits of apples. |   •   November 10, 2011

[...] is a non-refined cane sugar and coconut sugar is a low-glycemic option that you can find more about here.  is a sweetener made from the agave plant. Both of these sweeteners are lower in the glycemic [...]


Candace   •   November 11, 2011

Just made these today... absolutely amazing!!! Thanks to you (and your mom) for my new favourite cookie recipe!

Joy McCarthy   •   November 13, 2011

Jennifer   •   November 14, 2011

Hi Joy, I wonder if I could substitute date sugar for the coconut sugar?


Dani @ Body By Nature   •   November 20, 2011

Made these and they are super delicious! I used quinoa flour (instead of flakes) and 1/4 cup sucanat (didn't have coconut sugar)...turned out amazing!


healthy holiday treats   •   December 19, 2011

[...] Chocolate Quinoa Cookies [...]


Perfectly Simple Apple Crisp Dessert – Vegan Option |   •   December 19, 2011

[...] Chocolate Quinoa Cookies: [...]


oatmeal walnut raisin quinoa cookies   •   January 9, 2012

[...] I made Joy’s Chocolate Chip Quinoa cookies, I fell instantly in love.  These cookies are easy to make and full of my favourite healthy [...]


BEST Recipes from a special lady |   •   January 10, 2012

[...] Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies: [...]


Sexy Balls: Maca Raw Cookie Recipe |   •   February 8, 2012

[...] Raw Cacao: The purest form of chocolate on planet earth! This food’s effect on libido is due to it’s mood enhancing chemicals including anandamide, PEA which have been known to make you feel more “blissful” and “loving”. Additionally, this libido-booster stimulates feel good hormones such as endorphins and may increase serotonin since it’s a source of tryptophan. Raw cacao is also an excellent source of antioxidants which are beneficial for fertility in both men and women. [...]


Deepa Berar   •   February 28, 2012

Sounds amazing! I'm def gonna try to make these :)


Healthy Yummy Items I bought at the Farmers’ Markets + Easy Delicious Recipes |   •   March 7, 2012

[...] Quinoa cookies: Gluten-free, naturally sweet! Wonderful as a snack or with breakfast. Be careful because it’s hard not to eat the whole batch they are soooo tasty! [...]


Most Requested and Loved Quinoa Recipes! |   •   May 10, 2012

[...] Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies [...]


Jessica   •   May 12, 2012

Hi Joy, These sound great! I'm having trouble finding unsweetened dark chocolate chips that are vegan and gluten free. Any brand recommendations? Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   May 12, 2012

Brenda   •   August 8, 2012

Hi Joy - I found your lovely site a few days ago and just tried two of your quinoa recipes tonight - fabulous! I was a tool quinoa newbie until tonight. The cookies are amazing...substituted 1/2 c. coconut flour for the quinoa flour as I didn't have any on hand, and added 1/2. applesauce with the last three bananas on the counter. Tastes heavenly, not sure if the second batch will make it to the oven, its an amazing treat right out of the bowl.

Joy McCarthy   •   August 8, 2012

Nasstasia   •   September 25, 2012

Thanks for the recipe! I am going to go the extra mile and make them sugar free as well by using stevia. Also, another option for vegans is to substitute carob chips for chocolate chips...I love the taste of carob and its delicious in this recipe too!

Shawna   •   November 16, 2012

Home is where the recipe books are! « Cara McMaster   •   November 9, 2012

[...] the cooler with chopped vegetables and easy to eat fruits. We also had  flax seed crackers and these home made quinoa cookies made by a very thoughtful [...]


Shawna   •   November 16, 2012

My daughter is allergic to bananas so I used cooked mashed sweet potatoes...they are delicious!!! Thanks for the great recipe!


Kristen   •   January 14, 2013

Made these yesterday and LOVED them. My daughter (3.5) yelled "Mom - theses are so good! They're like a banana bread cookie!" And they are! Huge hit at our house!


amy   •   January 22, 2013

hi - can coconut sugar be replaced with organic sucanat (in this recipe and others)? and if so, equal parts? i've been using coconut sugar in most recipes but find the flavour a bit overpowering. thank you!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 22, 2013

Natasha Oliver   •   February 6, 2013

I just made these cookies for a friends Birthday tomorrow and I am SO glad I made a double batch because half of them got eaten by people tonight!! I used a teff/brown rice flour combo as I didn't have any of the quinoa variety, and they are the moistest little tasties!! Thank you!!!


Alena   •   April 4, 2013

I made these cookies twice already and they're such a great afternoon snack at work. Really satisfies my craving and keeps me full. Thanks for the great recipe Joy!!

Joy McCarthy   •   April 6, 2013

Kala   •   August 14, 2014

Excellent post. I'm going through some of these issues as well..


Daniella   •   November 23, 2014

I love this recipe, except I am allergic to bananas. Is there any substitute or any way I can make this recipe without them? Thanks so much, your blogs are so wonderful!

Kate McDonald Walker   •   November 24, 2014

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