These cranberry coconut treats are not only paleo, they are also made without nuts or eggs so they are compliant with the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) as well!
I love holiday baking. In previous years I started making Christmas cookies right after Thanksgiving, stashing them in the freezer to later be assembled into gift tins for family and friends. Now that I’m following a paleo diet with autoimmune modifications to manage and heal my inflammatory bowel disease, most of my old favorite recipes are off the menu for me and I just can’t bring myself to make them and not get to sample the results.
Of course, there are a lot of paleo cookie recipes available, but most of them include nuts, which my body still isn’t digesting very well. Thankfully, I can eat eggs now so I have been able to create a few tasty treats, including a “no-oatmeal” oatmeal raisin cookie and “double trouble” chocolate cookies. But neither of those had the festive look of a real Christmas cookie, plus I wanted to create something that my readers who don’t eat eggs could still have and that didn’t include any starches so it would be OK for people following a low-carb or starch-free diet like SCD or GAPS.
I’m happy to report that these bars meet all of those requirements! And while they aren’t super sweet, they still have enough sweetness that combines with the fat of the cocoa butter and coconut butter to give you the satisfaction of having a treat.
Notes on healing diets:
- Autoimmune protocol: These are completely AIP compliant.
- Low-FODMAP: Honey is high in FODMAPs, but there isn’t a huge amount in the recipe, so it might be acceptable depending on your tolerance level. You could also try substituting an artificial sweetener, but I don’t know how that would affect the way it hardens.
- SCD/GAPS: These are completely SCD/GAPS compliant (just make sure your cranberries don’t have any added sugar).
Notes on ingredients:
You can find coconut butter in most health food stores now. It also goes by the names “coconut cream concentrate,” “coconut manna,” and “coconut spread,” but this is the brand I use most often. Cocoa butter is the pure fat extracted from cocoa beans and is used to make chocolate. You may be able to find it at a health food store, but it is not carried everywhere, so online may be best for that as well.
I used freeze dried cranberries in this recipe, mainly because I picked up a bag of them recently as an impulse buy and was unsure how I would ever use them! I didn’t try it, but I think regular dried cranberries would be delicious in this recipe too if a bag of freeze dried cranberries doesn’t jump off the shelf and into your grocery cart like it seemed to for me!
- 2 ounces cocoa butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup coconut butter
- 1 cup freeze dried cranberries
- Line a small glass baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the cocoa butter and honey together.
- Add the vanilla extract and sea salt.
- Add coconut butter, combine well. (NOTE: The oil of the cocoa butter may appear to separate but this doesn’t matter as it will still harden in a solid mass).
- Spread prepared pan.
- Sprinkle cranberries over top and press in.
- Place in refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
- Once solid, cut into small squares and store in the refrigerator so they stay solid (or at room temperature if your house is on the cool side).