'Tis the season to get together with loved ones and crank out some tasty cookies.
And contrary to popular belief, you can still enjoy Christmas cookies on the paleo diet. These paleo chocolate cookies, for example, are simple to prepare and made with clean ingredients.
The truth is that the holidays are a time best spent with loved ones, and traditions like making (and eating) cookies together is something no diet should interfere with.
There are some substitutes, of course—there's no sugar or flour—but we can assure you that you'll be happy with the end product.
Before we show you how to make them, here's what you should know about these cookies.
Why You Need To Try This Paleo Chocolate Cookies Recipe
Here are four reasons this is a can't-miss holiday cookie recipe.
#1. They're Made with Healthy Nuts
Let's be honest: the key to a good holiday cookie is that satisfying combination of chew and crunch.
You'd think because we're not using traditional baking ingredients (flour, sugar) that the texture of these chocolate cookies might not be great. But because they're made with healthy, fatty nuts — walnuts for crunch, almond flour for chewiness and texture—you're sure to be delighted.
The final product will remind you of your favorite holiday cookie recipes, we promise.
And by the way: did you know that eating almonds is one way to increase cardiovascular health?
Not only do they contain heart-healthy fatty acids, but they've been proven to lower cholesterol, which is one of the main indicators of heart health [*].
And walnuts offer their own health benefits, too. They're packed with cancer-fighting polyphenols, and studies show eating walnuts may improve brain health as we age[*][*].
#2. They're Sweet, But Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar
We've all eaten one too many sweets around the holidays. Even when we're not on a diet, going a little overboard with the sugar doesn't usually leave you feeling great the next day.
And if you are on a diet like paleo or keto, eating a ton of sugar is pretty much out of the question.
Also Read: Paleo vs. Keto: Comparing Foods, Benefits & Downfalls
That's where monk fruit extract, a natural, plant-based sweetener with zero sugar in it, comes in. Just a half cup of it sweetens this whole batch of cookies.
Sugar-free sweeteners offer the same taste as sugar, with no calories or blood sugar spike[*]. This is especially helpful for people on low-carb diets like paleo or keto, which are known to help stabilize blood glucose levels.
Basically, you can indulge without feeling bad today or tomorrow after you've had a cookie or two… or three.
#3. They Have Mass Appeal
An important component of any diet approach is finding ways to make it work for you. When it comes to holiday baking, a recipe that appeals to everyone (not just low-carb dieters) is a lovely bonus.
Chances are you're making big batches of cookies with family or friends. This recipe calls for simple enough ingredients that it won't look -- or taste -- out of place from other "traditional" cookie recipes.
#4. There's More Than 7 Grams of Protein in One Cookie!
Dietary protein is important for the repair of muscles and other body tissues[*]. It's also helpful for weight management because it keeps you full longer, which helps you eat less[*].
Believe it or not, each cookie is packed with 7.4 grams of protein. (For reference, one cookie is equal to about a cup of chicken in terms of protein[*]).
Not only are these cookies nutritious, but because they're packed with protein, you're less likely to overindulge. (And when you reach for another one, you can say you're eating it to recover from your workout.)
Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Cinnamon
Cinnamon gives these paleo chocolate cookies a flavor that'll make them a holiday favorite for you and your family. It's a bonus that cinnamon also happens to be incredibly good for you.
Here's a laundry list of all the health benefits this spice offers[*]:
- It's anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce your risk of disease.
- It's packed with antioxidants, which helps fight free radicals in your body that can eventually turn into cancer.
- It's antimicrobial, meaning it kills potentially harmful organisms inside your body.
- It boosts cardiovascular health and has been shown to improve blood lipid profiles.
- It may even help delay or treat neurological disorders.
Impressive, right? Cinnamon is an ancient spice that's been used to treat health issues for thousands of years. It'll give these holiday paleo chocolate cookies an unforgettable taste and give you a health boost at the same time.
Now, let's take a look at the recipe!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup monk fruit extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups dark chocolate chunks, divided
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together coconut oil, egg, vanilla, and monk fruit extract in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together almond flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until incorporated. If you need a little more moisture, add in almond milk or water, one tablespoon at a time. Don’t add too much! You want this mixture to be able to be molded in your hands.
- When the mixture is doughy, add in a half cup of chocolate chunks.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Create cookie dough balls and place them onto the cookie sheet. Press them into cookie-sized circles since this mix doesn’t spread a lot.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, melt the remaining chocolate chunks with the cinnamon in 15-second intervals in the microwave.
- When the cookies have cooled, dip them in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Yield: 12 servings
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
Nutritional Facts Per ServingCalories: 311
Fat: 22.7g (65.8%)
Protein: 7.4g (9.5%)
Total Carbs: 19.25g (24.7%)
Sugar Alcohol: 8g
Net Carbs: 5.9g