For a filling snack made of fiber and protein packed almond meal, these Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars will please kids of all ages.
Just when you think that you’ve seen and heard it all, there’s another diet craze that sweeps the world. The Paleo Diet has gained tremendous momentum, encouraging people to eat basically eat whatever we ate during the caveman years.
When your parents are a geologist and micro-paleontologist, you can’t help but snicker when you hear the term “paleo” and its place in the culinary world.
My dad gives me a real sarcastic, scientific comments like, “You know, man was not around during the paleolithic period. You know, there wasn’t any chocolate during the caveman years.” Yeah, yeah, Dad.
Why this recipes rocks – get it?!!
Different from the low carb and KETO diet, sugars like maple syrup and honey are allowed. And now comes chocolate. Well cocoa in its pure form is allowed, which means unsweetened chocolate. So many paleo dieters allow dark chocolate.
These paleo chocolate chip cookie bars are made with finely ground almond meal, making them full of protein and a hearty snack. We all know that protein is what keeps us feeling full, not the empty carbs we grew up eating.
But most importantly, it tastes great! My three teenagers love these bars. They don’t realize it’s healthy and honestly good for you. And so much better than the regular chocolate chip cookie.
Ingredients you need
I used high quality dark chocolate chips that have 70% cocoa or more.
- Eggs: Eggs are used as a binder in this recipe. It also adds more protein, which is a great addition!
- Extra virgin olive oil: This is the fat I use in most of my baked goods. And since the paleo diet looks down on dairy, it is a better choice than butter.
- Maple syrup: The most common sweeteners allowed on the paleo diet are maple syrup, honey and agave nectar. You can use either in this recipe, just note that some are slightly sweeter than others.
- Almond meal: I prefer using blanched almond meal, but you can use any almond meal. Darker meals have the roasted hull so the color will be different.
- Chocolate chips: Choose a high quality dark chocolate chips that have 70% cocoa or more. This has little to zero sugar added.
- Pantry staples: vanilla extract, baking soda, salt
1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs and olive oil. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Although the recipe calls for ⅓ cup of maple syrup, I have baked it with ¼ cup of maple syrup for even less sugar. You can decide which you prefer.
2. Stir in almond meal, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
3. Scrape cookie batter evenly into a 9-inch loaf pan coated with non-stick spray and lined bottom with parchment paper pan. Bake at 350ºF until toothpick inserted into center of cookie bars comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
4. Allow bars to cool completely, about 1 hour, before cutting into squares.
Expert tips and recipe FAQs
Did you know that a piece of high-quality dark chocolate has less sugar than some fruits? Unsweetened cocoa powder is also paleo approved – again, no sugar added. Both are also allowed on both the KETO and low carb food plans.
But because of the maple syrup, these cookie bars are not low carb. But you CAN easily make them low carb with a few minor substitutions. First, you can make a simple syrup using a low carb sugar substitute like Swerve and use that instead of maple syrup.
By using a liquid sweetener for a substitute, you don’t have to modify anything else in the recipe. You can swap out the maple syrup with equal amounts of low carb simple syrup.
Another option to make these bars low carb, is use ¼ cup of granulated Swerve and add an extra tablespoon of olive oil. I have not tried this method yet, but I’m confident it will work.
Store extra cookie bars in an air tight container. They can keep at room temperature like this for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
The key is to choose chocolate that has zero sugar. Dark chocolate usually fits this criteria. If you don’t like dark chocolate but want zero sugar, then use low carb chocolate chips, like Lily’s brand.
- 2 large eggs
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely ground blanched almond meal
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup 70% cocoa dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and coat 9-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs and olive oil.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
- Stir in almond meal, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
- Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
- Scrape cookie batter evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cookie bars comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
- Allow bars to cool completely, about 1 hour, before cutting into squares.
You can also use honey instead of maple syrup.
Need more bars? Double the recipe and bake it in a 8x8 or 9x9 square pan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 9g
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