Gluten-Free Blueberry Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies
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Have I got a delicious cookie recipe for you! We are now in peak zucchini and blueberry growing season where I’m at, and while I am not growing any blueberries, I am definitely growing lots of zucchini. I am looking for interesting and creative ways to use it up, so I have come up with some new cookie recipes. The one in this post has never been done before. IT’S BRAND NEW! It might be a strange flavor combo to some, but trust me when I say they are tasty. What sets this cookie recipe apart from other similar recipes, is that it makes use of cardamom, which is a warm spice. It’s not one that’s used a lot in baking, but it has a very distinct flavor that pairs really well with blueberries. It’s also a delicate spice, like nutmeg, and less is more here. Cardamom is a spice reminiscent of fall, and with fall just around the corner, I had to toss it in. These gluten-free blueberry zucchini oatmeal cookies, which are also vegan, are a great way to use up fresh produce AND get yourself in the spirit for fall. And like most recipes on my blog, this is a one-bowl affair. Let’s get baking!
***Non-vegan and non-gluten-free substitutions are also provided below.
Wild blueberries are exactly what they sound like. Blueberries that grow naturally in the wild, and have not been specifically cultivated and replanted with a final taste in mind. There are many different types of cultivated blueberries, and they are created by selecting the desired blueberries from a wild blueberry plant and reproducing them from there. General differences between the two include their size and water content. Cultivated blueberries tend to be larger in size and have a higher water content. For more information on the differences between the two, click here.
Step 1. If your vegan butter (you can use regular butter if you aren’t vegan) isn’t already softened, pull out 10 tablespoons of butter (1 stick + 2 tablespoons from another stick) and set out on the counter to soften.
Next, make sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a baking sheet with shortening.
The egg replacements in this recipe are unsweetened applesauce and a flax egg (you can use an egg if you aren’t vegan). To make the flax egg, measure out 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and 3 tablespoons of boiling water into a small bowl. Gently mix together and let sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken.
Next, we need to prepare the zucchini and fresh blueberries. Wash your zucchini, dry it, then grate enough of it so that you have 3/4 of a cup. Any leftover shredded zucchini can be frozen. Measure how much you are going to freeze, and then put it into a labeled freezer bag with the amount and put it into the freezer. The reason why I say to measure it beforehand is that it shrinks a lot after it’s been frozen. Wash and dry 3/4-1 cup blueberries. Set aside. If you are using frozen blueberries, you don’t need to wash or to dry them. Just measure out what you will need.
In a large bowl, cream together 10 tablespoons of softened vegan butter (or regular butter if you aren’t vegan) and 3/4 cup granulated sugar with an electric mixer on low speed. To the large bowl, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 flax egg (or 1 large egg if you aren’t vegan), 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons ground cardamom, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, 2 cups of gluten-free quick oats (not rolled oats!), and 3/4 cup shredded zucchini. Mix everything together with an electric mixer on low speed.
Step 2. Add 1 cup of 1:1 gluten-free flour (4.8 oz/cup for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour) and mix until combined with an electric mixer on low speed. Fold in 3/4-1 cup of blueberries. Using a small cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoons), scoop dough out on the cookie sheet leaving space in between. Using your fingers, press the cookies down a little bit to help them flatten when they bake.
Step 3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown (I baked for 11 minutes). Remove baking sheet from the oven, and allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes. Then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Be careful when transferring the cookies. If you used a lot of blueberries, the cookie might not hold together as well when it’s warm. It will firm up as it cools.
Tips for Success
- Wild blueberries are smaller than cultivated blueberries, and work best in this recipe. The larger cultivated blueberries can sometimes weaken the structure of the cookie, if there are too many. I used cultivated blueberries in this recipe and it was fine as long as you work carefully when transferring the cookies.
- On transferring the cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack, you might have to intermittently wipe down your spatula. It can get gunked up with blueberries, making it harder to transfer the cookies.
- For sweeter cookies, you can add in an additional tablespoon or two of granulated sugar.
- For flatter crispier cookies, use melted butter and add in a little more granulated sugar.
- If you decide to make any deviations, always test bake your cookies first. Make a change, then bake a single cookie. If you don’t like it, make whatever changes you want, test bake a single cookie again, and so on until you get something you like.
- If the cookies are really sticking to the baking sheet, let them cool down all the way on the baking sheet. You will have to use two baking sheets in this case, so that you have one cooling while you are baking the other.
- If you are unsure about whether or not you are going to like cardamom, I would recommend starting off with 1/2 teaspoon and test baking a cookie. If you want a little bit more, then you can add in the 1/8 teaspoon.
Other Ways to Use Up Zucchini
Gluten-Free Blueberry Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies
- 10 tablespoons vegan butter (OR regular butter if not vegan)
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons of boiling water) (OR 1 large egg if not vegan)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups gluten-free quick oats (not rolled oats!) (OR 2 cups of regular quick oats)
- 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup 1:1 gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, 4.8 oz/cup) (OR 1 cup of regular all-purpose flour if not gluten-free, 4.25 oz/cup)
- 3/4-1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, washed and dried
- Arrange oven rack to be in the middle. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, cream together softened vegan butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on low speed. To the large bowl, add vanilla extract, flax egg, unsweetened applesauce, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, baking soda, Kosher salt, gluten-free quick oats, and shredded zucchini. Mix everything together with an electric mixer on low speed.
- Add 1:1 gluten-free flour and mix until combined with an electric mixer on low speed. Fold in 3/4-1 cup of blueberries.
- Using a small cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoons), scoop dough out on the baking sheet leaving space in between. Using your fingers, press the cookies down a little bit to help them flatten while they bake.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes. Then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Be careful when transferring the cookies. If you used a lot of blueberries, the cookie might not hold together as well when it's warm. It will firm up as it cools.
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