We have a penchant for finding an absurd amount of ways to sweeten our food, as evidenced by our sweetener-laden grocery store aisles. Our many sweeteners also have many names, making it difficult to suss out the added sugars in foods. There are only a few Paleo-friendly sweetening agents: fruit, raw honey, pure maple syrup, and coconut sugar, all of which are low on the glycemic index. Still, these should not be a diet staple. 

It’s easy to get plantains and bananas mixed up. While plantains are part of the banana family and the two look alike, plantains are not sweet, and instead are used mostly as a starchy vegetable. Think of plantain chips as veggie chips. They are often sliced and baked with olive oil and salt, creating a nice crunch. Lots of supermarkets carry different versions of plantain chips, but not all plantain chips are Paleo, so you’ll want to check the ingredients before buying.

Sweet potatoes are used instead of corn in this version of corn chips, since corn is a definite no-go on the Paleo diet. The use of sweet potatoes is a popular one, and they typically act as a stand in for ordinary potatoes. Here they do a good job of providing a crunchy and hearty experience, like the kind you get from corn chips. The accompanying spices and seasonings all work well together, and these are great for dipping into all sorts of things, like the hummus or salsa recipes found above.
If you’re looking for a fresh fruit alternative, look no further than fruit leathers or fruit strips. This product can be found at most pharmacies, grocery stores, and even gas stations, but be careful because not all fruit leathers are good Paleo snacks. Check the list of ingredients on the back of the box carefully before purchasing. Your healthier fruit leather options will be those will minimal ingredients, like fruit and water. Stretch Island Fruit Co. makes great all-natural fruit leathers in a variety of flavors, like raspberry and strawberry, that Paleo bloggers and chefs love.
Hi. I used 1/4 cup of molasses and 3/4 cup of erythritol. When I first tasted the cookie I thought it was a little bit too sweet, but now the taste seems perfect. With the erythritol and molasses in place of sugar, I can eat the cookie without a negative impact on my blood glucose. I like them so much I’m going to bake more and send them to my mother who is also diabetic.
High-quality, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef should be included in every paleo diet. With an impressive, energy-boosting nutritional profile including vitamin B12’s, zinc and iron, beef also contains a good amount of protein and fat to keep you satisfied and full for longer. This is particularly beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight and will also help you to maintain lean muscle mass and a healthy metabolism.
“Many people have a Fred Flintstone notion of Paleo, that it’s meat-centric,” says Julie Mayfield, coauthor of Weeknight Paleo. In fact, she says, meat portions should be no bigger than the size of your palm, with vegetables filling the rest of the plate along with some fruit. “I’ve had countless people who didn’t know what it’s like not to be bloated until they took out grains and dairy,” she says. “It’s like someone with poor eyesight putting on a pair of glasses.” 

Hi Monique! I love all your paleo recipes but am not a friend of the texture/flavor eggs add ( I know it’s not super obvious and noticeable but I generally bake vegan treats so do tend to notice a difference) Your double chocolate paleo bars worked super well with a chia egg (I ate those bars every chance I got!), do you think that would work here too? Thanks so much!
Take 30 days and give it a shot – cut out the grains and dairy, start eating more vegetables and fruits, eat more humanely raised and non-grain fed meat, cut out the liquid calories and sugar, and see how you feel after the month is up. If you’re analytical and want numbers to use in your final verdict, get your blood work done at the beginning and end of the month.
This is a cute snack that can help you cool off on a hot summer day or night, and won’t impact your Paleo eating one bit. That’s because it uses just two ingredients in this sandwich, so it’s just a matter of cutting them up and eating them. The way they’ve presented it makes it a great party dish, because who doesn’t like eating things off of toothpicks. The trickiest part is getting the cucumbers and watermelon to be cut into the same sized squares so that they look good. If you’re just making a snack for yourself you don’t have to be so exact.
The real key to these, as I say in just about every recipe where I call for chocolate, is that chopped is always better than chips. It melts better because the wax in chocolate chips prevents them from saying melted and gooey, and chocolate chip cookies need to be melty and gooey. You can also control the percentage of cocoa in your chocolate by buying it in bars!

So far, there’s not much research on how the Paleo Diet affects heart health. There are many good ideas in this diet, like eating fresh fruits and vegetables and staying away from foods that are fried, processed, sugary, and salty. Eating a lot of meat and other foods that are high in cholesterol, like eggs, can increase your risk for heart disease.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar. If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)
The diet focuses on unprocessed, whole foods – healthy fats including saturated fat, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs, lots of fish and seafood, vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and some natural sweeteners. It excludes grains, legumes, processed sugar and most dairy. Some people include healthy dairy foods like kefir, full fat natural yogurt, some aged cheese and butter. That, of course, really depends on your sensitivities. We love this way of eating because it also focuses on local, organic produce and good farming practices.

It stuck because I really think of these as the world’s easiest cookies. To make a batch, all you do is combine almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and stir. That’s it! No butter, no eggs, no chilling the dough (or rolling it out). You just need four ingredients and a little elbow grease. After about 10 minutes of baking, you’re rewarded with macaron-flavored cookies that are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center.
These cashew butter balls are made raw so you don’t have to bake them. They’re ready to eat after just an hour in the fridge. The good thing is that you can make many of them at once, and just eat them a bit at a time as you go through your week. Having snacks made ahead of time is really helpful when you’re trying to stick to any diet plan. These are so simple to make it’s just dates, cashews and cashew butter. Roll it into a ball and cool it off and they’re ready to nosh.
Grains like wheat, barley, oats and corn simply don’t stack up on the nutritional front, with modern cultivars engineered for speed of growth and pest resistance rather than nutrient density. What’s more, the milling process tends to remove most of the nutrients that remain in those grains, meaning the end product is virtually pure carbohydrate. Throw in a heady dose of anti-nutrients like lectins and phytates, and one starts to see why grains are better left off the menu.
OMG! To me, these are the “holy grail” of chocolate cookies and even better because they are paleo! They were so easy to make and better than the usual tollhouse recipe I grew up with. I chopped up the chocolate super fine so when it baked, the cookies came out into flat discs- which I happen to LOVE a cookie like that. So I was very pleased! The best part about paleo baking is that you actually get filled up and even though they are such delicious cookies, I was very satisfied after only eating two. With other cookies made with regular flour, I tend to overeat. Thank you for this recipe. It is absolutely going to be a keeper! I have a feeling this might be one of those recipes I have memorized after a while! 🙂
I just found out that my friend has a nut allergy so I needed to alter a few recipes. After reading through a few paleo web pages, I’m finding that sunflower flour is a good 1:1 substitute for Almond flour. I’m testing that ratio with these cookies now. For a while, because of an issue with the amount of nuts that are “OK” for the diet I started substituted a home-made pumpkin seed flour and entree’s taste just as delicious!

Yes, I’ve used half coconut flour. Still in the oven but they tasted good before I put them in! I also found them too crumbly the first time I made them, so I added a flax egg and half a cup of almond milk and then squeezed them into balls and flattened them. Much better consistency. And I find they need to bake 2-3 minutes longer, maybe even a bit more.
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Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature. These cookies can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours, but they will start to dry out if not stored in an airtight container. For best shelf life, I recommend storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

6/30/16 update: I’ve been making these paleo chocolate chip cookies with chia eggs lately to make them vegan and they’re just as delicious! To make a chia egg, mix together 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds and 2.5 tablespoons water. Let sit 5-15 minutes or until goopy like an egg. I’ve also tried these cookies using a flax egg but I didn’t like the taste.


Great as a snack or healthier dessert option, apples are reasonably low in blood-sugar spiking carbohydrates while providing a host of beneficial nutrients. They’re full of vitamins A, B, C, E and K that promote detoxifying and healthy skin while boron helps to maintain strong bones. Apples also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which have been shown to help to prevent Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Hi Julie. Chocolate chip cookies without any sugar or chocolate wouldn’t really taste like chocolate chip cookies anymore…you could try substituting a calorie-free sweetener for the sugar if that’s what you’re looking for. Since cacao mass has no sweetener, I imagine it would be pretty bitter in cookies, but you could give it a shot – I’ve never used it before so I’m unsure of how it will work. 

As discussed in my article questioning nut consumption on a Paleo diet, macadamia nuts are probably the healthiest nuts available because of their high monounsaturated and low polyunsaturated fat content as well as their low levels of anti-nutrients. They can thus be enjoyed without guilt. This hummus recipe is great with anything where you would normally use regular hummus or Baba Ghanoush.
When it comes to selecting the best fats to include in your paleo diet, almost any natural source is acceptable. This includes refined animal fats (choose naturally-raised, organic varieties), nuts oils (except for peanut which isn’t a nut), avocados and all parts of the coconut. Always avoid processed fats that contain harmful trans fats and try to ensure that you’re consuming a good balance of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids to minimize inflammation within your body. To help you to do this, avoid seed oils such as canola, soybean and vegetables oils and include fatty fish in your diet regularly.
If you want to get your chocolate craving satisfied with your snack time, these energy balls are the way to go. What we’re typically looking for when deciding on a snack is whether it will provide the fuel to get you to your next meal. With these you’ll be able to cruise to your next meal, and you won’t get those groggy or foggy times when you just want to eat and you can’t focus. You also won’t get that panicky feeling that occurs when you don’t know what your next meal is going to be. Have these energy balls and then you’ll be able to focus long enough to plan your next meal or take care of important work.
Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!)If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!
Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere).  Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.[2]
Grains – especially wheat and anything with gluten. White rice is the least harmful of all grains and is added to dishes on occasions or for variety, it’s also part of the Perfect Health Diet protocol, which is what I follow. Rice is very high in carbohydrates and if you’re not active or trying to lose weight, it should be kept to ‘occasional’ use. Learn more about why grains are avoided in the paleo diet here.
This leafy green is packed full of essential nutrients including vitamin C, A, E, K, B6, folate, potassium, manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium and iron, to name just a few. Because of this, broccoli is a great addition to almost any paleo meal and has also been shown to be particularly beneficial in reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancers due to its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying nature.
The diet focuses on unprocessed, whole foods – healthy fats including saturated fat, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs, lots of fish and seafood, vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and some natural sweeteners. It excludes grains, legumes, processed sugar and most dairy. Some people include healthy dairy foods like kefir, full fat natural yogurt, some aged cheese and butter. That, of course, really depends on your sensitivities. We love this way of eating because it also focuses on local, organic produce and good farming practices.
Eggplants are Paleo friendly for most, but store-bought baba ghanoush can still contain loads of hidden mayo—and that can mean unwanted vegetable oils. Go for a simple, mayo-free recipe with lots of garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresher take that won’t weigh you down. Try pairing this dip with some Paleo-friendly homemade rosemary sesame crackers.
Legumes – beans, lentils, chickpeas and so on. Cashews are not legumes! There are some debates over whether some legumes are safe to consume in moderation, if prepared properly (soaked for 12 hours and then cooked really well to remove the phytic acid and make them easier to digest). You can read this article by Dr. Chris Kresser and this article by Dr. Loren Cordain and make up your own mind like we do. We include green beans and peas but avoid the rest.
Kudos! I tried 4 different paleo/grain-free cookie recipes today, plus 1 mix. For a holiday cookie party I’m attending, I’m making choc chip s’more cookies (2 cookies with marshmallow between, then dip half the “sandwich” in dark choc). I had to find a great paleo or at least GF option for the choc chip cookies. I tried a mix that worked well, so I knew I had that back up but I don’t want to spend that much on mix, plus it seems like a cop out. Hence the 4 well-rated choc chip cookie recipes I auditioned tonight…

This is like a traditional smoky, garlicky, and salty snack mix but it’s made with only real clean ingredients. It can be somewhat addicting. It’s just a nice pure nutty goodness with smoked spices and garlic infused olive oil. You can make it with any kind of nuts you’d like. Walnuts and pecans were used because they are lots of nooks and crannies for the spices to grab onto and stay. The almonds were used to add some extra crunchiness. There are cashews in the picture.
This recipe does its best to replicate the chocolate Hostess brand donuts, but in a way that gets rid of the lousy ingredients and replaces them with wholesome ones. They contain wonderful things like medjool dates, eggs, and coconut flour, rather than what you’ll find in a package of Hostess donettes. The main ingredient in those is sugar, followed by partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which provides trans fat, and wheat flour. Not a good snack to get into the habit of eating, but these replicas won’t set you back.

As discussed in my article questioning nut consumption on a Paleo diet, macadamia nuts are probably the healthiest nuts available because of their high monounsaturated and low polyunsaturated fat content as well as their low levels of anti-nutrients. They can thus be enjoyed without guilt. This hummus recipe is great with anything where you would normally use regular hummus or Baba Ghanoush.
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Bake the cookies. Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown all over and mostly set toward the center (about 14 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet (about 10 minutes). They will become more firm as they cool. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.


Longtime readers know that they won’t find many Paleo desserts on my blog or in my cookbook or app. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the occasional sweet treat; I’m an admitted recovering sugar addict, after all. I’m just not a baker. I don’t have the patience or talent for it, and it’s probably for the best. I’d much rather tweak a cauliflower recipe over and over again than try to figure out how to make the perfect Paleo pastry—especially ’cause I’d be tempted to eat up all of my failed baking experiments. That’s also why whenever I bake, I rely on experts who have perfected the craft, so that I’m guaranteed a satisfying treat on the first try.
Eggplants are Paleo friendly for most, but store-bought baba ghanoush can still contain loads of hidden mayo—and that can mean unwanted vegetable oils. Go for a simple, mayo-free recipe with lots of garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresher take that won’t weigh you down. Try pairing this dip with some Paleo-friendly homemade rosemary sesame crackers.
A strict paleo diet does not allow dairy products because hunter-gatherers did not milk cows. Some paleo dieters say dairy is OK, especially if it is grass-fed because grass-fed butter, for example, has more omega-3s. Fermented dairy products are also OK for some paleo eaters because they have a lower content of lactose and casein, the two concerns paleo dieters have with dairy. 
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