If there is such a thing as a “healthy” dessert, this has got to be it!! These cookies are uber-loaded with antioxidants from not one, but TWO super foods – Matcha and Cacao Nibs.
What’s matcha? Glad you asked. I apparently missed the onset of the matcha craze but a friend (thank you Dee Dee!) brought me homemade cookies (non-paleo) made with matcha powder and I was hooked. Then I started researching matcha because I wanted…no…I NEEDED to make my own paleo, grain-free version of cookies made with matcha. But, before we get to my cookies, first…let’s learn a little bit about this antioxidant packed superfood.
Matcha is a Japanese green tea…however, it’s like green-tea on steroids because it’s actually the tea leaves, stone-ground into a powder. What makes that so special? Well…with regular loose leaf green tea, you are only ingesting the brewed water. With matcha, since it’s stone-ground leaves, you are actually ingesting the entire leaf which is so packed with antioxidants, nutrients, fiber and chlorophyll. In fact, according to Matcha Source “to even begin to match the potency found in a single serving of matcha, you would need to drink at least ten cups of brewed green tea.”
For me…after finding out my body isn’t handling free radicals at the rate it should, I’m chasing down any and all foods rich in antioxidants and matcha is a an antioxidant powerhouse! Added bonus: there are SO many other health benefits to matcha according to Dr Axe (among other researchers and doctors). Dr. Axe lists 8 health benefits of matcha:
- May Help Prevent Cancer (including Bladder, Breast, Colon and Rectal, Prostate)
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Benefits Exercise Performance
- Best Food Source of Disease-Fighting Catechins
- High Levels of L-Theanine for an Alert Calm
- Reduces Heart Disease Risk and Hypertension
- Lowers Type II Diabetes Risk
- Detoxifies the Body
You can read his fascinating article here and I highly recommend you do because it’s amazing what all matcha can do for the body..and he lists the medical studies and references too!!
So…when buying matcha, make sure it’s
- Made in Japan (not China),
- Has only one ingredient in it: matcha, and
- Is organic and non-gmo (if possible)
Two grades of matcha available: either ceremonial grade (for drinking) or culinary grade (for baking, cooking, smoothies etc. Yeah…there’s a whole fascinating ceremonial aspect to matcha which you can read about here. This is the culinary grade matcha that I use here.
Matcha has permeated everything! From Starbucks to local gyms serving matcha lattes and smoothies. Chefs are creating dishes with matcha and pastry chefs are adding it to desserts. So when my friend brought me Matcha Ginger cookies that she made, I set about creating a paleo, grain-free version of my own. Five recipe attempts later (and boy did that cost some $$$ because quality matcha ain’t cheap!), I decided to pair the super food cacao nibs instead of ginger (chocolate is always good in a cookie) and because I’m seriously in love with coconut I had to add it in and boom, my 6th and final recipe was a hit. And…it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Coconut and Cacao Nib Matcha Cookies.
So, let’s get started. This is so easy… and…PERFECT FOR ST PATRICK’S DAY AND (as I recently learned) PASSOVER!! I wish I could have made that text green!!
As always, start with great ingredients! I have noticed when baking, the flour makes a difference. I have tried several different types and have had the most success with Wellbee’s brand.
Place all the dry ingredients (except the cacao nibs) into a food processor and pulse a few times until well mixed and looks something like this:
Add in the coconut oil (you don’t want to use melted oil…it will make your dough sticky to handle). Pulse a few times until the mixture is crumbly. Add in the eggs and process until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
Add in the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to mix them in nicely.
Using a 1″ ice cream/cookie scoop (or close to it), scoop the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can pinch off about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball.
Using the fleshy part of your thumb, gently press each cookie until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
Place on the middle rack in an oven that’s been preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 11 minutes. Due to the difference in ovens, watch the cookies towards the end of the time…you don’t want to brown your cookies. They should come out almost the same color as they went in. Nice and green!
Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Wasn’t that the easiest cookie recipe ever??
Enjoy with a cup of…wait for it…matcha tea! Or coffee. Or all by it’s delicious little self!!
In case you want to Pin and save it for later:
Paleo Coconut and Cacao Nib Matcha Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups super fine blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp Japanese matcha powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup cocao nibs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, not liquid, softened is ok, but don't put it in the microwave
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, add the first 7 ingredients - almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, matcha powder, baking soda, fine sea salt and shredded coconut, and pulse a few times until well mixed.
- Add the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Note: No need to soften the coconut oil. The closer it is to a solid, the less sticky your cookie dough will be.
- Add the beaten eggs and process until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Using a 1" scoop, scoop dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet, about 1" apart. Or...if you don't have a scoop, pinch off about 1 Tbsp of dough and roll it into a ball.
- Gently press each cookie to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- Place on middle rack and bake for 11 minutes. Watch closely towards the end...you don't want to brown your cookies much. They should almost be the same color as when you put them in.
- Remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.Can be stored in an air tight container for 4-5 days.