About a year and a half ago, I discovered that while I loved the chocolate chip cookies in my college dining hall, I definitely did not love the migraines I would get as the result of eating chocolate. While there have been times where I have eaten a chocolate dessert and then dealt with a killer migraine afterwards, I like to think that I have gotten better about finding chocolate chip cookie alternatives and non-chocolate desserts for people with migraines like me. Today, I will be sharing some of my favorite migraine-friendly and caffeine-free alternatives to chocolate chip cookies that you can try with your favorite recipe or bring to an event.
Add lemon zest
Instead of mixing in chocolate chips, try adding a tablespoon or two of lemon zest to your favorite cookie recipe. I saw this in the comments of one of my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipes, and decided to omit the chocolate chips and try it. It was absolutely delicious, and I’ve linked the vegan cookie recipe below.
- Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from “It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken”
- Ten Healthy Migraine-Friendly Snacks For Your Dorm
Mix in cereal
Long before I started getting migraines from chocolate, I decided to try making Cap’n Crunch cookies, which to me were more fun than the traditional chocolate chip. It appears that cereal can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio for chocolate chips in most recipes, though there are also dedicated cereal cookie recipes available.
Two words- sprinkle cookies
As I’m typing this post, I’m eating a sprinkle cookie that I got from a nearby bakery. These are easy to make as well as find in stores, since many store-bought sprinkle cookies are manufactured in a peanut and tree nut free factory. Some people who get migraines are sensitive to artificial colors, but I personally am not.
White chocolate chips, or other types of chips
White chocolate doesn’t have any cocoa solids in it, so go ahead and use white chocolate chips in your favorite recipe. There are also many other chips that can be found in the baking aisle at the grocery store, including toffee, peanut butter, caramel, butterscotch, and more.
Carob is a common chocolate substitute that has no caffeine and tastes fairly similar to chocolate. It can be a bit difficult to find, so I would advise checking in the natural foods section of the grocery store, heading to an organic/specialty market, or ordering online.
One of my friends dislikes chocolate and will mix in fresh blueberries instead of chocolate chips with a dash of cinnamon, for a flavor that is similar to blueberry muffins. There are tons of other berry flavored cookie recipes out there, so I recommend looking around and seeing what’s out there. My friends and I created a virtual cookbook using Microsoft Sway so we can easily organize our favorite recipes, photos, and recipe videos.
Dried fruit and/or nuts
Dried fruit and nuts can be a migraine or allergy trigger for some people, but they are also a great option for mixing in to cookies if that isn’t a concern. Some of my favorite additions are dried cranberries with orange zest and walnuts with some maple extract added.
Just adding a shake of cinnamon to cookie dough can provide great flavor, and snickerdoodle cookies are also another popular crowd favorite. My college dining hall frequently has snickerdoodles and I always get super excited to see them on display.
While I’m not a professional baker by any means, I hope that these no-chocolate cookie ideas are able to help you modify your favorite recipes or come up with an idea to make cookies for people who get migraines. Make sure to read all labels before baking and check that there are no potentially concerning allergens before you give the cookies to someone. I hope that this post helps to provide inspiration for your next batch of migraine-friendly cookies!