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The trick to keeping these chewy, flavorful cookies moist is the low-and-slow baking—45 minutes at 275°F—which allows them to bake through without drying out.

From The Forks Over Knives Plan

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  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oats
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the dates in a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Drain any excess water from the bowl and transfer the dates to a blender or food processor. Add the applesauce and vinegar and blend into a paste. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, oat flour, quick-cooking oats, walnuts, lemon zest, cocoa powder, vanilla powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the date and applesauce paste and use a wooden spoon to mix lightly but well. The mixture should be on the dry side.
  4. Scoop a golf-ball-size portion of dough with your hands. Gently roll it into a ball and then pat it flat; be very gentle and do not compact it. Place the round on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Bake until the tops of the cookies appear crispy and browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days (if they last that long without being gobbled up!).

Comments (3)

(5 from 3 votes)
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Sara2 years ago
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Could I use cacao powder instead of cocoa?

Andrea2 years ago
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These are a perfect little treat! I use my small scoop and just press them down/shape them a bit. Store them in the freezer and take out a couple at a time for dessert – they are moist, chewy and delicious!

Karen2 years ago
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Absolutely amazing!


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Chewy Lemon-Oatmeal Cookies | Forks Over Knives

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.

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