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Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – Day 20 Grain-Free Challenge

by Deliciously Organic on September 30, 2011

Last year Tracy, moved nearby and we became fast friends. As we got to know each other, I shared my love for wholesome organic foods. She was interested, soaking up every bit of knowledge I could share with her. In a matter of months she got rid of many of the processed foods in her house and replaced them with organic, whole foods. Tracy is married with three sons. As you would expect, her sons complained some and weren’t very excited to find their boxes of Golden Grahams replaced with steel cut oats and cream. Tracy stuck with it despite the complaints; slowly the boys starting enjoying the new foods. Matt, her middle son started to notice how much better he felt and how much clearer his skin was when he ate healthy, nutritious foods. The whole family encouraged Tracy to continue, so she did – exploring all sorts of new nourishing foods that had never before passed their lips.

Last week was a special occasion. Brice was turning 16. As with most families, Brice got to put in his request for his special meal and Tracy cooked up traditional family recipes (some included white sugar and white flour). The family enjoyed the meal together, but the next morning Matt woke up and wasn’t happy. His skin had broken out again and he didn’t feel well. He actually got upset that Tracy had cooked the previous night’s dinner with processed ingredients! Imagine that! A young man who resisted removing the processed foods just a year ago, was now upset his mom had served them.

I share this to show you that given some time, any family can make the change. There might be some bumps in the road, your kids or spouse might resist at first, but give it time. Our tastes change. That box of Golden Grahams your kids couldn’t live without may be pushed aside for some old-fashioned eggs, bacon, and veggies.

I asked Tracy if she had any tips for you, and this is what she shared:

1. Leave some processed foods in the pantry and fridge. Don’t deny them everything. Tracy left some of their favorite snacks in the pantry and fridge during the change. As she offered good choices at meals she discovered they stopped eating the processed foods altogether, but - they made the choice themselves instead of being forced. 

2. Let your kids prepare meals themselves. She said her sons were more willing to eat the nutritious eggs and smoothies they made themselves in the morning.

3. Leave out some good reading material so they can learn on their own. Tracy left out “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. Her sons started reading it and began saying, “Mom! Did you know. . .?”

Last week I decided to come up with a grain-free chocolate chip cookie recipe and who better to taste test than Tracy’s three boys? When I arrived they came in from doing yard work, sampled the cookies, then came back for more. They gave the thumbs up, hopefully you and your family will, too.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serving Size: Makes about 16 3-inch cookies.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I tested these with my own ground up almonds and the almond flour I could buy at my health food store. The difference was dramatic. My own ground up almonds produced a very flat cookie, while the almond flour at the store produced a more round and uniform cookie. They even tasted a bit different. I prefer the ones made with the almond flour at my health food store.

These cookies will be golden brown on the outside rim and soft in the middle. I baked the cookies at several temperatures, but they always had the brown edges. After taste testing several batches we actually preferred this - a buttery-crispy edge and a soft interior.

Ingredients

    For the dough:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I use Bernard Jensen)

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 4 ounces good organic dark chocolate cut into small pieces (such as Trader Joe's or Equal Exchange)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. Place butter and maple syrup in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until combined. Turn mixer to low and beat in vanilla, egg and gelatin. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes (don't skip this step. The resting allows the gelatin to bloom so your cookies won't spread all over the pan).

Whisk almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Turn mixer on low and slowly add flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate pieces. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough onto baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes until edges are golden brown. Best eaten warm.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots September 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

Mmm…almond flour chocolate chip cookies are the best! I made some the other week and they have become my new favorite cookie: http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2011/09/almond-oat-chocolate-chip-cookies-best-cookie-ever

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Nicole September 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

I finally bought some coconut flour so that I can try some of these grain-free recipes you’ve been posting. Looking forward to experimenting!

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Deborah Sanderson September 30, 2011 at 10:13 am

Yahoo, I look forward to trying as my son and I both loved your chocolate chip cookies from your cookbook. I also like that this doesn’t make as many cookies as they are VERY tempting for me… :-) I had coconut flour and just this week ordered the Bob’s Red Mill almond flour you recommended in another post. I should get the flour tomorrow or early next week. Once I do, I hope to be more set in trying the grain free recipes. Due to a hectic last few weeks and only getting half of “Wheat Belly” read, I still haven’t been able to do a strict grain free trial.

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Kassie Foundos October 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

I am new to wheat free but have found that Trader Joes carries their own brand of almond flour and coconut milk and it is quite a bit cheaper than Bob’s.

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Deliciously Organic October 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I agree! The almond flour at TJ’s is so affordable. I hope they keep expanding so everyone can have easy access to TJ’s one day!

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Deborah Sanderson September 30, 2011 at 11:19 am

Oh, was curious… Can we sub coconut oil for butter? If so, 1 to 1?

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Deliciously Organic September 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

No. Coconut oil won’t work in this recipe.

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Deborah September 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I’ve been trying to make small changes to make it so our family eats healthier. And we love cookies, so I’m sure this would be a welcome recipe in our house!!

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the urban baker September 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Tracy is your neighbor and has kept you aware of the changes. Sometimes writing this blog you are not aware of how many people are listening to you. I’m sure it is more than you are aware of. 12 days grain free…I must try these!

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Brooke @ Food Woolf September 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm

What a great story. Isn’t it funny how doing new things can seem like a drag at first, but with time the new way is MUCH better and something we come to rely on? Brilliant story and great recipe. Thank you!

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Janice September 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I love that this recipe uses gelatin. I have been looking for more ways to incorporate gelatin into our diet…and in a chocolate chip cookie…perfect.

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shell ledrew September 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm

i am enjoying all the grain-free recipes and where this is heading for me and my family….i picked up some Bob Mills almond flour yesterday…a couple questions…i noticed you mentioned you make your own almond flour but on this post, you mentioned the Bob Mills was your preference? Would you recommend buying it then or making it? Also…coconut flour is not on our store shelves…can you make this yourself or again, should I purchase it and do you have recommendation where..? Sorry if these questions find you repeating yourself from any previous posts….

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Deliciously Organic October 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

For these cookies to have the best result, I’d recommend buying almond flour. I tested the cookies with both, homemade and store-bought flours, and the store-bought almond flour yielded the best results. I buy my coconut flour either through Amazon or Azure Standard.

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Molly Chester September 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm

OOohhh… I caaaan’t WAIT!

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Jenn Hayden September 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Is there a certain brand of gelatin I need to buy for these cookies…they do look good and you know how much I love chocolate chip cookies…!

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Deliciously Organic October 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Jenn – I use Bernard Jensen’s gelatin. I order it on Amazon. :)

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marla {family fresh cooking} September 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Tough to look at these cookies before bed…I would love a batch right about now :)

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Sheila D. Copeland October 1, 2011 at 3:13 am

Yes! I’ve been making sprouted WW choco-chip cookies for our boys, but I don’t eat them myself. (Trying to stay grain free.) These are perfect! I can’t wait to try them! Thank you.

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Katrina October 1, 2011 at 4:40 am

Who needs flour with chocolate chip cookies?! They are so great in any way! Yum.

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Liz October 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

I just made these and they came out perfectly. Nothing better than guilt-free cookies on a cold, rainy day! Thanks for all the great recipes :)

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Deliciously Organic October 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for the feedback!

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Janine October 2, 2011 at 3:12 am

Is there anything else I can substitute the coconut flour with? It’s pretty hard to find where I’m at, and not to mention impossibly expensive. And does the gelatin you use have a ‘strength’? Gelatin here in powder form is sold in terms of ‘gold’ strength, etc, so I’m just wondering which type I should use!

Thanks :D

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Deliciously Organic October 2, 2011 at 6:41 am

I use Bernard Jensen’s gelatin (found on Amazon). I know it’s a “real” gelatin, but that’s about all I know. To replace the coconut flour, maybe add 1/4 cup more of almond flour in place of the coconut flour, or use 1 tsp. of gelatin instead of 1/2 tsp. I used the coconut flour as a binder b/c without it the cookies were too soft and flat. So maybe with a bit more almond flour and more gelatin, they would stay in circles. Hope that helps!

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Janine October 2, 2011 at 7:02 am

oh okay great thanks :D

An idea just struck me – I am able to get coconut flakes quite easily – does this produce the same result as coconut flour if I were to blend it to a powder? Also, iyour opinion, will using buckwheat or tapioca flour be suitable for ‘binding’?

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Deliciously Organic October 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

I actually tried that the other day and I couldn’t get the coconut to grind into a powder. If you have a grain mill it might work…still haven’t tried that one yet. Tapioca or buckwheat could work, just make sure and use gelatin to help bind. Let me know how it goes!

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Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] October 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

I cannot wait to try these. I love chocolate chip cookies!

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MONA October 3, 2011 at 9:53 am

Hi- a friend told me about this website and I can’t stop visiting it! I love the recipes and the photos are BEAUTIFUL!!! I’ve tried to learn more about how your Grain-Free recipes started, which blog started it all? I have been looking to do the same and see if it helps this terrible break out I get on my face, around my mouth, under my cheeks.
Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic October 3, 2011 at 10:34 am
Kimberley October 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

Is there any non-nut or soy-based substitute for almond flour? I have allergies to both. Thanks for any ideas!

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Deliciously Organic October 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Sorry. I’m unaware of a good substitute for this recipe.

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Georgia Pellegrini October 4, 2011 at 9:28 am

I LOVE this. Love, love, love. I’m so inspired to try this once I have some time to be at home and still.

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aida mollenkamp October 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Wow, Day 20! I’m so impressed by the fact that you’ve been grain-free yet brimming with tasty recipe ideas.

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen October 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I’ve been trying to come up with a good grain-free chocolate chip cookie recently but my attempts have not come out quite right so I’m excited to try these out.

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Dalia October 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Quinoa flour works really well if you can’t find coconut flour.

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Dalia October 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Oh, and oat flour works well, too. I’m allergic to almonds. If there’s no oatflour, just grind about a cup of oatmeal (i use steel cut, but rolled works fine – not instant, though) in a food processor or blender. Consistency is a personal preference, but I like mine a little coarse.

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Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels October 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Wow these cookies look sooo soo good. I love that you used maple syrup in the cookies, yum! :)

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Sally October 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thanks Carrie! I’m a new reader of yours. Thank you also for the sacrifice you and your family make for our country. It’s never said enough. I know being mom halfway single sometimes is tough. My husband is an airline pilot, while he’s not gone for months, sometimes I feel like I just need help even after his week trips. My prayers are with you and your family.
I took your grain free challenge. I’m 3 weeks in. My children went crazy. I’ve been grinding my own wheat and for years, they went into shock. These cookies are the best grain free recipe by far that we’ve eaten. They gave a big thumbs up and said these are favorites. I’ve only lost about 5 lbs total and about 4 inches overall. I’m happy about that, but some of what I’ve read on the Wheat Belly blog seems like people are dropping one lb a day. I need to lose about 20 lbs total. Just wondering how it’s going for you and if you plan to stick with it?
Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic October 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Sally – Thank you so much for your kind words. With your husband being an air line pilot you definitely understand what it’s like having your husband in and out. I guess you get used to it, but it never seems “normal”. You know? :) I’m so glad to hear you took the challenge and that your kids liked the cookies! Yes, I’ve also read about some of those losing a pound a day, but maybe those people have quite a bit more to loose than some of us? I know that if someone is very overweight, they will loose a lot at the beginning. 5 pounds and 4 inches is great! I’ve kept with it and to date I’ve lost 11 pounds and 5 inches. I really like it and plan to stick with it. As the holidays approach I might throw in a recipe with gluten free grains, but I’m going to try and focus on grain-free recipes for a while. There are so many possibilities!

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Georgia October 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

Will be making these to try out. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful recipes. I truly enjoy your posts. Find them to be thought provoking and educational.

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Deliciously Organic October 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

Thank you!

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James Hilton November 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

This sounds interesting. I’ve never had grain fee cookies before, but I think I’m going to give this a try.

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Poornima February 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Hi,
What can I use instead of gelatin in this recipe? Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic February 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

You can leave it out, but the cookies will be more crumbly than intended. The gelatin acts as the binder for these cookies, while also adding some great nutrients!

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Poornima February 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks for your reply. I get that but we are vegetarians and don’t eat meat. So I was wondering if there was any vegan substitute for gelatin.

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Alisha Hillstrom March 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I made these for my cooking club today. I could not believe how good they were! I was skeptical, when I was making them, because the batter just did not seem like it was enough. All of the ladies LOVED them and were amazed that they were grain free. I will probably make these for the rest of my life. SO good! Thank you!!

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Deliciously Organic March 6, 2013 at 7:47 am

Thank you for the kind words. I’m so glad you all enjoyed them! It’s fun to see how delicious grain-free eating can be! :)

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Jackie January 23, 2014 at 6:01 am

Could ghee be used to substitute the butter?

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Deliciously Organic January 23, 2014 at 7:24 am

Yes, ghee will work as a substitute.

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Holly February 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I used salted butter and they were way too salty. I’ll try them again but will omit the salt.

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Deliciously Organic February 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

Yes, salted butter can make quite the difference when baking.

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