Smart Cookies

smartcookieThis coming Monday will be four weeks without refined sugar (and with very little sugar at all in my diet.) Ugh. I made it – I’m sure this is penance for making fun of vegans for years.  On the bright side, I do feel better – more energy and all that – but I would be lying if I said this gave me a “glow” or other nonsense observations people write as they go through cleanses or whatever.

Speaking of vegans — after knocking around on the internet, I found some really heartening sites and info — not surprisingly, it turns out there are a lot of people out there trying to eliminate sugar from their diets for any number of reasons: weight-management, diabetes, and the list goes on.  One of these blogs is Part-Time Health Nut, a lovely person who, like me, both quit refined sugar and also loves baking.  She has an outstanding recipe for Carob Cookie Bites.  The recipe is both quick, easy to follow, and results in amazing gluten-free, refined-sugarfree and vegan-y deliciousness.

I’m pretty darn pleased with my gluten-free, vegan baking endeavor – previous attempts to create sugar-free or alternative baking has often resulted in totally inedible “chocolate” hockey pucks.  These carob bites were approved by healthy-eaters and non-healthy-eaters, as well as a 1 year old and a 3 year old – the toddler-approval I consider a high level of praise.

I’ll add my substitutions to the recipe afterwards.  This recipe includes shredded coconut, coconut oil and almond flour so if you have a nut or nut-like allergy, approach with caution.

Carob Cookie Bites


Makes: 24 one-inch cookies, Cook time: 12 minutes,

Oven temp: 350 degrees F


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup carob powder
  • 3 T. organic blonde coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  3. Place coconut oil in a small pot and place over medium-low heat, just to melt.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine almond flour, shredded coconut, baking soda, salt, carob powder, palm sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir to mix ingredients.
  5. Once coconut oil is melted, remove from heat and stir in applesauce and vanilla extract (using the pot saves you from cleaning another bowl).
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix to incorporate.
  7. Scoop a rounded teaspoonful and form into a ball.  Place ball on prepared cookie sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand.  Lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Bake cookies for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool prior to removing from parchment.

Nutrition information:

Serving Size: 1 cookie, Calories: 128,Carbohydrates: 6.2g, Protein:2.4g, Fat:10.7g, Fiber:1.4

*Please note: Nutritional information is not guaranteed and will vary based on the ingredients used

Tanya’s Substitutions:

On the advice of a helpful Wheatsville Co-op staff person, I used 1 cup of Sprouted Buckwheat flour mixed with 1 cup almond flour.  This type of buckwheat flour, which is gluten-free despite having “wheat” in it’s name – is pricey but worth it.  Buckwheat is a sort of superfood, linked to all sorts of health benefits.  Note that in the mix is organic agave inulin – which (according to what’s written on the internet) is well suited for diabetics or people who are sensitive to blood sugar levels, since it does not cause a spike.

I also replaced applesauce with 1 small and very ripe banana on the second round of baking, which made the cookies a touch sweeter.

I cut the carob powder in half, and added in raw cacao powder.  Carob is naturally sweet but tastes very “health food” to me, and the added cacao powder, also a superfood in it’s own right, really added to the chocolate flavor.

I also used Big Tree Farms Blonde organic coconut palm sugar – which is available at my local grocery store (thank goodness.)  Almond and buckwheat flour are harder to obtain and require a trip to the co-op.  I’m pretty sure Whole Foods also carries these type of products.

And voila! a smart cookie is born! Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did!

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3 Responses to Smart Cookies

  1. Sheilagh says:

    oh, you had a glow when I saw you last night .. you just couldn’t see it :)

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