Reduced Sugar Pumpkin Cookie (Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Sugar can inflame the body.


When I eat too much sugar, my right arm aches.  It’s my unique indicator that I’m inflamed. And, since my boys are also sensitive to sugar, I routinely try to reduce our intake.


But, I also don’t want them to rebel or binge on sugar, like I did.  So, I am trying to find a balance.  Over the past few weeks, I have reduced the sugar content of my “Cookie Fake Out” recipe from 1/2 cup maple syrup to 1/4 cup maple syrup and then down to 2 Tablespoons.  Much to my surprise, my children still loved the cookies!  So, I went a step further and replaced the 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup with 2 Tablespoons of date paste.  My children couldn’t taste the difference!  Hurray!


The trick was slowly reducing the amount of sugar in my children’s overall diet during the past few weeks, allowing time for their palates to adjust.  As a result, these cookies taste sweet to them. As a bonus, this recipe is Just in time for pumpkin season!  These cookies contain pumpkin, but you’d never know it.  They are chewy mouthfuls of chocolate yumminess.


Optional: Turn this recipe into breakfast cookies by adding raisins, nuts, seeds, protein powder, collagen powder, or anything your heart desires.  (If adding an optional powder, reduce the amount of arrowroot powder until your desired consistency is reached).  When modifying the recipe, we still include the dark chocolate chips because they make this cookie taste good. Even if you keep the chocolate chips in the recipe, these cookies contain less sugar than most American children eat for breakfast! 



2 Tablespoons freshly ground chia or flax seeds

8 Tablespoons warm water

1 Cup unsweetened sunflower butter

1 Cup pumpkin puree

2 Tablespoons date paste* (or 2 Tablespoons maple syrup)

1/2 Cup arrowroot powder

1 Tablespoon coconut flour

2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup dark or milk chocolate chips



1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Combine ground chia seeds with the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.  To avoid rancid fats, I don’t buy pre-ground seeds.  Instead, I buy whole seeds and grind them, using a spice grinder, right before I use them.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate chips (and optional ingredients).

4. Combine on medium speed until thoroughly mixed.

5. Add chocolate chips (and optional ingredients) and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.  Then, use a spatula and mix the dough by hand to make sure the chia/water mixture is thoroughly distributed throughout the dough.  The dough will be sticky.

6. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper.

7. Bake for 6-8 minutes (I like my cookies soft, so I take them out of the oven after 6 minutes and let them cool on the parchment paper).


Makes roughly 4 dozen cookies.


*To make date paste: Soak 2 cups pitted dates in 2 cups water over night.  Blend in Vitamix or food processor until smooth, adding the soaking water as needed (typically 1/4 cup).  Store in glass container in fridge (lasts for roughly 10 days in fridge or can be frozen for longer storage).


I use organic, non-GMO verified ingredients whenever possible.

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