Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies (nut-free, coconut-free, refined sugar-free)
Loaded with turmeric, black pepper, and ginger, these unique, yummy, and easy Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies are nut-free, coconut-free, and refined sugar-free! They’re made with cassava flour, so they’re also great for your gut health! This is exactly the type of healthy holiday cookie recipe you need!
This is why I never say “never”. These cookies.
I’ve never said, “I’ll never put turmeric and black pepper in a cookie”, and I’m really relieved.
Because I’d be eating my words right about now.
Instead, I’m eating these cookies. 😉 These delicious, spicy, perfect-for-all-the-winter-things, anti-inflammatory spice cookies!
After Test Batch #2 and an evening with friends who taste-tested said batch (and also taste-tested this Everything Seasoning Cream Cheese Dip the very same evening!), everyone liked the cookies, but my good friend Pam had some constructive criticism:
“I think you could add more ginger and black pepper and really punch up those flavors,” she said.
“Really? You want MORE spice?!” I was shocked. (See, there’s sort of a joke that Minnesotans’ spice tolerance is really, really low. This is confirmation that I have found my people.)
“Yeah! I mean, I get the ginger and pepper on the back of my palate, but I could use more,” Pam continued.
“Okie dokie!” I agreed.
And Test Batch #3, the batch that made this exact recipe, has a whopping tablespoon EACH of turmeric, black pepper, and ginger! (If you want more than that, go nuts!)
Why Anti-Inflammatory Spices In Cookies??
Fair question. 😉
These cookies contain not 1, not 2, but 4 anti-inflammatory spices! Turmeric + black pepper + ginger + cinnamon!
And while I’m sure you’re cool with ginger and cinnamon in cookies and sweets, I’ll bet my bonnet that turmeric + black pepper is a new one for ya. Well, in a cookie anyway.
(Hopefully, you’re incorporating lots of turmeric and black pepper in other ways because they’re sooooooo good for you!)
Turmeric + Black Pepper: The Definite Stars of These Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies
Magical in their own rights, turmeric and black pepper TOGETHER are superstars!
Curcumin — the magical anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving compound found in turmeric — is actually not super bioavailable for our bodies. This means that the curcumin is digested and metabolized before it’s absorbed. Absorption is where the benefits lie.
Piperine is a compound in black pepper that activates curcumin, making it easier and more available for our bodies to absorb and reap the benefits.
One study found that when even 2g of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20mg piperine was added to curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%.
The bioavailability, serum levels and levels of absorption of curcumin all improved dramatically. (Source.)
Curcumin (turmeric) + piperine (black pepper) combine to…
- relieve pain
- reduce inflammation
- control obesity
- renew stem cells
- aid in healing the gut — Curcumin + piperine prevent growth of H. pylori which can cause digestive problems like ulcers
- have antioxidant benefits that fight cancer and improve cognitive function
Can you understand why they must be used together?
Furthermore, I personally don’t taste tons of turmeric in these paleo cookies, but the black pepper is definitely there… in a really good way. 🙂
The spiciness of black pepper is SO different from the spiciness of ginger, and the two complement each other perfectly. I get hit with black pepper flavor first, so there’s this sweet-spicy element.
Then, the ginger hits me in the back of my mouth at the end, adding another element of pleasant spicy flavor!
The cinnamon is a subtle undertone, and orange essential oil lifts and brightens the flavor of the cookies so it’s not too heavy and spicy.
Truly, these cookies have a pretty divine flavor combo!
Texture of These Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies?
They don’t “snap” like gingersnaps, and they don’t have a super soft texture like grocery store iced sugar cookies. They’re sorta… in between. 🙂
Obviously, texture also depends on how thickly or thinly you roll out your cookie dough. The thicker your dough, the softer your cookies will be.
Furthermore, the texture of these Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies changes after a couple of days. When you eat them super fresh, they’re more likely to be crisper. After a couple of days, they soften up and have more of the grocery store sugar cookie texture.
Delicious both ways!
How To Make These Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies
I think y’all know I’m not a “sift dry ingredients first then add wet ingredients” sort of baker. I just don’t have time for that… or I’m lazy. 😉
The best and easiest recipes are the ones that let me throw it all in the bowl, mix, bake, and take magic out of the oven. Wouldn’t you agree?
So, true to form, that’s exactly how you to make these Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies!
I do start by creaming together my fat (palm shortening), eggs, and sweetener (coconut sugar or sucanat if you’re coconut-free). This recipe also contains molasses to give it a darker, spicier flavor, so that goes in as well.
Once that mixture is nice and combined, I add the remaining ingredients as the mixer works.
For this healthy holiday cookie recipe, I actually do add the cassava flour last.
Now, here’s where things get a little out of character for me…
I then dust off my rolling pin and mentally and emotionally prepare myself to roll out cookie dough — something I maybe do once a year. Maybe.
(Remember, we don’t do complicated here and sometimes rolling out dough can feel complicated.)
However, I manage to always find some pleasure and catharsis in rolling out cookie dough, and this was no exception.
So, I roll my cookie dough to about 3/8″ thickness. Anywhere from 1/8″ to 1/4″ is great — definitely do NOT get out a ruler and measure.
Because I’m not your typical baker, I also don’t own a cookie cutter. Like, not a single one.
To improvise, I simply used the band from a wide-mouth Mason jar as my cookie cutter. I think, by looking at the photos, no one would ever know I didn’t use an actual cookie cutter unless I told them. Which I just did.
Anyway, I think you know how the drill works when rolling and cutting cookie dough.
Roll. Cut. Bake. Repeat.
Until all your dough is gone. Pretty simple, huh?
Then, bake those babies in a preheated oven for about 13 minutes or until golden brown. Take ’em out of the oven, let ’em cool, and then you can frost, ice, or drizzle to your heart’s content!
To Frost, Ice, or Drizzle??
Can I tell you a secret?
I made these cookies…
And then they sat in a container on my counter for 4 days before I finally added a chocolate drizzle and took photos.
I didn’t think I was EVER going to decide how to ice/frost/drizzle them!
The first time I made them — when Pam and my friends were over — I frosted them with my cream cheese frosting. I added a bit of extra orange essential oil to the frosting to bring out the orange flavor in the cookies and balance out the spiciness from the black pepper, turmeric, and ginger.
So, I can 100% say that cream cheese frosting works!
But… that’s not Paleo, is it?
If you’re sticking to Paleo, then a dark chocolate drizzle or white chocolate drizzle is amaze-balls.
- To make a dark chocolate drizzle, simply melt about 1/4 cup of paleo-friendly chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Whisk until smooth, then pipe, flick, or drizzle over the cookies.
- To make a white chocolate drizzle, melt about 1/4 cup of pure cacao butter and add 2 teaspoons of honey. Whisk until smooth. If it’s not drizzling consistency, put it in the fridge for a few minutes, but keep an eye out! It doesn’t take long for it to solidify again, in which case, you’ll have to re-melt.
If you want to go crazy, make a white chocolate AND a dark chocolate drizzle and use them BOTH. Whoa, Nellie.
Now, let’s make some Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies!
Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies (nut-free, coconut-free, refined sugar-free)
Loaded with turmeric, black pepper, and ginger, these unique, yummy, and easy Paleo Anti-Inflammatory Spice Cookies are nut-free, coconut-free, and refined sugar-free! They're made with cassava flour, so they're also great for your gut health! This is exactly the type of healthy holiday cookie recipe you need!
- 8tablespoonspalm shorteningor butter, if dairy is tolerated
- 2/3cupcoconut sugaror sucanat if coconut-free
- 1tablespoonorganic blackstrap molasses
- 1tablespoonground turmeric
- 1tablespoonground ginger
- 1tablespoonground black pepper
- 2 teaspoonsground cinnamon
- 5dropsorange essential oilor 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/2teaspoonbaking soda
- 1-1/2cupscassava flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cookie sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
Combine palm shortening (or butter) and eggs, coconut sugar, and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Whip together on medium speed until smooth and combined.
Add the spices, essential oil (or extract), salt, and baking soda and continue mixing.
Finally, add the cassava flour and mix until the ingredients come together to form a dough.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4" to 3/8" thickness.
Use cookie cutter of choice to cut out cookies. I used a ring from a wide-mouth Mason jar -- about 3" across -- and made 18 cookies. Number of cookies will vary depending on cutter used.
Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
Transfer immediately to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.
More Paleo Desserts & Cookies You’ll Love…
- Paleo White Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread Cookies (with a keto option!)
- Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies (keto, paleo)
- Keto Cranberry Curd Tart
- Chocolate Coconut Donuts (keto, grain-free, dairy-free)
- 5-Ingredient Sprouted Seed Truffles
- Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Frosting
- Paleo Salted Caramel & Toasted Coconut Marshmallows