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Healthy Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 17, 2011 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

A cup of ice cold milk and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies is rarely, if ever, considered a healthy dessert or snack. According to most nutritional authorities, it’s a guilty pleasure at best. The recipe I’ll share with you today defies the conventional view of cookies and milk. If eaten in moderation, it can actually support healthier blood sugar and lipid levels and possibly even discourage obesity – when used in the context of a low carbohydrate diet. Did I mention that it’s also all natural and gluten free?

The biggest difference between my chocolate chip cookie recipe and others is that I use almond flour instead of wheat flour and grass fed butter instead of conventional butter or shortening. Butter derived from grass fed and pasture raised cows is demonstrably different than ordinary butter. The grass fed variety tends to have higher levels of desirable antioxidants and fatty acids including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and polyunsaturated omega 3s. The latest research about almonds reveals that regular consumption tends to improve both short term and long term blood sugar levels. Rounding out the primary ingredients in the recipe: a) Vanilla isn’t just a flavoring agent. Natural vanilla extracts possess potent antioxidant activity. b) Eating a daily serving of omega-3 enriched eggs has been shown to improve cardioprotective lipoprotein concentrations (higher ApoA1 and lower ApoB/ApoA1 ratio). c) A recent review from the Harvard School of Public Health explains that non-alkaline cocoa is a valuable food in the fight against diabetes and heart disease. According to the authors of the review, “FRC (flavonoid-rich cocoa) consumption significantly improves blood pressure, insulin resistance, lipid profile, and FMD (flow-mediated vascular dilation”.

Healthy Fellow Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 oz grass fed butter
2 oz dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup erythritol
1 large, organic, omega 3 egg
1 Tbs organic vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder & salt
10 drops liquid stevia

Nutritional Content (Per Cookie): Calories: 165. Protein: 4 grams. Fat: 15 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 3 grams. Twelve cookies per batch.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°. Sift the almond flour into a large bowl. Sprinkle the baking powder and salt into the almond flour and mix well. In a separate bowl, melt the butter then add the erythritol, liquid stevia and vanilla. Whisk together the butter mixture until fully incorporated. Crack a room temperature egg into the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Next, add the chocolate chips and wet ingredients to the bowl with the almond flour. Fold the batter together to ensure even distribution of the chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon to scoop out relatively uniform portions of dough. Flatten each cookie so that it reaches a diameter of about 2 inches across. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool. During the cooling process the cookies will transform from a very soft texture to a chewier, firm consistency. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk. My choice? Unsweetened, vanilla almond milk. Delicious!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Relationship Between Milk Fatty Acid Composition and Dietary Roughage (link)

Study 2 - Differential Effect of Cheese Fatty Acid Composition on Blood Lipid(link)

Study 3 - Milk Fatty Acid Composition and Cheese Texture and Appearance(link)

Study 4 - Almond Ingestion at Mealtime Reduces Postprandial Glycemia (link)

Study 5 - Studies on the Antioxidant Activities of Natural Vanilla Extract … (link)

Study 6 - Biochemical Effects of Consumption of Eggs Containing Omega-3 (link)

Study 7 - Flavonoid-Rich Cocoa Consumption Affects Multiple Cardiovascular Risk (link)

Almonds Moderate Blood Sugar & Insulin Production

Source: J Nutr. 2006 Dec;136(12):2987-92. (link)

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10 Comments & Updates to “Healthy Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Nina K. Says:

    Hello JP :-)

    YUMMY! And a great healthy sweet treat for tea time in fall ♥ I recently tried raw cocoa nibs, pure cocoa, also very healthy and very delicious.

    Will try that soon :-)

    Nina K.

  2. JP Says:

    Hi, Nina!

    Every once in awhile, I’ll snack on cacao beans. Not sweet but very healthy.

    These cookies are great with coffee or tea as well. Best of all, I tested my blood sugar before and (1 hour) after eating a few of them with a glass of unsweetened almond milk. The result: hardly any change in my blood sugar! A true guilt-free treat! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  3. Daniella Says:

    These sound delicious, I will have to try making them and share with my friends!

  4. JP Says:

    I hope you and your friends enjoy them as much as Mrs. HealthyFellow and I did, Daniella! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Elizabeth Says:

    My husband has been making these with our son, Carter, and they’re delicious. However, we have one question: The ingredient list has baking powder, but the recipe instructions say baking soda. Which one do you use? Thanks!

  6. JP Says:

    Thank you, Elizabeth! I love that your family bakes together … and that you’re enjoying these cookies. :)

    I goofed when I typed “baking powder” in the directions. It should have read “baking soda”. I’m sorry about that! Thank you for drawing my attention to this error. It’s an important one!

    Be well!

    JP

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    I didn’t see your reply before we made the cookies tonight. We used baking powder, which worked. Next time, I’ll try baking soda. Another question: is it 1 tablespoon vanilla, which seems like a lot, or 1 teaspoon? I used 1 teaspoon in this batch and could more readily taste the almond flavor than when my husband used 1 tablespoon vanilla. Both were delicious, though. I’m writing up what we baked tonight on my blog, Baking with Carter, and will post it later tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. JP Says:

    Elizabeth,

    I typically only use baking powder in combination with apple cider vinegar in recipes. The pairing causes a leavening reaction. This is useful in gluten-free recipes in particular.

    The tablespoon of vanilla is a lot, but accurate. I specifically called for this large quantity in order to mask the natural almond flavor and to impart additional antioxidant content – natural vanilla is a relatively potent antioxidant.

    Thank you for the feedback and for your thoughtful questions.

    Be well and happy holidays!

    JP

  9. RP Says:

    how many cookies per batch (to get the nutrient content you mention at the bottom)?
    they look delicious.
    thanks!

  10. RP Says:

    oops! just saw it was 12……..

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