A delicious cookie that is healthy, chewy and naturally sweet, this must be a dream. These heavenly cookies make for a perfect snack when those sugar cravings kick in.
Health and chocolate in the same sentence sound contradictory, but I’m here to break that assumption with these nutrient-dense cookies jam-packed with protein, healthy fats and carbs. To top it off, they are also gluten, dairy and refined sugar-FREE!
Warm cookies and milk take me back to childhood. Anyone else used to sneak cookies from the kitchen when they were a child? My love for cookies hasn’t changed, and you’ll always find me with my hands in the cookie jar (nom, nom, nom)
These cookies always hit the sweet spot; with their chewy middle and chocolaty flavour, they always manage to satisfy me when the sugar cravings kick in.
Unlike store-bought cookies, the carbohydrates in these homemade delights are mostly complex, meaning they’ll keep your blood sugar levels in check and provide you with a steady release of energy.
Science Facts – Dark Chocolate
Fun fact: Did you know that dark chocolate (70-80% cacao) is a powerful source of antioxidants?
The high cacao content in dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants, which protects your cells against free radicals and therefore helps minimise your chance of developing chronic diseases, such as, heart disease, diabetes, depression and cancer.
Cacao may also improve your heart health by helping to lower your blood pressure levels. Cacao contains a specific flavonoid (compounds found naturally in many fruits and vegetables), epicatechin, which may improve your blood circulation by dilating your blood vessels. This special compound is lost during the manufacturing process of milk chocolate, meaning that the beneficial effects on your heart are lost.
Dark chocolate can also boost your mood, providing your body with “feel-good chemicals” which can combat stress and produce a sense of euphoria, happiness and relaxation. A recent study on healthy young women suggested that a single “dose” of 85% dark chocolate could help to manage acute stress.
Therefore, dark chocolate is in fact healthy for you! However, like everything, moderation is key. Whilst it does provide a host of health benefits, it is calorie dense and therefore a small quantity goes a long way. I find that most days a cube of chocolate a day is enough to curb my extreme chocolate cravings. However, this doesn’t mean that I never splurge and eat the whole bar. I simply listen to my body and never feel guilty about it afterwards.
Choosing your dark chocolate
Fun Fact: Did you know that the percentage label on the front of your chocolate bar (i.e 85% dark chocolate) represents the ratio of cacao beans to sugar?
To counteract the sweetness of the dough, I like to use 70-80% dark chocolate, which melt to create a gooey centre. Whilst milk or white chocolate are also super yummy, you’ll be missing out on the health benefits of dark chocolate. When I made these last, I used a combination of DF milk and dark chocolate, which was a delicious combination.
Reading the labels carefully when choosing your chocolate is vital, especially if you’re dairy free. Whilst dark chocolate should be dairy free, many dark chocolates on the market still contain milk or milk derivatives.
Below are a few of my favourite dairy-free dark-chocolate choices for baking (and snacking!):
Ombar 72% Dark Chocolate (They also make 100% cacao!)
Seed and Bean 72% Extra dark chocolate
I love this company because all their cocoa beans are ethically sourced and organic, plus their chocolate is super yummy!
- Flour. I find that the combination of almond and coconut flour gives the perfect texture to these cookies. It doesn’t matter whether the almond flour is blanched or not, both work well. If you don’t have almond or coconut flour on hand, All-Purpose Gluten-Free flour or plain white flour (if you’re not GF) would also be fine.
- Eggs. An egg really helps to bind the dough together. There is a misconception that egg yolks are bad for your health. This couldn’t be further from the truth. They are truly a superfood, loaded with key nutrients, protein and healthy fats.
- Coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is a great replacement for refined sugars, providing a perfect amount of sweetness and a hint of a coconut flavour. Alternatively, you can use brown sugar.
- Coconut oil. I always use unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil as it is a lot healthier and nutritional dense than the other refined oils available.
- Nut butter. I used smooth peanut butter for these cookies but any nut butter will do. . Nut butter really helps to stick everything together whilst also providing a nutty flavour and host of health benefits. Did you know that 2tbsp of almond butter has around 9g of protein and 18g of healthy fat? What’s more, its a great source of magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorous. A nutritious powerhouse if you ask me! Just make sure you’re getting natural nut butter, with no added salt, preservatives or palm oil.
- vanilla extract. I love adding vanilla extract to my baked goods. It’ll take your recipes from yummy to mouthwatering.
- Baking soda. No one wants a flat, dense cookie!
- Chocolate chips (I used dairy-free). Because who doesn’t like chocolate?? If you don’t, this recipe probably isn’t for you!!
- Salt. A pinch of salt helps to bring out the yummy flavours and add depth to your baking
Top tips to making the perfect cookie
To make these cookies healthier, we’re utilising extra virgin coconut oil rather than good old butter. This means that the cookie dough is quite oily before baking and requires some arm work to combine the chocolate chips into the dough.
Use your hands to kneed the dough and roll it into balls. Hands on work is necessary to evenly distribute the chocolate chips and roll the dough into balls
- Don’t worry if a few chocolate chips fall out. Due to the lack of gluten, it can be harder for the cookies to stick together. This means that when rolling them in your hands to create a cookie shape, some chocolate chips tend to escape. I tend to just snack on the fallen victims…
- Want double chocolate cookies? If you’re like me and you want your cookies extra chocolaty, then adding cocoa to the dough can take your cookies to the next level. Simply, add a tablespoon of cocoa when you add the other dry ingredients.
If you make these cookies tag #fruitfulflora and link @fruitful_flora on instagram and I’ll share your yummy creation on my story.Print
- 1 Cup Almond Flour
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 2Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Nut Butter
- 1Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
- 1/8Tsp Salt
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a baking sheet
- Mix the dry ingredients together (except chocolate chips)
- In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients
- Slowly add wet into the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly
- Slowly fold in the chocolate chips by hand
- Roll dough into 8 balls and flatten on baking tray into cookie shapes
- Bake for around 10-12 minutes or until golden brown