Yesterday I noticed some yellow leaves laying on the ground and so I decided to use my time this morning to get in the kitchen for some recipe creation. 

It is indeed almost that time of year again when all things pumpkin, baking and sugar take over our lives. 

I think half of our obsession over all-things-sugar during this time of year is the nostalgia that comes with it...

...yes, the sugar-loaded cookies taste amazing...but the magical falling leaves outside and cooler temps combined with sweaters and scarves and autumn festivities make the cookies taste better....right?

Does someone who lives in a more tropical climate crave the experience of baking for months on end?


My point is this...we need a lot less sugar than we think we do. The fall cravings of baking, pumpkin and indulgences can be met without ruining our health in the process. 

What if we could get our baking fix and fuel our bodies well so that we aren't walking around in a sugar coma during the last 4 months of the year?

I'm confident we can. 

You see, I probably would have scoffed at this idea 10 years ago...bake a healthy cookie...nonsense

...but I've now experienced what health feels like....and it's a heck of a lot better than the debilitating fatigue and other symptoms I experienced for years. 

So, how can we make our cookies a nourishing yet tasty treat?

1. Use less sugar. The average joe cookie recipe contains 1-2 cups of sugar. That means one cookie contains all of your sugar intake for an entire day!! And who just eats one cookie, right?

Look for recipes that use maple syrup or coconut sugar and in quantities of 1/2 cup or less. 

2. Add protein and fat. If a cookie literally just has flour, sugar and spices, there is nothing in there to keep your blood sugars stable amidst the sugar and white flour. 

Look for recipes that use nut butter, coconut oil, nuts, hemp seed and other real-food ingredients. 

3. Skip the white flour. And maybe the gluten all-together. Most of my clients experience negative side effects when consuming a lot of gluten. Cookies made with paleo-based flours like coconut and almond are high in protein and fat and very filling. Additionally, I love the soft texture they bring to a cookie. If you do use gluten-based flours, look for spelt or sprouted whole wheat. 

4. Eat 1 or 2 and then put them out of sight. It's easy to eat all of something if it's sitting right in front of your face all day. 

Okay, are you ready to bake?

Paleo Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
(makes about 20 cookies) 

-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
-2 T coconut oil, melted
-1 T flaxseed, whole
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/4 cup almond flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/3 cup chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350. Add peanut butter, coconut oil, flaxseed, vanilla, maple syrup and eggs to a large food process. Process until smooth. 

2. Add remaining dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, into processor and blend. 

3. Add chocolate chunks and stir gently until combined. 

4. Using a teaspoon, add about 1/8 cup of batter (for each cookie) to a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until sides are golden brown. Let cookies rest for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack. 

6. Serve with a cold glass of cashew milk. 

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