(Recipe card and blog post updated February 9, 2021)
Back in our adolescent days, my sister and I would regularly watch the Food Network together after school. Probably not hard to believe, if you know us! You might be surprised though when I tell you that one of our favorite chefs on the line-up was – drumroll please– Paula Deen! And it wasn’t just because of her love for butter.
5-ingredient low FODMAP peanut butter cookies… gasp!
Paula Deen’s home cooking show (specifically one episode) was where I discovered how simple and easy it could be to make truly delicious 5-star cookies without any flour or butter. At the time I had zero intention of turning these into a low FODMAP cookie recipe… but I’ve realized now that’s an added bonus!
This recipe the way my sister and I made it was a huge hit with my family and friends for many years… and still is! (We originally started making this recipe with Domino white sugar, in case you were wondering!)
I eventually decided to experiment with altering the ingredients for health reasons to support clients in my private practice. The verdict has been that my “Jennafied” version is just as tasty as its original counterpart, so I’d like to share it with you!
Ingredient swaps and modifications
So what did I change about the original peanut butter cookie recipe? Just a couple things. (I’m sorry, Paula Deen!)
Natural peanut butter
In Paula Deen’s original recipe on the Food Network, she uses “mainstream” peanut butter, which I recommend you swap out for a natural alternative which contains no partially-hydrogenated oils.
- Partially hydrogenated oils are actually a form of hidden trans-fat – there’s a lot to say about that, and we actually cover this topic very in-depth in my Kitchen Alchemy Nutrition Fundamentals online course!
Coconut palm sugar
Coconut palm sugar is my top favorite 1:1 swap for white sugar in baking! I also prefer t
- Paula used Splenda® in her cookies. Free free to check out my two cents on Splenda® (sucralose) and IBS and why I don’t use Splenda®, if you’re curious!
- Splenda® and table sugar are inter-changeable using a 1:1 ratio in baking, so I always used regular sugar to make Paula’s recipe with regular granulated sugar. Nowadays, when I have it on hand I like to use coconut palm sugar.
- According to studies conducted by the Food & Nutrition Research Institute Department of Science & Technology in the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar is significantly lower in glycemic index and higher in micronutrients… Specifically iron, zinc, potassium and calcium) as well as inulin (beneficial fiber) and phytonutrients. (1) It’s not much different otherwise so don’t worry about it if you don’t have it at home 🙂
For low FODMAP peanut butter cookies
Thank goodness peanut butter is naturally a low FODMAP food! Woohoo!
These cookies are also already gluten-free and dairy-free/lactose-free which makes them generally well-tolerated for people with those food sensitivities.
However, when it comes to low FODMAP sweeteners…
Low FODMAP sweeteners
- Coconut palm sugar is considered low FODMAP in servings of 1 teaspoon or less, according to the MONASH University (2). In this recipe unfortunately there’s more than a teaspoon of coconut sugar per cookie, so we need to modify! 12 tablespoons = 36 teaspoons of coconut sugar in 16 cookies… that’s 2 1/4 teaspoon per cookie.
- Luckily we can use a bit of brown sugar to replace some of the coconut palm sugar in baking… That’s just enough to keep these cookies low FODMAP without compromising the taste!
For diabetes-friendly peanut butter cookies
From a glycemic index standpoint, coconut sugar is slightly lower in glycemic index (rate at which it spikes blood sugar) compared to regular sugar. However, according to the glucometers of many of my clients with diabetes, coconut sugar isn’t much better for managing blood sugar if it’s consumed in large quantities! 🙁
- The solution: Replace brown sugar with 1/4 cup of 100% Monk Fruit. (Make sure to read the ingredients to verify there’s no erythritol!)
For peanut allergies
- You can easily substitute the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter or nut butter. I’ve done this many times to create “cashew butter sugar cookies” and they’re DIVINE. You really can’t go wrong!
All of that said, here’s my peanut butter cookie recipe… Enjoy and let me know how they turned out!
Low FODMAP Peanut Butter Cookies
- Measuring cups
- Medium mixing bowl
- Spoon for mixing
- Fork for cross-hatches
- 2 baking sheets / cookie sheets
- Optional - cooling rack
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (low FODMAP) or extra 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl until they are a doughy consistency.
- Roll dough into tablespoon-sized dollops and flatten with a fork (to make cross-hatch pattern) onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350 F for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.
- Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet, then let cool for another 10 minutes before transferring to a plate.
Diabetic cookie exchange:
- 1 cookie = 1 carbohydrate, 1 fat