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Recipe: Healthy Holiday Cookies

By Ritamarie Loscalzo

oatmeal cookies with sesame seeds, closeup

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If you’re looking for a sweet, low-glycemic, gluten-free recipe this holiday season, you’ve met your match.


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Gel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 10 – 15 drops Sweet Leaf Whole Leaf Stevia Concentrate, to taste


  1. Process pecans, almonds, coconut, and Chia Gel with salt and spices in a food processor until they are completely chopped. Mixture should be a little coarse and should hold together. If needed, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
  2. Roll or press dough onto non-stick sheets and use cookie cutters to make into desired shapes.
  3. Place in freezer until they are firm.

Basic Chia Gel Recipe: You can make a gel from the chia seeds by placing 1 cup of chia and 5-6 cups of water in a bowl and allowing it to sit for several hours or overnight until all the water has been absorbed and a thick gel is formed.  This gel can be used as the basis for pudding, added to smoothies or salad dressings, or made into dehydrated crackers or crisps.


This recipe is from our upcoming live blood sugar balancing program.  You can learn more about it with our video series.

Do you make special healthy treats during celebration times?  If you have tips that have worked for you, please feel free to share them in the comments below.


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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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  1. MARIKA LOVE on November 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    How about Fiddle Diddles? Kids love them, and they are good for everyone. Mix together a cup of almond or peanut butter, 1/4 cup raisins, some raw oats, enough to make them all stick together. You can add some almond or coconut milk if they are too dry; or more oats if they are too moist. Roll the mixture into balls and then in some raw coconut flakes. Keep in the fridge for a few hours, which will solidify them. And Enjoy!

    • Lynn Johnson on November 12, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Sounds yummy, Marika. I would suggest the almond butter over the peanut butter, as peanuts are one of the top six allergens. If blood sugar is an issue you could use goji berries rather than raisins. While oats themselves don’t have gluten, you do want to make sure that you get the kind that are gluten-free. I have read that some people process shredded dried coconut as their oat substitute.

      This is where I love creating foods to see what I can come up with that is healthy and tasty. Thank you for the springboard, Marika!

  2. Robin on November 12, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    What is someone with a tree nut allergy to do?
    Reaction=swollen lips, tongue, and if she eats more then one bite, throat!

    • Lynn Johnson on November 17, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Hi, Robin! I would substitute some ground flax seeds, along with something else like a pumpkin seed. The flax seed will provide some good moisture for the cookies, as well as a balance for the omega 3:6 ratio.

      If you try this, let us know what worked for you. I’m sure it will be helpful for others, too.

    • Mary Kay Simoni on November 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      What about sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds…?

      • Lynn Johnson on December 5, 2016 at 2:31 pm

        Hi, Mary Kay!

        Yes, I agree with those suggestions. I had mentioned the pumpkin seeds along with the flax seed to balance out the omega-3-to-6 ratio, as well as the nutrients. But sure – sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds – they could work, too.

  3. Sandi on November 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Lynn that is a great idea to substitute dried coconut for oatmeal

  4. Sandi on November 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Lynn that is a great idea to substitute dried coconut for oatmeal. And I love your other ideas as well

  5. Christine on December 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

    any ideas for substituting the coconut?

    • Lynn Johnson on December 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Hi, Christine! Recipes calling for shredded or desiccated coconut are often doing so to add texture as well as flavor. In these instances, shredded or desiccated nuts will work well in most recipes. Ground almonds, crushed pistachios, or pecans can be used instead of desiccated coconut.

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