Sugar-Free Low-Carb Keto Coconut Macaroons & Nut Balls

Sugar-Free, High-Fat, Low-Carb Treats

Here are a few sugar-free, low-carb, ketogenic cookies you can make for Christmas, or just to have on hand.

The Sugar-Free Coconut Macaroons and Cinnamon Nut Cookies pack well.

The NO-Bake, Nutty Butter Balls are best left frozen until shortly prior to eating.

NOTE:  This is a reprint from the original Trust Your True Nature blog.  I made them in our early transition to a lower-carb, ketogenic diet, prior to our veering into a more hypercarnivore approach to eating.

I have since dramatically reduced my consumption of nuts, seeds, and nut and seed butters.  Each person will have to determine how well they tolerate nuts and seeds, as they can produce discomforts when consumed too often or in large quantities.

I consider the use of nuts and seeds to be like a treat ~ I neither have to completely avoid them as I do not have an allergy to any that I am aware of, however, I rarely crave or consume them anymore.

Most people can easily tolerate treat foods if not consumed on a regular basis.  Life is to be celebrated, however, celebration foods are not meant to eat every day!

First up:

Sugar-Free Coconut Macaroons

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (or sub a healthy sugar alternative, see below)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Juice of about 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  1. Line a big baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip egg whites and cream until mixture thickens and becomes stiffer.  (Alternatively, blend egg whites separately until stiff peaks form.  Place in a separate bowl, then blend cream.) 
  3. Add cream of tartar to egg whites, and blend another minute.
  4. Gently fold in coconut oil, lemon and vanilla. You will lose the stiff peaks, but it's fine.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine coconut and coconut flour.
  6. Fold in egg white mixture.
  7. If the mixture seems a bit sticky, or too loose to hold together, add a little bit more coconut flour, 1-2 tbsp. at a time.
  8. Using a big spoon, scoop up a heaping teaspoonful of the mixture, and create a cone shape with your hands.  They will be about 1-1.5 inches tall (not too big).  If needed, wet hands.  Place on baking tray, about 1 inch apart.  They don't really spread.  I made 22 cookies from my batch.
  9. Continue with the rest. 
  10. Bake for ~ 40-45 minutes, until light golden brown on the bottom.

Special Note & Variation:  I added heavy cream, and coconut oil to the mix to provide more satiety and sweetness in lieu of the 1 cup of sugar that the original recipe called for.  

If wanting to skip the heavy cream, you can sweeten with one of the low-glycemic, alternative sweeteners that are not absorbed like regular sugars.  Xylitol is made from birchwood.  Swerve is made from fruits and vegetables and tested to have no impact on blood sugar, with 0 net calories. There are some other alternatives as well.  I'll link to a few options down below.  

If using sugar substitute instead of the cream, blend up to 1/4 cup in with the egg whites.

Each macaroon of 22 total, using cream and coconut oil, and no sugar substitute comes to about:

80 total cals; 7.2g total fat w/ 6.2g SFA, and 1.5mg cholesterol; 3g total carbs w/ 1.9g fiber; .9g sugar; and 1.4g protein.  2% RDI Iron, 1% Vitamin C.  Coconut is also a decent source of potassium.

Here is another very simple, no-bake alternative.  My slightly modified, sugar-free version of Coconut Bombs from Paleo Hacks.

No-Bake, Sugar-Free Coconut Bombs

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (original recipe includes 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder, and 2 tbsp. honey)
  • Few ounces of very dark chocolate (85%+ best, or get a bar of the straight bakers chocolate or baking cacao)
  1. Blend coconut, coconut oil, and vanilla in a food processor or blender until well combined, fine, and crumbly.
  2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  3. Use a big tablespoon to scoop up some of the mixture, and form round balls in your hands.  Wet hands if needed.  Place on tray.  Continue with the rest.
  4. Place in freezer for 10+ minutes.
  5. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in a stainless bowl that sits on top of a steamer basket in a pot filled with a couple inches of water.  Heat the water to melt the chocolate, stirring as needed.  Don't overcook.
  6. Drizzle a little chocolate on each using a bread knife, or the pointy end of a chopstick.  Or, if you get tired of making pretty swirls, just dunk them right in the chocolate.  Pop what you aren't eating back in the freezer until ready to eat.
  7. Enjoy!  They will keep pretty well for a while if traveling.

Next up, a nutty variation of macaroons.

(2/24/2019 Update:  We now recommend minimizing nuts for most people, as they contain many problematic components, including Omega 6 fatty acids, and other 'anti-nutrients.'  Eat judiciously, and pay attention to how you feel, including digestion, elimination, possible headaches, skin break-outs, etc., that are common complaints from those who are sensitive to nuts.  These are best enjoyed as occasional treats, and not as part of your daily diet.)

Cinnamon Nut Balls~

  • 1.25 cups blanched, or soaked & roasted almonds, ground
  • 3/4 cup walnuts ~ raw or soaked & roasted, ground
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee, or butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Shredded coconut, cocoa powder for rolling cookies in
  1. Lightly grease a big cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. In a food processor, grind almonds, then walnuts.  Place in a large bowl. 
  3. Add coconut flour, shredded coconut and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in ghee and coconut oil, and vanilla.
  5. In a small bowl, whip egg whites using a hand mixer.  Add cream of tartar, and continue to blend until stiff peaks form.
  6. Add a little more coconut flour if needed until batter sticks together.
  7. Using a big spoon, scoop up some of the batter, and roll into a ball in your hands.  Place on cookie sheet 1.5-2 inches apart.  Continue with the remaining batter.  It should make 20-22 cookies.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Let cool while placing a small amount of cocoa powder on one small plate, and shredded coconut on another.  Roll cookies in one or the other, or try both.  This can be skipped.  Or roll in ground sesame seeds, or more cinnamon.

Each 20g cookie (1/21 of the total batter) comes to:

106 total cals; 9.5g total fat w/ 2.3g SFA 7 2.9mg cholesterol; 9.6 mg Na (sodium); 3.4g total carbs w/ 1.9g fiber & .7g sugar; 3g protein 1% of RDI for Vitamin A; 3% Iron; 3% Vitamin C

The above recipes were modifications from an old book of mine.  To save space and weight from one of my many moves, I just ripped a few pages out from this book of recipes I wanted to save.  I have no idea what the title of this book was anymore, nor whom the author(s) were.

Another Nutty Buttery Cookie ~ No Bake Nutty Butter Balls


  • 1.25-1.5 cups ground almond
  • 3/4 cup ground pecan
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee or butter, melted (to modify to be vegan-friendly, add more coconut oil instead)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  1. Line a baking tray with wax paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Add a little more ground nuts if needed to create a stiff dough that sticks together, more or less.
  3. Scoop out batter with a big spoon, creating 1-1.5 inch mounds. Place on baking tray.  Continue with remaining batter.
  4. Place in freezer for 30+ minutes to harden.
  5. Once cookies are hard, pack in a container using the same wax paper, and leave in the freezer until ready to eat.

Vary it:

  • Add 1 tsp. cinnamon, and/or 1+ tbsp. cocoa powder
  • Add 1 packet Pruvit Keto Broth Salted Caramel ~ cut back on ground almonds by 1/4 cup  (This will give it a slightly sweeter, nice caramel flavor while adding collagen and exogenous ketones!
  • Try with chopped macadamia nuts or pistachios instead of either the almonds or the pecans.

Each 14g cookie (1 of 18-20) contains:

96.5 total cals; 9.6g total fat w/ 3.4g SFA & 4mg cholesterol; 2g total carbs w/ 1.1g fiber; 1.7g protein

Soak & roast your nuts!

For the most digestible nuts, soak overnight.  Drain, then let dry.  Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at the lowest setting, at 150-180º for 5 hours until dry and re-crisped.

Better sugar alternatives:

These sweeteners are no/low-carb, low/non-glycemic alternatives with a sweeter flavor than cane sugar, but without the harmful effects, especially beneficial for those with blood sugar imbalances.  Monk fruit was used by the Chinese for centuries.  Xylitol, made from birch is American made.