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Eat Well Dec. 16. 2014
Desserts

Beetroot Coconut Sugar Cookies

Dec. 16. 2014
Desserts
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder

I took a quick poll on the Nutrition Stripped Facebook page last week asking about your favorite holiday cookies that you’d like to see a healthy remake of and the largest request was about sugar cookies! Not surprising though since sugar cookies are THE classic holiday cookie especially around this time of year when cookie swaps and cookie decorating is a part time activity. Beetroot Coconut Sugar Cookies involve one of my favorite root vegetables, beets, coupled with gluten free flours, coconut oil, and some other goodies. And they can be made vegan friendly too, bonus.

I developed the concept for these cookies on a whim. I was at Barista Parlor, my favorite working/coffee spot here in Nashville, a couple weeks ago and was oddly inspired to do a beet sugar cookie when I had one of their brewed coffees that had subtle notes of beet in it- there was an earthiness to the coffee that was amazing when I paired it with a little something sweet, one of their amazing macaroons, and hence inspiration struck! I had multiple taste testers, the most important being Bennett to see if I could pass the test as he strongly dislikes beets- he whooshed out of the kitchen sliding on the floor with a mouthful saying “I lobue deas”, I said  “what?”, “I LOVE THESE!”.

My take on sugar cookies is quite different than you may be expecting, as I’m sure you can quite easily see these aren’t white or any “normal” neutral shade of cream as most are. My variation involves beets, oats, and coconut- far from a traditional sugar cookie yet reminds me of this classic with it’s tender and chewy texture. Not to mention the presentation of this cookie is incredibly beautiful with the contrast of maroon from the beets and white from the shredded coconut flakes if you choose to sprinkle a bit on top.

Beets. In comparison to other vegetables, my love for beets is new yet the novelty hasn’t worn off, I still appreciate them just as much as the first day trying them. They contain special antioxidants that are great for fighting inflammation and supporting and detoxification, read more about their health benefits on my Whole Pantry page. I know I’m an outlier when it comes to food bloggers out there incorporating vegetables into desserts, and I won’t be stopping anytime soon. Vegetables are far too underused and it’s my mission to share how you creative you can be in the kitchen by incorporating them beyond salads and roasts. Beets are especially great used in these cookies because of their smooth and silky texture after they’ve been roasted and pureed. Beets also contain a natural hint of sweetness that amplifies after being roasted- an added bonus using these in sweet desserts without having to call on the use of other sweeteners.

The natural sweetener I use in these cookies comes from mineral and amino acid containing coconut sugar, a touch of maple syrup, and again the natural sugars from the roasted beets! If you’ve never tried coconut sugar before it reminds me of brown sugar, a beautiful brown shade with large granules. For that reason, I recommend dissolving coconut sugar in the coconut oil, which I describe in the recipe, before mixing the cookie dough. I very seldom add sugar, even natural sugars like coconut sugar, to my recipes. But baking is a WHOLE OTHA ball game when it comes to recipe development. I was pretty lucky to come up with an recipe I was giddy with on the first try- but believe me this doesn’t ever happen with me and baking (remember my multiple tries with Nourishing Nut & Seed Bread?!). If I add any sugars to my cooking/baking it would be from maple syrup, honey, dates, fruit, or coconut sugar! The one thing I can’t say enough is to still use these sparingly even though they’re all natural sugars.

I enjoy these most with a drizzle of slightly warm or melted coconut butter, like this brand here or here, followed by dusting them with toasted coconut shreds. There’s something so familiar in using coconut butter on a cookie, like glaze on a donut or a corn syrup glaze on a cookie- yet I’m taking the whole food version over the latter any day. You can of course enjoy these without adding coconut butter on top, another way to enjoy these is plain and dipped in almond milk!

What I love most is you still feel amazing and energetic after indulging in these cookies, it’s all about the quality and combination of ingredients. I highly recommend making these to share at your next girls night or with your friends and loves over a big mug of tea, glass of Vanilla Cashew Milk, and PJ’s- I’m all about those comfy PJ’s. Oh and an added bonus, when you dunk these into your homemade almond or cashew milk, the cookies make it turn a beautiful shade of pink, something Bennett got a kick out of.

  

Beetroot Coconut Sugar Cookies
Recipe Type: dessert, snack
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 30
A gluten free sugar cookie made with beets, oats, and coconut. GF
Ingredients
  • 6 medium beets (yields 3 cups), roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the oat flour, almond flour, brown rice flour, shredded coconut, salt, baking powder and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil with the sugar until dissolved followed by the egg. In a food processor or blender, puree the roasted beets until smooth, add in maple syrup, coconut oil and sugar mixture, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.
  5. Using your hands, form small balls of dough about a tablespoon and evenly place on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Chill the cookies for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator, remove from fridge, and place in oven to bake for 13-15 minutes.
  7. Bake until the cookies are firm, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Enjoy warm or cool completely before storing.
Notes
VEGAN: use [url href=”https://nutritionstripped.com/vegan-egg-replacers/” target=”_blank”]vegan egg[/url]

 

I hope you all find these fun to make as much as I do… and of course fun to eat and share this holiday! Be sure to check out my gift DIY on how to wrap cookies up in an adorable way on my blog Pistachio Crusted Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies (also the longest title for a recipe ever, haha).

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 30

Print

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium beets (yields 3 cups), roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the oat flour, almond flour, brown rice flour, shredded coconut, salt, baking powder and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil with the sugar until dissolved followed by the egg. In a food processor or blender, puree the roasted beets until smooth, add in maple syrup, coconut oil and sugar mixture, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.
  5. Using your hands, form small balls of dough about a tablespoon and evenly place on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Chill the cookies for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator, remove from fridge, and place in oven to bake for 13-15 minutes.
  7. Bake until the cookies are firm, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Enjoy warm or cool completely before storing.

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Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Griffin

    These just sound fascinating, I love beets and coconut. I’m going to try to make them Friday, I would love to bring them to my husbands family Christmas cookie swap this Saturday.

  • Adie

    These are so pretty! With that beautiful color, you may just have to work on a “red velvet” cake variation!

  • Lauren

    Quick question, the ingredient list includes oat, brown rice, and almond flour, but the instructions only state oat and brown rice flour. Does the recipe include all three flours or just the two? My beets are roasting in the oven right now so I am clearly excited to make these cookies 🙂

  • Sue

    Could you give us directions for roasting the beets? Thanks! I’d love to make these cookies.

  • These are such a pleasant surprise amongst the sea of sugary christmas desserts! Can’t wait to try these! Pinned 🙂

  • Alia

    These are so beautiful, and, probably because I frequent your site, I have almost all of the ingredients on hand! It seems I’ll be baking this evening… But there’s one catch and one question:

    The catch is, I have oat problems. I’m going to attempt a substitution. If you were in my position, which would you turn to first — teff, amaranth, sorghum, quinoa, or buckwheat? I’m leaning toward sorghum, but I haven’t used teff flour yet and it might be good…

    The question is, what is the distinction between almond flour and almond meal? Is almond flour just the result of a bit of grinding, whereas the meal is what’s left after I make almond milk?

    Thank you so much for contributing some healthy fun to the holiday—your ingenuity never ceases to amaze (or please)!

  • What a lovely combination. I can’t get enough of the color, too. Gorgeous!

  • Linda

    These look amazing, will definitely give this recipe a try.

    I found your website a few months ago and since then i’ve been in love with it. I’ve learnt so much from your articles and every recipe i have tried so far turned out great.

    A very big thank you from the Netherlands!

    • That’s so sweet, thank you Linda! I’m glad you’ve joined the NS lifestyle and enjoy my recipes 🙂

  • Lisa

    Just made these today and they’re soooo good! Another amazing recipe:)
    I was just wondering whether I should store them in the fridge or not?xx

  • Rebecca

    So excited to make these! Question though – can I use regular flour instead of rice/almond flour?

    • I haven’t tried it with regular flour since all my recipes are gluten free! It’s worth a shot, but the texture will be different

  • Jackie

    I am about to make your cookies now and am very excited! I was wondering why you refrigerate them for 10 minutes before baking. I have never seen that before and was curious as to why? Thanks for being an inspiration

  • Xsandra

    These are amazing, they just popped out of the oven… 🙂 I used wholemeal spelt flour instead of the oat+rice combo and to my greatest surprise half of my beets were golden, so the result is much more pink than maroon. But lovely nevertheless.
    Not that I expect they won’t get consumed soon, but I was wondering… how long can they be stored in an airtight container?

  • Efrat

    Hi! These cookies look amazing and I want to bake them for my daughters 3rd bday party so I was wondering if the dough is solid enough to use cookie cutters to make shapes? Maybe refrigerate longer?
    Thank you!

    • It’s possible, but you’ll have to handle them very carefully! Let me know if it turns out Efrat 🙂

  • Olivia

    Can’t wait to make these for Valentines Day for my coworkers! Quick question, all my GF flours are packed up, would Trader Joe’s GF All Purpose Flour? It’s a blend of brown rice flour, potato starch, rice flour and tapioca flour. Thank you!

    • Yes that should work just fine! It may be a little different in texture, but you’ll get a good cookie still 🙂

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