Make: No-Bake Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Balls

A gluten-free recipe that's drop-dead delicious. No, really!

Whenever I state something about my future with absolute certainty, the opposite inevitably comes true. For example, I once said, “I would never date a gym teacher.” (I don’t recall why I said this, and I’m well aware that it’s a bizarre statement.) I’ll give you two guesses as to my husband’s occupation.

Another time I said, “I would never give up gluten…that’s just silly.” Guess which husband is giving up gluten (for health reasons)? That’s right, the gym teacher whose wife cooks all his lunches and dinners. So lately, I’ve become a bit of a self-made gluten expert.

Which is probably a good thing because these days you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who eats gluten-free. Question is, what can you bake for someone who’s on a gluten-free diet that’s both safe for them and delicious to boot? Answer: these cookies. In fact, they’re gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free—with no cooking required.

Trust me, these suckers rank high on the deliciousness factor. I’ve been sneaking them from my husband’s stash ever since I made them. They taste like a moist, perfect oatmeal cookie with a little kick of salt to make you come back for more. The dates supply all the sweet you need; you won’t even miss the sugar! These came together in about five minutes (no lie), and you can store them in the fridge for up to a week (just don’t mistake them for meatballs).

A word of warning: These are quite possibly the ugliest cookies you will ever see. (I couldn’t even show you a picture of the finished product because I didn’t want to scare you off.) So take my advice: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover—judge it by its deliciousness. Deal?

No-Bake Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Balls
Makes two dozen

2 cups oats (quick or old fashioned)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups packed, pitted, dried dates
¼ cup roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. almond butter (or peanut butter)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. water

  1. Combine oats, salt, dates and sunflower seeds in food processor and pulse (then run for 30 seconds) to combine.
  2. Add almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon and water and run until uniformly combined.
  3. Roll into 1 tbsp. size balls (or to whichever size you prefer) and store in an air tight container in the fridge. Will keep for up to 1 week.

Per serving: 53 calories, 2 grams fat, 130 milligrams sodium, 22 milligrams potassium, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram dietary fiber, 1 gram protein.

>> Get more Be Well Philly recipes here.

Gluten-Free Diets Are Not Good Weight-Loss Plans
Nine Best Gluten-Free Eats in Philly


Becca Boyd is a wife and new mom who teaches culinary courses to students at Radnor High School. She creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen and blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.