the oatmeal cookie monster

bearded oatmeal smilies

In the winter here in New England, I find that our family is wanting warm food for breakfast. Partly because I turn the heat waaaay down at night to something in the high 50s, and party because it’s winter and our bodies are craving warm comfort food. So I make oatmeal. I make enough so that I have extra to pop into the dehydrator to make lovely cookies and bars for those days we’re out and about.

I usually just toss these together and don’t measure, just mix stuff in to taste, but I measured mostly this time around. Don’t feel obligated to make this my way — adjust it to your tastes and seasoning preferences. You could make a savory version of these for use as crackers or a sandwich bread using basil, oregano, onion, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Or a mexican version spiced with chili powder, cumin, lime juice, salt and fresh cilantro to top with guacamole, and indian version with curry, etc. The oats are a great blank palette and can go in many directions. The original recipe that got me started making this was in Kate Wood’s Eat Smart Eat Raw, but she used lots of olive oil. I tried it that way, then tried cutting down on the oil, then using coconut oil, but in the end I’ve concluded that I like them better without the fat. You may disagree.

First I made date paste. I don’t often do this, but wanted to try it for this recipe. Usually I just chop some dates and toss them in, or just use raisins. But today I made

Date Paste

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup water

Let dates soak for at least 20 minutes (I soaked mine overnight because I didn’t get around to making the oatmeal when I planned, and they really plumped up nicely — these are the deglets from the bulk bin at WF), then pour both dates and water into a food processor (or a blender if you don’t have one) and whizz it up.

I soaked the oats overnight, drained them and rinsed them with warm water so the oatmeal would be warmish. This time I had the kettle on so I used hot water since I was using steel cut oats and wasn’t focused on them being raw.

Oatmeal Cookies/Bars

  • 5 cups soaked oats
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 Tbs date paste
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or other spices to taste

Blend these ingredients in the food processor until you reach a consistency you like. We like it sort of chunky, so we don’t puree it too long, maybe 30 seconds. I have made it into something smoother, but felt like I was eating wallpaper paste and have since left the oats a little chunkier. If you can find oat groats, great, use those. I have had a hard time finding them lately, so I have been using steel cut oats. Due to the way they’re processed, steel cut oats are not raw, but since we’re not 100% raw anyway, I don’t sweat the small stuff.

garnishesOnce you’ve done with this step, add in the garnishes. Sometimes I do this in a bowl, mixing them in by hand to keep them whole, sometimes I add them into the food processor and whiz it for 5-10 more seconds.

  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 cup raising
  • 1/2 pear

Voila, you’re done! If you drain the oats and rinse them with warm water, they will make a warmish oatmeal. Or if you have a dehydrator you can pop the bowls in there for a bit to warm them up.

For our leftovers, I made oat bars and oatmeal cookies. I sprinkled the cinnamon on last and used that batch for the cookies since my honey is allergic to cinnamon. This way everyone can have a little oatmeal love, and not have a fit of sneezing on the side.

I sprinkled chia seeds on part of the oatmeal bars I spread on the dehydrator tray. The cookies were the perfect texture — crunchy on the outside, softer and chewier on the inside. The bars got a bit overdone because I left them going while we were out, so they were crunchier than I like, but were still snarfled within a day, so not too bad after all, I’d say.

Cookies ready for the dehydrator, and below, in the dehydrator with the bars and 2 bowls warming for the kids. You can see some escaped buckwheat groats on the floor of the dehydrator from our last batch of crunchies.

and all done! Inspired by the recent Olympics, Dante and Lucia made little Olympic figurines to support our breakfast of champions! Can you guess the events surrounding the cookies?

crunchy oatmeal bars ready for the road

getting up close and personal with some cinnamon oatmeal cookies

And what would a post about oatmeal cookies be without your friend and mine, the cookie monster. Cookie learns to ask nicely for — you guessed it! — oatmeal cookies:


  1. says

    This looks great 🙂 I’ve always wanted to try oatmeal cookies in a dehydrator – I’ll be bookmarking this recipe for when I’m home (though I’ll be in the tropics, it is where the dehydrator is hah! not here in new england at school)

  2. Sioux says

    sounds like your dehydrator is in the wrong place! 😉 I don’t tend to use mine much in the summer — any crackers or chips I make then are soggy within hours in the humidity. Where in the tropics?

  3. JeanB says

    Thanks Sioux! I used up our raisins and dates in yesterday’s cookies so I’ll give this ago tomorrow when I replenish the supply.

  4. Penny Smyth says

    Your photos are fantastic, and I am so impressed with your postings. Thank-you!

  5. says

    Hi! thanks for all the great comments you’ve been leaving on my blog…for some crazy reason they were going into a spam folder and i just saw them all..thank you for your kind, long, lovely words!!

    the oatmeal raisin cookies look awesome! and I a glad you’re liking my salad dressings, all my recipes, etc and yours look the same!!!! Thanks for finding my blog and i look fwd to reading more here..drop me a comment on my site if you happen to make something of mine so i know you did 🙂

  6. Karen says

    Regarding the cinnamon allergy – if you’re using regular cinnamon, you might want to try Ceylon cinnamon. Generic cinnamon (and most varieties of cinnamon) are not actually cinnamon but other barks from other plants with similar flavor.

    Ceylon cinnamon is a slightly different flavor than what we’re typically used to. It’s a little fruitier and less strong. I prefer it in a lot of things, particularly oatmeal and fruit dishes.

  7. crunchybits says

    Karen, thanks for the recommendation! I’ll see if I can find Ceylon cinnamon and try it out on him! I didn’t realize there was a difference.

  8. Sabrina says

    This oatmeal and the cookies is one of our favorites. I do like to use coconut oil but not too much.

  9. Karen says

    Penzey’s (online, stores in West Hartford and Norwalk here in CT) carries it. You can read about the different types on their website.

    Good luck – I’d hate to go without cinnamon. 🙂

  10. JeanB says

    Bart: What? We’re not going to COOK the oatmeal???

    Later: Wow, that is SO good!

    He boiled some water and then set his bowl in it…double boiler style and warmed it up and really liked it!

  11. HCG Protocol says

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