Okay, this week’s post is going to be short and sweet — literally. It’s a rainy Sunday with take-home midterms still trailing on … As life gets busier, less talk, more focus on recipes! Seems that I have a lot of patients moving toward grain-free eating right now both to lose weight and reduce inflammation, and somehow the topic of chocolate chip cookies keeps coming up. I mean, really, why should it not? In my book the chocolate chip cookie is fairly essential to life. A health supporting recommendation I make to everyone is bringing as many vegetables as possible to your diet while shifting your sweets to more nutrient-dense versions you make at home. So here we go …
This week’s recipe is for the purists, who want their chocolate chip cookies as close to the old Toll House version as possible — but with a healthy makeover. It took me quite a few versions to get these right. They contain no grains and a combination of honey and low-glycemic coconut sugar. They do have plenty of protein and will not send your blood sugar flying through the ceiling the way a cookie made with wheat flour will. They will also fill you up. I confess, I can eat a lot of cookies — but with these, I really can’t manage more than a couple.
Better-For-You Chocolate Chip Cookies … These are paleo — alternatives to make them vegan are included:
- 3 sticks butter (or 1 1/2 cups coconut oil)
- 4 eggs (or 2 tablespoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 8 tablespoons almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
- 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds (optional — this gives more of an oatmeal texture)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips (if you are really trying to keep blood sugar down, stick with bittersweet chips, which are usually over 70% cacao — check the label)
- 1/2 cup dried Goji berries (optional — for a little extra superfood boost!)
(I also add all sorts of things to my cookies — sunflower & pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, flaked coconut, dried cranberries, cacao nibs, crystallized ginger, a teaspoon of cinnamon or cardamom — as I said, this recipe is for the purists! But feel free to go wild…)
Cream softened butter, coconut sugar and honey til fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and salt, then flours. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake at 325 degrees for about ten minutes.
Do watch these carefully because baked-goods made with honey brown much faster and can easily get too dark. You can also vary the amounts of flour for slightly different textures. This amount of coconut flour yields a firmer, slightly more spongy cookie. Reducing the coconut flour by 1/4 cup and adding 1/4 cup more almond flour makes a denser, chewier cookie. I actually like reducing the coconut flour to 3/4 cup, which I think gives a texture even more similar to wheat flour cookies, but they are very delicate. Also, while baking, they will look like they can’t possibly hold together, and all the oil is leaking out. Take heart, they will be okay in the end. They do need to cool completely before being removed from the baking sheet. I let it cool down for a few minutes and then pop it in the fridge for a few minutes so cookies can firm up well before I remove them. As you gain confidence baking with these new flours, experiment and see what you like!