I’ve been a massive cookie, cake, pastry and ice cream monster as far back as I can remember. No joke.
It’s common for kids to be into sugar but looking back me being “into” sugar looked more like a complete obsession.
Maybe it was because I grew up vegetarian and craved foods that my friends were eating but I wasn’t allowed to. I ate veggie sandwiches on whole wheat bread with alfalfa sprouts and my Christmas dinner was a salmon stuffed with veg vs turkey and stuffing.
Needless to say when I saw a Joe Louis at the skating rink tuck shop I would be willing to cut someone with my left skate to devour it.
But those sugar addictive ways (partnered with other stressful factors) led to years of chronic candida issues, brain fog, food intolerances, hormonal dysregulation and acne/weight gain, inflammation and the list goes on.
I took me decades to learn how to love my body, improve my diet to support this amazing vessel and take great care of my health.
But…I still love sugar.
And that’s ok!
Because now we have things like monk fruit extract and stevia which are zero calories, whole food based sweeteners which don’t feed pathogenic microbes in the gut, spike our blood sugar and negatively affect our microbiome.
I want to have my cake, cookies, ice cream etc., and of course, I want to eat it too…every last crumb of it.
So! I recently made a batch of low carb, high protein, high (healthy) fat chocolate chip cookies to satisfy my sweet tooth this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.
A few notes on ingredients:
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil can be directly swapped out for butter if you can tolerate dairy, OR the butter flavoured coconut oil by Nutiva is insanely delicious.
Monk Fruit Extract: Monk fruit extract is a plant-based sweetener free from sugar and will not spike your blood sugar levels. It doesn’t have the chemical taste that stevia has and subs out equally with white sugar which makes it great for low carb baking! My fave brand is Lakanto and I find most health food stores carry it. My local health food store sells it for $7.99.
Cacao Nibs: I’ve tried to find the perfect low carb, dairy free, sugar-alcohol free chocolate chip with no success (holler if you know of one please!). So, I texted my fellow RHN baking-diva Sabrina Virdee and asked if she thought cacao nibs would be a good sub for chocolate chips.
She agreed and they turned out perfect! Cacao nibs are high in healthy fats, fibre, contain a fair amount of protein and contain zero sugar. They also contain magnesium, a mineral which many people are deficient in as well as iron and potassium which aid in balancing our minerals and building hemoglobin, a protein needed to shuttle oxygen to our cells (think energy!).
Gut Health Hack:
Beware of sugar alcohols when making low carb desserts. Ingredients like:
They can cause a lot of disruption in the gut should you have IBS symptoms such as gas, bloating, loose stool and/or constipation as they are high FODMAP and feed the overgrowth of pathogenic microbes the gut leading to IBS symptoms and gut inflammation.
Try to minimize the number of sugar alcohols you consume to avoid gut symptoms while you work on correcting your microbial balance.
1 1/2 almond flour
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup granulated monk fruit extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cacao nibs
Whip it up like so:
Preheat your oven to 180C (355 F). Melt the coconut oil by running the bottle under hot water or submerging the bottle in a pot for a few minutes.
Place the coconut oil into a mixing bowl or food processor and mix with monk fruit extract. Add the vanilla and egg, mix on low for another 15 seconds.
Add the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined well.
Press the dough together and remove from the bowl. Fold the chocolate chips into the dough with your hands or spoon.
Use a 1 tablespoon to scoop the batter and place on a baking tray. Lightly press the ball down to flatten and bake for 22 minutes.
Let them cool completely to allow them to firm up. Keep in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
I hope you enjoy these with your fave people, or alone, with zero guilt and endless amounts of joy and appreciation for the emotions healthy desserts can make us feel (I feel all of them lol).
Be well with hope,
Cassandra Hope RHN + mindset coach
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