One of my requirements for a consistent healthy diet is that I have to have cookies sometimes. Of course, we all know that chocolate chip cookies are the best, so I’m frequently trying to think of new ways to spin them. These Swirled Paleo Cookie Bars came out kind of like a pizookie! So yummy! My family actually prefers the healthy cookies we make in our kitchen to the high sugar ones they get elsewhere.
There are some things about the Paleo diet that I love, and others that I have some reservations about. My main precautionary advice regarding the Paleo diet is that I think it calls for too much meat! Meat is hard to digest and can wreak havoc on your internal systems if you overdo it. I’m especially concerned about the amount of bacon I see in Paleo recipes on Pinterest! Although it can be eaten as a special treat here and there, bacon should not be included in your daily, or even weekly, meals! (See my Healthy Bacon post for tips on choosing bacon that’s a little better for you…and don’t worry, I’m not talking about turkey bacon. That doesn’t count!)
I also am concerned about the amount of baked Paleo recipes I’m finding that are made with mostly arrowroot, potato, or tapioca starch in them. These starches are very high on the Glycemic Index (GI), and should be eaten sparingly. I like to use them here and there in very small quantities to help the texture of a baked good, but not as the main flour. This leads me to the main reason why I DO like Paleo ideas. The recipes for baked goods frequently use nut and coconut flours, instead of wheat flour. Nut and coconut flours are very low in carbohydrates, and they are actually good for you. When you bake with them, you lower the GI number significantly, just by removing the refined starches, and at the same time you add fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. The fat, protein, and fiber from the nuts also lower the GI! It’s a win/win/win!
Nuts are certainly high in calories, but they are healthy calories. In all of my research, and in my first hand experience, I’ve learned that healthy fats do not make you fat…sugar does! I lost 8 sizes and reversed diabetes eating a diet full of nuts, avocados, and other fatty plant foods. That said, Swirled Paleo Cookie Bars should be eaten in moderation, just like any other dessert.
When you taste these Swirled Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars you won’t miss the grains and dairy at all! You’ll notice that I give you the option of using xylitol, instead of coconut sugar in this recipe. Xylitol is a low carb natural sweetener that bakes and tastes like sugar. It’s kind of expensive, but you don’t use a lot of it. It’s not Paleo, so use coconut sugar if you want to stick with the caveman stuff.
Before we get to the recipe for these Paleo cookie bars, I want to invite you to join with others who are making healthy changes. I’d love to walk alongside you in your journey towards wholeness and health!
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar (xylitol for diabetics, as discussed…it’s not Paleo)
- 2 Cups Cashew or Almond Flour (I prefer the cashew…find at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour ($2.99/lb at Trader Joe’s)
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
NOTE: If you’d like to stick perfectly to the Paleo diet, here is a link for Paleo chocolate chips. Alternatively, the E Guittard ones are 63% cocoa, and aren’t you thankful that dark chocolate is healthy? Click here for more info on the health benefits of chocolate and an easy, healthy fudge recipe.
- 1 Cup Walnuts (Chopped)
- 1 Cup Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Chips
For the Swirl:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with coconut oil. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir together the swirl ingredients in another bowl. Smash the batter into your greased baking pan (good luck not licking your fingers). Spoon the swirl mixture over the top of the batter and lightly swirl it into the top of the batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until edges are brown and center is set. It will be gooey, but that’s not a bad thing! Don’t worry if the edges are a little dark. Enjoy!