As summer gracefully transitions into the next season, there’s a distinct change in the air. This shift is a great time to embrace new beginnings and relish the richness of nature’s cycle. What better way to celebrate this change than with a batch of homemade cookies infused with comforting flavours? These healthy Spiced Clove and Orange Oat Cookies are the ideal indulgence for this time of the year.

To save on prep time, you could use pre-made shop bought apple sauce for this recipe, but it’s significantly cheaper and healthier to make your own! It’s ideal to batch cook larger quantities – you can freeze portions for future cookies, add it to your smoothies or stir it through your breakfast oats. As a general rule, one apple makes about a quarter of a cup of apple sauce.

Ingredients

(makes 12-14 cookies)

  • 1 apple (our cheaper imperfect apples are perfect for this) or 1/4 cup of pre-made apple sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of one orange

    Optional Glaze:

    • 1/2 cup icing sugar
    • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

    Method

    1. Peel, core, and dice the apple and add it to a saucepan with enough water to cover the base. Cook the apple over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender.
    2. Remove excess water using a colander and use a fork or potato masher to mash the cooked apples until smooth. Allow the applesauce to cool before using it in the cookie recipe.
    3. Preheat your oven to 175°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
    4. In a food processor, pulse the rolled oats until they reach a flour-like consistency.
    5. Transfer the ground oats to a medium bowl. Add the baking powder, salt, and ground cloves, stir to combine and set aside.
    6. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter and maple syrup until well combined. Mix in the unsweetened applesauce, egg, and orange zest until smooth.
    7. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
    8. Roll the dough into small balls, using about 1 tablespoon for each, and place them onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them a few centimetres apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
    9. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
    10. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
    11. Optional Glaze: If desired, prepare the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar and orange juice until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.

    Serve these healthy Spiced Clove and Orange Oat Cookies with a cup of tea or coffee, and delight in the warm and comforting flavours with every bite.

    Pro Tips

    1. For a more rustic look, you can crush the oats with your hands instead of grinding them in the food processor.
    2. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

    Health Benefits

    • Rolled Oats: Rich in fibre, oats promote digestive health and help keep you feeling full longer.
    • Ground Cloves: Cloves are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, supporting overall health and well-being.
    • Maple Syrup: A natural sweetener, maple syrup contains antioxidants and minerals such as manganese and zinc.
    • Applesauce: Applesauce adds moisture to baked goods while providing vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

    Treat yourself to the irresistible combination of ground cloves and orange zest in these Spiced Clove and Orange Oat Cookies, and indulge in the cosy flavours. These cookies are delicious and a guilt-free pleasure you can enjoy with the whole family, so go ahead and enjoy them!