The holidays always pose obstacles in the nutrition arena (even if you are a health practitioner who believes in healthy practices 110%!). So, I often tell people to keep it low stress because unless everywhere you are going to be is going to have choices congruent with your ideals, you are going to face options/decisions/challenges. Make the best decisions possible and only indulge in the unique things that come about once a year. In other words, make it count. Don’t indulge on anything that came from a box; it’s probably not real food anyway. ;)
However, I find that making goodies that you can have on hand or bring to gathering with you is an awesome way to ensure you are not the ONLY person not eating dessert. Last year, I baked Christmas cookies with my mom, and I want to share some of my favorites that I would definitely repeat. This year I think I am doing a paleo cookies exchange with the girls from the gym, so I will be able to try out other people’s favorites, too!
Truffles: (from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Cookbook)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
- 1 bar (500 grams) of chocolate (70-75% dark) broken into small pieces
- Optional: cocoa powder, nuts, coconut, flavored extracts
Place coconut milk and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until coconut oil is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Do not let it go to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
Off heat, add chocolate pieces to the milk mixture and stir until it is completely melted. Continue stirring until the chocolate thickens and cools a bit. (If you choose to add flavored liquor, now is the time! Add 2 tbsp of liqueor or 1/4 tsp extract). Transfer to a shallow dish for faster cooling, then to the refrigerator. Let mixture thicken at least 2 hours, stirring 3 to 4 times as it cools and thickens. Place whatever outer mixture you would like in a shallow dish. (I have used cocoa powder, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, etc) Remove the chocolate from the fridge when it is in a clay consistency. Form into balls and roll in the covering! Put in the fridge and consume within a week or freeze up to a month!
Chocolate chip cookies: (from Detoxinista)
- 2 cups almond meal, or almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened (or grassfed butter)
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup enjoy life chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, and baking soda, then add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix well.
Fold in the chocolate chips, then drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat, or parchment paper.
Bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature.
Ginger Molasses Cookies: (from my lovely brain)
- 2 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup grassfed butter (or coconut oil)
- 1/4-1/2 cup organic unsulfered molasses (depends on how much you like molasses)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp real salt
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp cardamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- chopped crystallized ginger for topping (the only ingredients should be sugar and ginger)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and dry spices together in a large bowl.
Place the molasses in a sauce pan on the stove top and heat until it begins to form bubbles. Take off the heat and add in the butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and ginger. Stir until completely combined.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Place the bowl of dough into the fridge while you place parchment paper on your baking sheets and chop up your crystallized ginger.
When ready, use a tablespoon to portion out the dough, roll it between your palms, press it onto the cooking sheet. Sprinkle the chopped ginger onto the top of each.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies start to set!
Lemon Shortbread Cut-Outs: (from Nikki Young)
- ⅔ cup almond meal
- ⅓ cup arrowroot flour
- 1 tbs finely grated lemon rind
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbs honey
- ⅔ cup macadamia butter or cashew butter (would prob be great with coconut butter too!)
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160° Celsius/325° Fahrenheit.
Place the almond meal, arrowroot flour, grated lemon rind, lemon juice, honey and macadamia butter in a bowl and combine well.
Roll out the shortbread dough onto a sheet of baking paper, place another sheet of baking paper on the top of the dough to prevent
sticking. Roll the dough until 5mm thick. Use a cookie-cutter to cut shapes from the dough, re-roll when necessary.
Place the cut shortbread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until they are slightly
Cool the shortbread in a refrigerator before serving.
Lemon Shortbread Makes 14-16
Replace the grated lemon rind with orange or lime rind to vary up this delicious shortbread.
Chocolate Coffee Caramel Bars (from PaleOMG)
- 12-14 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for an hour
- 5-6 tablespoons canned coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or dark chocolate, melted
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons ground coffee
- coarse sea salt, to top
First make your crust. Add all of your crust ingredients into a food processor and mix until well combined. Add the crust mixture to a bread pan and push down until the mixture is flat. Like a crust.
Now add your dates and pulse until dates have broken down (less than a minute) then add your coconut milk tablespoon by tablespoon to the dates while the food processor is still running. Then add your water as well.
And add your vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
Process until you get a caramel. May take 3-5 minutes, tops.
Pour caramel over your crust and spread evenly.
Now you will want to melt your chocolate. You could do this in a double boiler or just the microwave.
Melt chocolate and coconut milk together in the microwave. Heating for 30 seconds then mixing well and reheating when necessary.
Once your chocolate is completely melted, add your ground coffee and mix well.
Pour melted chocolate over your caramel and spread evenly.
Add coarse sea salt on top of the chocolate.
Put in freezer to let chocolate harden. Around 10+ minutes.
These should keep you busy for a while. ;) I’m not going to lie though, my favorite Christmas cookie when I was a kid was this peanut butter chocolate rollup thing. I think this Christmas I may try and make it Paleo…bring back the goodness. ;)