Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Protein Cookies (GF, DF)

Looking for a gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free HEALTHY pumpkin chocolate chunk cookie? These Collagen Quinoa Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies have just the good stuff… protein, fat, nuts, pumpkin, seeds and an allergy-free mega chocolate chunk!


collagen quinoa cookie gluten free



Give me a one bowl cookie recipe filled with functional, health-promoting foods that taste and look like a cookie and I’m SOLD. After the popularity of my Gluten-Free Protein Breakfast Cookies, I wanted to make a more treat-like fall version with pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and CHOCOLATE.


These cookies are chock full of good stuff like…


Pumpkin Puree: adds moisture, nutrients and helps use up that can of opened pumpkin puree! The pumpkin puree replaces oil/butter in traditional cookies.


Chia Eggs: help bind the cookie together while adding moisture and chewiness – my favorite egg replace – although you can sub the chia egg for 1 whisked large egg too!


Dry Quinoa: these little sprinkles add crunch and an earthy, nutty flavor to the cookies! I used to make the most delicious millet muffins and the dry quinoa here is reminiscent of that recipe for me.


Mega Chocolate Chunks: allergy-friendly BIG ASS chocolate chunks from Enjoy Life melt into gooey pools of chocolate in almost every bite in these cookies! These chocolate chunks really take these cookies from tasting health to tasting like a real treat without any garbage ingredients!


Sunbutter: I love the flavor of sunbutter and the thickness it provides for this cookie dough. It bakes up into a heart cookie keeping this recipe filling and full of nutrients from real food!


Feel free to get a little crazy and add flaked or shredded coconut, replace the pumpkin puree with sweet potato puree, or mix in some dried mulberries, raisins or diced figs. I always want my recipes to be the basis for YOUR own individual take. Make it as written and then adjust to your taste. This is how we learn to cook/bake and become our own personal chef, creating delicious, healthy meals out of whatever is in our pantry and fridge!




gluten free protein cookies




Soft Sugar Cookies (Paleo/Egg-Free)


Oh my gosh these cookies are sooo sooo sooo good! A certain someone asked me the other night for Christmas cookies and when I questioned what kind, I was disappointed they didn’t say chocolate chip. Damn it, I don’t have a recipe for grain-free sugar cookies! So I had to make one, and I don’t call myself a baker. You couldn’t get me drunk enough to call myself a baker. But I did it, and I’m proud of myself.

These are the nice, fluffy soft sugar cookies that I grew up eating but the cookie dough tastes like Slice & Bake cookie dough and it doesn’t contain eggs so you really have no excuses to not let your kids eat the dough!


Or yourself. Because I totally saved up a cookie’s worth of dough from the “ends of the roll, who would want that?” It’s up to you if you want to frost them. They are delicious either way, but I think it would be super fun to frost and decorate them with your family. If you know of any non-offensive organic sprinkles or food coloring, please let everyone know in the comments section! That would be so awesome of you – I did a search and couldn’t find anything I was terribly comfortable purchasing myself. But there may be another brand out there that I didn’t come across!


Speaking of comments, thank you everyone who took the time out of your day to give me some encouragement after my blog post yesterday.  It was truly heart-warming and gratifying to read that my recipes and blog do have some positive impact and that they are appreciated by you. It really does give me the confidence to keep putting content out there in this wild world of information-overload. In my personal life, I’ve been toiling over my life passions, especially since having Grace and the thought of being away from her 40 hours a week makes me incredibly sad.


I know so many moms return to work because they do what they have to do. I’m fortunately in a situation where I can take an extended maternity leave for which I’m so grateful for. This girl is my best friend and my everything, and when she goes down for her naps, I miss her so much. I think the pediatrician will have to be more worried about my separation anxiety than her’s when she goes to preschool.


So 2017 is going to be another year of newness for me. I’m going to put my focus on really narrowing in on my passion and where I see myself growing from here. If it means returning to work as planned in January, so be it. But I’m going to continue to pray that my “meaning in life” comes along sometime in the first half of the year so I can put all my focus on that and her.


I do love occupational therapy, but I also feel incredibly conflicted at times when I know how much my patients would benefit from lifestyle and dietary healing versus just covering up or bandaging their symptoms. It’s a deep internal conflict, and I think a lot of people who work in healthcare and who also lead a holistic lifestyle can relate to. At the end of the day, if you’re working in healthcare, you still are helping someone, and that is to be celebrated. 


Sugar Cookie FAQs

  • Do I have to use cream of tartar? I don’t own any. Cream of tartar acts along with the baking soda to form a Paleo-friendly baking powder. Baking powder acts as a leavening agent to help these cookies rise and become the soft, luscious cookies that they are. You can try adding another acid in it’s place such as 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. I have not done that in this recipe but I’ve tried it in other baked goods. It works, just not as well as cream of tartar. This is the brand I use


  • Can I replace the almond flour with another flour? I do not recommend that. Paleo baking flours are so finicky and the only ones that can really be interchanged in small amounts are arrowroot and tapioca. So in this case, you could use tapioca in place of the arrowroot. I personally have a immune reaction to tapioca, which is why you don’t see me baking with tapioca or cassava flour on this site. 


  • Can I use coconut oil in place of the palm shortening? This is also something I don’t recommend since your cookies are more likely to spread rather than maintain their shape when using coconut oil. I also find cookies end up more chewy and less fluffy with coconut oil, and these soft sugar cookies are meant to be more like cake cookies. You can find palm shortening on Amazon or at most health food stores. 


  • What is the nutritional content of these cookies? Each cookie is roughly 200 calories and 5 grams of sugar. One frosted cookie is definitely enough of a treat & the batch could be easily shared for a holiday party. These cookies are ones you can DEFINITELY share with non-Paleo eaters and they will never know they’re eating grain and dairy free cookies! You can feel confident knowing you are not serving cookies full of wheat, soybean oil, canola oil, and bleached flour which are the ingredients of Pillsbury brand sugar cookies!


Grain-Free Soft Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 00:20 Cook Time 00:08 Serves 10 to 12


  • Cookies:
  • 2 cups almond flour (finely ground)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • tiny pinch ground nutmeg (TINY!)
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey*
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • pinch sea salt


For the Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a light colored baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to the bowl and use a hand mixer to combine into a cookie dough.
  3. Place cooking dough on the parchment paper and use the paper to assist you in rolling a log that is about 6 inches long so you will be able to form 12,  ½-inch thick cookies. Place the cookie dough wrapped in the parchment paper in the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the frosting.
  4. Remove cookie dough from freezer and slice into ½-inch thick slices. Place flat on parchment lined baking sheet and use your hands to round them into circles.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes until the edges just start to turn a light golden brown. Keep an eye on them since oven temperatures and hot spots vary.
  6. Let cool completely before frosting using the frosting recipe below.

For the Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the shortening, coconut butter, honey and coconut oil until smooth.
  2. Stir in arrowroot and salt with a spoon or rubber spatula. This frosting will harden if refrigerated since it contains coconut oil. Frost cooled cookies with room temperature frosting.


Recipe Notes

*For a true sugar cookie frosting, you can also use organic confectioner's sugar but that is not considered Paleo. But really sugar is sugar, so if you are okay with it for special occasions, this is one time when it makes sense to use it! I really like Wholesome brand.

AIP Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream (Paleo)

Oh these made me one happy little gal. My recipe development method is a little obscure, but usually an idea pops in my head so late at night that it wouldn’t be logically sound to begin testing it at 10 pm. So then I bound out of bed and get busy in the kitchen as quickly as possible. I have this silly Type A thing where I want to nail something on the first try, and I often don’t have the food budget to be testing and re-testing recipes over and over again. Sometimes my first-try is spot-on, and I feel 100% comfortable sharing a recipe right away!


I used to make a similar cookie for my family every Christmas except they were more flat and round and the lemon creme was less fluffy and more tangy. These beat the socks off those flour & sugar filled cookies though! Can Christmas hurry up and get here so I can make these again!?


If you haven’t tried sweet potato flour yet, please do! It is by far my favorite AIP baking flour. It’s naturally sweet of course so lessens the need for added honey or maple, and it tastes a little caramel-y. No, it’s not cheap, but it’s for special occasions and because you’re wroth it. Maybelline. I have a couple other recipes using it for my Mini Blackberry Tarts and Tartelette au Sucre (both are really, really delicious!) I know, I know, this is another recipe using my all-time favorite ingredient Japanese yam. I can’t help it. It’s PERFECT for binding AIP recipes, adding creaminess and subtle sweetness, and very affordable. Sue me. Or just eat with me. Whatever sounds more pleasant and humane.


Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream [AIP]

Makes 8 sandwich cookies | Ready in

1 cup Zocalo brand sweet potato flour

1/3 cup arrowroot starch

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt

1 T grass fed gelatin (the kind that gels up)

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

¼ cup honey*

¼ c + 1 T coconut oil, melted

2 T palm shortening

*If using a raw honey, melt it first then measure ¼ cup liquid. I have not tried this recipe using maple syrup.

Lemon-Ginger Cream

1/3 cup mashed white sweet potato* (Japanese yam or California white sweet potato)

2/3 cup palm shortening

1 T honey

1 T lemon juice

1 tsp arrowroot starch

¼ tsp ground ginger

Small pinch sea salt

*I use this type of sweet potato in many of my recipes because of how versatile it is. It binds well, adds a nice sweetness without using natural sweeteners, and makes for a creamy end product. I realize it can be difficult to find, but you may have luck at your local Asian grocer, health food store, or co-op. Using regular sweet potato here will alter the flavor and texture.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients (first 7 ingredients listed) together in a medium size mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and use a spoon and your hands to mix well. The dough will be moist but crumbly.
  2. Using firm pressure, scoop tablespoon-size balls into a measuring spoon and gently place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should be able to make 16 cookies. Flatten each cookie lightly with your palm. They will be about 2 inches in diameter.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 8-9 minutes until the edges begin to lightly brown. Remove and let cool completely. Make the cream in the meantime.
  4. For Lemon-Ginger Cream:  Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and process on low until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times in between blending.
  5. Assemble Cookie Sandwiches: Spoon approx. 1 T of Lemon-Ginger Cream on the bottom of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies to make mini sandwiches. You may have leftover cream, which can be served with berries for an additional treat idea. Serve at room temperature.
  6. To Store: Store in a sealed container at room temperature up to 3 days or in a sealed container in the freezer up to 3 weeks.