When I cut out all grains and dairy, naturally I panicked when it came to desserts. I’ll admit that I’ve always had a sweet tooth, so the thought of not eating ANY desserts definitely threw me for a loop. But I can honestly say that these days, I don’t really crave sugar the way I used to. Maybe it’s because grains give me such a terrible stomach ache and have limited what I can eat, but I’m definitely not looking forward to sugar as much any more. I also have noticed that I have much better control over my sugar intake. Even when I do eat something sweet like a little honey in my tea, it doesn’t trigger a giant sugar binge like it used to.
With that said, I still love my cookies! The thought of not having any cookies this holiday season definitely scared me. Even though it’s only September, I wanted to get a head start and test out a bunch of recipes so that when cookie season officially starts, I’ll have a nice arsenal of recipes to work with. Enter paleo pumpkin cookies!
What Makes these Paleo Pumpkin Cookies Paleo?
I know there’s a ton of buzz and chatter out there about the Paleo diet. If you’ve followed my site for any amount of time, you’ll see that I’ve tried all sorts of diets and healthy eating plans not with the intention of losing weight, but rather promoting health. Out of all the plans I’ve tried over the years, eating a Paleo/Primal diet that limits grains, dairy, and other processed foods is for me the best personal eating plan.
Let me take a moment to issue a quick disclaimer here. Do I promote any specific way of eating? Absolutely not. Cruise through my recipe index, and you’ll find all sorts of vegan, gluten-free, and other healthy recipes. I truly believe that everybody AND every body is different. It all depends on what works for you! If you love running six miles a day and following a vegan diet, good for you. If you love your Asian inspired chicken lettuce wraps, good for you too. As long as you’re healthy and feeling good, it appears that you’re on a diet that works for you personally.
Okay, so before I digress too much, back to paleo. What exactly makes these paleo pumpkin cookies paleo? Because I couldn’t use any sort of flour (even gluten-free flours like amaranth flour), I used a nut-based flour instead. I’ve experimented with all sorts of nut flours, but I’ve found that almond flour works best. Coconut flour is a close second, but almond flour gives a great texture and nutty taste to desserts that is hard to mimic otherwise.
You’ll also see that these paleo pumpkin cookies don’t have any dairy. I know some Paleo/Primal diets encourage grass-fed butter of clarified butter (i.e. ghee), but I personally don’t do well with dairy. Coconut oil makes a fantastic substitute for butter which I believe comes down to its texture. Like butter, coconut oil is solid at room temperature, which helps give these cookies a much denser form compared to using olive oil or canola oil. Even though you melt the coconut oil in this recipe, remember that at room temperature this coconut oil will solidify. This is something you’ll simply never achieve when baking with oils that are liquids at room temperatures.
One last tidbit before I get to today’s recipe. I know that I’ve been posting lots of pumpkin recipes in anticipation for pumpkin season this fall. But I simply can’t help myself! Pumpkin isn’t just a delicious seasonal fall root vegetable, it’s also incredibly healthy for you. Rich in Vitamin A, C, and fiber, it’s definitely a winner in my book. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this amazing ingredient this autumn. But for now, enjoy my paleo pumpkin cookies 🙂