My mom wrote me a while ago, asking if I had any ideas for making a cookie that would be semi-healthy. She's on a diet and trying not to eat anything that mixes a lot of fat with a lot of sugar - and if I could come up with something that was no fat and sugar free, I'd be doing even better.
I did some poking around online for her, and found a few fat-free cookie recipes that looked pretty tasty. (Fat Free Vegan has some pumpkin cookies that look killer!) But I was determined to come up with a recipe of my own. I'm sure if I could come up with a fat free, sugar free cookie that tasted unhealthy, I'd have the entire dieting world groveling at my feet. I'm sorry to say that I haven't achieved it yet - but there's always next week, right?
At any rate, I've been on something of a high-fat, complex-carbohydrates kick lately myself - lots of nuts and veggies and meat and tofu, with not as much grains, rice, and breads as usual. I won't call it low-carb, because that isn't the point. It's just that for some reason I've been extremely sensitive to anything with sugar lately - even fruit, sometimes. So I thought I could come up with a cookie that would have minimal carbohydrates, with lots of protein and fiber to keep my blood sugar stable.
In my searches through the realms of Google, I ran across Elena's Pantry, a wonderful food blog dedicated to gluten-free, low-glycemic recipes. She uses coconut flour as a high-protein, high-fiber ingredient that will help balance out whatever sweeteners you do use in the recipe.
I was intrigued, especially since she recommends using virgin coconut oil as a healthy cooking fat. I had just purchased a jar of virgin coconut oil for cooking, and I'd been looking for an excuse to use it in baking. Combining coconut oil with coconut flour just seemed to make sense - and it tastes delicious!
If you opt to use coconut oil in the recipe, be sure to buy virgin coconut oil (the unrefined first pressing of a coconut). It is a completely different creature than the less-expensive, highly-processed variety. It is, admitedly, high in saturated fat, but it's made up a different kind of saturated fat than you find in animal fats. Because of this, it has reported health benefits and is also great for your skin.
This isn't by any means a low-calorie cookie. It's not low-fat, either. But the calories you're getting are largely from protein and fiber, and not empty sugar calories. With a light sweetness from the agave syrup, it tastes like a real cookie - but your body won't react as if you just dove head first into a mound of cotton candy!
Chocolate Coconut Cookies
This recipe makes 10-12 cookies - perfect if you don't want a bunch of left overs lying around tempting you. You could easily double the ingredients if you want to.
1/4 cup coconut flour (e.g. Bob's Red Mill)
2.5 Tbs cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tstp salt
3 Tbs agave nectar
2 large eggs
1-2 Tbs milk
2 Tbs virgin coconut oil (or butter), melted
Preheat the oven to 350°
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs and add the other wet ingredients. When everything is well combined, pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix for about a minute or so. You will see the coconut flour thicken dramatically. If necessary, add a bit more milk - you want this to be about the thickness of thick cake batter, but thinner than normal cookie dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet if you have it. If all else fails, butter the pan well and hope for the best. (I haven't tried it without baking paper, but these seem like they would probably stick.) Drop the batter onto the baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.
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