Posted on: June 11, 2020 at 9:25 am
Last updated: June 11, 2020 at 6:25 pm

I don’t need an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast, and I’m sure not many people do. Truth be told, it’s best not to eat something too unhealthy in the morning since it can cause sugar spikes and low energy later. However, these low carb coconut cookies are packed with coconut, sunflower seeds, protein powder, and other delicious and nutritious ingredients to create the perfect, sweet morning treat. 

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Cookies are not usually associated with health and weight-loss, but the ingredients are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to support you in reaching your goals. Just don’t eat too many, calories count too! 😉

Coconut is packed with nutrients, including protein, minerals, B vitamins, and manganese, which is essential for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol [1]. This fruit is high in a type of fat in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The body process MCTs differently than other fats. MCTs are absorbed directly from the small intestine and are used for rapid energy. One study on the benefits of MCTs found that these fats can promote weight loss when they are eaten instead of long-chain saturated fats from animal products. Additionally, since coconut is high in fiber and low in carbs, it can help stabilize blood sugar [2]

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Coconut oil is also rich in MCTs, which, as already mentioned, can aid with energy and increases satiety. Satiety is essential when it comes to weight loss since it’ll keep people from snacking until they feel hungry again. Coconut oil is best used for weight loss when it’s used as a part of a balanced diet [3]

Sunflower seeds are high in fiber, which improves digestion, manages blood sugar, helps lower cholesterol, and promotes weight loss. Combining the fiber with the protein content in these seeds, they keep the body feeling satisfied for longer periods of time [4]

Cinnamon has always been a popular addition to deserts but it has recently become popular because of its numerous health benefits, including weight loss. It’s known as an anti-diabetic spice since it’s thought to help improve cell sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Cinnamon can also aid in blocking the activity of certain digestive enzymes that slow the absorption of carbohydrates into the body. Additionally, cinnamon is high in fiber, which can promote satiety [5]

While this all sounds impressive, and surely cinnamon has some medicinal value, the amount found in each of these cookies will not be enough to take advantage of its effects. What cinnamon does to in this case is add high flavor, without all the calories. When it comes to the benefits of cinnamon, usually you need to consume between 1-6g with a carbohydrate-containing meal (0.5-2 1/4 tsp) [6].

One last thing…

Of course, even healthy treats should be consumed in moderation, especially recipes with calorically-dense foods like coconut and seeds. Fortunately, these cookies are packed with nutrients and proteins to keep you full all morning. Plus, they are sweet, creamy, and absolutely delicious. Calories do count, so let’s try not to consume too many empty ones.  

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Coconut Protein Cookies  

Makes about 18 cookies 

Ingredients 

Notes:
* Feel free to use any nuts or seeds you wish instead (pumpkin seeds work great).
** Feel free to use any protein powder source you would like (i.e. whey, pea, hemp, collagen, beef protein, or a plant-based blend.). Please note this will change the taste and texture of the cookie, and may no longer make it paleo, keto, etc.
***If you do not wish to use a non-caloric sweetener, like stevia or monk fruit, you can replace it with 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup. This should add approximately 4 grams of sugar to each cookie.  Stevia or monk fruit are the preferred sweeteners because it is one hundred times sweeter than sugar and has no effect on our blood sugar. 

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
  • Roughly chop the sunflower seeds (or other nuts you may wish to use) in the blender until they’re broken up into small chunks. 
  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir together. If you notice the mixture is too crumbly then try adding in another tablespoon of coconut oil and possibly more water. 
  • Scoop the dough into about 18 round cookies and place them onto a cookie tray. 
  • Gently press the cookies down to flatten. (They will not flatten in the oven.) 
  • Bake for about 15 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are slightly browned. 

Additional Notes: 

  • You can use 2 cups of coconut shreds if you do not have/want sunflower seeds. 
  • Alternatively, you use any other kind of nut or seed instead of sunflower seeds. 
  • You can use any flavored or unflavored protein powder to change up the flavor of the cookies. 
  • You can place this coconut whipped cream recipe in between two cookies to make an incredible coconut cookie sandwich! 
Nutrition Facts (per 1 cookie)
Calories 125
Total Fat 10g
Carbohydrates (2g as fiber)4g
Protein7g


This recipe was inspired by Megan Kelly from Renewing All Things

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24470093/

[2]“5 Impressive Benefits of Coconut.”  Healthline. Anne Danahy, MS, RDN. July 23, 2019 

[3] “Does coconut oil promote weight loss?” Jamie Eske.  Medical News Today. March 18, 2019 

[4] “How Many Calories Are in Sunflower Seeds?” Annette McDermott. Healthline. October 11, 2017 

[5] “Does Cinnamon Help with Weight Loss?” Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSN. News Medical Life Sciences. February 4, 2019 

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Sarah Schafer
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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