Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cacoa Nib Cookies, Macro-Nutrient Ratios & Holiday Shopping

My love affair with cacoa nibs continues! This is my favorite cookie recipe. I've been waiting for the holiday's to release it (U knew I wouldn't let you down!) If you've been cursing me cuz U bought that package of cacao nibs for the chops and have been sitting on it ever since, here's your opportunity to turn them into something yummy. But first, a little chatting about macronutrient ratios, then the recipe, then, at the bottom of today's blog, a surefire way to save some time shopping for your paleo friends...

Macro-nutrients and Lean Body Mass: I've been wondering whether or not to adjust my diet. A paleo diet is not contested. The question is, am i eating the most appropriate proportions to optimize lean body mass production. I'm not satisfied, at 47, to be one of those chumps that slowly loses LBM each year until i'm skinny, old, and bent over. Some say at this age, you should be satisfied to keep what you have - SCREW that! Others, like Rob Faigan, propose that thru proper macro-nutrient ratios and cycling, you can effectively reverse aging. That sounds goofy but I believe it. How many times have you seen someone that looks 10 yrs younger than they are or 10 yrs older than they are? Is it just external? I don't think so, and neither does Rob. Read his book Natural Hormonal Enhancement. So within what bounds should we be operating if we are to emulate a paleolithic diet? Where am I now? What does the food pyramid (ver 2005) say? - just for $hits and giggles...
Turns out the US food pyramid site will actually figure for you, based on weight, activity level, etc. how much, and of what, you should eat - so i tried it. BTW, it did say I was over weight and should consider reduced calories but i said nu uh, gimme the whole enchilada - i'm happy where i'm at (chubby nutritionists and their frickin BMI blah blah blah! Good indicator unless you're a crossfitter! ;-) . Here are the macro-nutrient results compared to a standard PZ diet (for me) and a 2X fat PZ diet (what i'm eating right now), and a "Paleo Man" (aka caveman or hunter-gatherer) diet as reported by L. Cordain. I didn't even rig these numbers! My diet (2X fat PZ), from a macro-nutrient level, is right smack in the middle of what Cordain's studies showed to be true of a hunter/gatherer. So, obviously, a 1X Fat PZ diet is not. It's at the edge of the range. As for the new food pyramid - high on fat and carbs, low on protein, as you would expect. But, still an improvement over the 11 servings of grains the old pyramid recommended! Progress is progress! ;-) My conclusion? I'm sticking with my marco-nutrient levels. Now the question is - to Carb cycle or not? More on that later.

Now for the recipe...
Paleo Cacao Nib Cookies

1 C Almond Flour
2/3 C Shredded Coconut
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 Cup Almond Butter
1 C Coco Nibs
1/3 Coconut Flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Egg
2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Honey or Agave
* Note - you may be tempted to skip the coconut flour. Don't. It really does something for them. U can buy it at Whole Foods. U can skip the cocoa powder for a less chocolately taste. Either way, the nibs give them a crunchy chocolately taste that's awesome.

Spoon more or less round blobs onto a cookie sheet - round is better than flat cuz the inside stays a little chewy.
Cook for about 9 minutes at 350. Makes about 24 -each with 10gm C, 9 gm F, and 4 gm P. Enjoy!

Now for Holiday Shopping
... Wondering what to give your Paleo friends? I've been working on paleo bison jerky for awhile now. I call it "paleo" because it's not sweetened with sugar (I use agave and maple syrup) or salted with soy sauce (I use sea salt to preserve it) and there's no funky preservatives, nitrates, msg, blah blah blah) I eat A LOT of this stuff so it has to be tasty and pure. For paleo meals on the go, it's the most expensive component and the most difficult to make yourself. BTW, in case you didn't know, it's illegal in the US to give bison antibiotics or hormones - so don't worry about that either. So the good news is I found a legit manufacturer that was willing to make free range bison jerky to my requirements. The marinade includes agave, maple syrup, sea salt and various spices. Rob (the maker) doesn't know what agave is or across broad time and modal domains... and doesn't care, but "Rob knows jerky"- it's consistent, flavorful, and tender. Check it out here and get your order in before i run out. U can buy one, $9 + shipping, or paks of 4 ($30+ shipping). Each pack is about 3.5 oz (~55 gm P - starts out as ~8 oz lean bison) and vacuum sealed in a sturdy resealable bag. Now instead of shopping for gifts U can't even eat, go work on across broad time and modal domains!

Eat Well! Steve "Paleo"


  1. The recipe Is very helpful to me..hope you can add more..

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  2. The cookies look good! And the chart on ratios is very helpful.

  3. Steve,

    as always you amaze me with how much thought you put into your food and diet. Cookies look absolutely amazing and I cant wait to bake them!!!congrats on your Paleo Jerky!!! its delicious stuff!!

  4. Here is a savory variant, try BACON instead, cook a pound of bacon, crisp it up, break it up into chunks use it instead of nibs and the cocoa powder, you may need to add some more coconut and almond flour to soak up some of the added grease, try it you will be surprised.

  5. Fraser thanks for the sample - pretty darn good. I think the bacon could also just be added. After all, someone is selling gourmet bacon chocolate. Now i have to give THAT a try!

  6. I made your pumpkin pie, banana muffins and chocolate chip cookies yesterday. Everyone loved loved them! You Rock Dude! I cannot wait to try more recipes :)

  7. WOW Anita! Wish I could have been there! ;-)

  8. What would the difference (other than nutrient content) be if I used coconut flour vs almond flour? I have a ton of coconut flour. :)

  9. I would not recommend that much coconut flour - that stuff behaves weird if you use a lot. They might turn in to cacao-nib pucks - but that's just my guess....that stuff is like glue!

  10. I can't wait to try this recipe, and many of your others! Thanks for posting!

  11. My pleasure Andrea - more on the way soon.... eat well!

  12. Hi Steve,

    We just tried these cookies tonight and damn, they are GOOD! Like, really good!! Wow. Thanks for the recipe. Hope you're doing well.


  13. Hi Neile! Glad you liked them! Thanks for the comment. Steve

  14. Steve,

    Quick question...I also eat Paleo and have made cookies with the nibs but someone asked me recently why cacao nibs are considered Paleo when they are truly a bean. I know they pack an antioxidant punch but wasn't sure how to justify the bean issue. Thoughts?

  15. As far as i can tell, the cacao "bean" is not a bean at all but rather the seed of the fruit bearing cacao tree, Theobroma Cacao. BUT, i am no biologist so take that with a grain of salt (another debatable paleo food ;-)

    BTW, the coffee bean appears not to be a "bean" either....

  16. Is there an alternative for coconut flour? I'm nursing a baby that breaks out in hives every time I cook with coconut milk. (For other cooking recipes I'm using almond milk instead).

  17. The cookies are great! I've been really craving sweets lately, and this was a way i could get a "fix" and stay paleo. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. i have an allergy to treenuts so i cannot use the almond flour. i have been substituting coconut flour for any baking i do. since the cookies use both almond and coconut flour in the recipe, how would i substitute the almond flour out?

  19. Well this is really off the cuff... but i would increase the coconut to 1 Cup and throw in a mashed banana. Total stab in the dark...

  20. Trying these tomorrow for me and my friend who is lactose intolerant and diabetic - he isn't paleo, but is a BIG fan of agave nectar and coconut products - this will really be perfect!

  21. These are AMAZING! I make these often when I need a sweet treat. I play with the ingredients a little and add a bunch of shredded coconut and leave out the cocoa powder.

    As part of my job I put on some healthy cooking classes throughout the year and your blog has been a great source of healthy recipes for us to prepare for that class, and the participants love it!! :) Thanks!!!

  22. How much coconut flour? The recipe only says 1/3 coconut flour. Thanks- cant wait to make these!