The winter holiday season is here and that means holiday flavors and cookies (everywhere).  But that also means extra empty calories everywhere provoking us to nibble where we find ourselves having to balance those two little voices in our heads- “you can have just one” vs. “no, I’m trying not to be a fatty no cookie for me!”.  You know that back and forth banter I’m talking about?

Thing is you can enjoy treats without feeling guilty about it, especially if you’re dialed in with an 80/20-type of healthy lifestyle.  Problem is, most case histories I evaluate people are 20/80, or worse and often don’t even realize it (they think they’re doing the right things and “eating clean”, but they’re not).

So for someone who is currently healthy (without dis-ease) following an 80/20 lifestyle, their body can typically handle the nutritional stress of a cookie, but when we’re 20/80 or worse, it’s like putting more “fuel on the fire”, where that fire is inflammation, pain, sick, functional pathology, etc.  Does that make sense?  

Many of you know my policy is real food from integrity sources, but I’m also a HUGE foodie… so am I going to eat holiday treats this year?  Of course!

That being said, set yourself up for success by putting strategic “real food insurance policies” in place, and rather than the processed flour, processed sugar-based ingredient cookies with chemical dye-sprinkles and more we see everywhere this time of year, we can easily create amazing holiday flavors with real food ingredients… that way we have a healthy indulgence choice vs. the junk choice when that voice leans “just have one” (and it probably will, happens to me as well so you’re not alone. We are normal!).

These raw macadamia nutmeg thumbprint cookies are an example of that healthy indulgence, dead simple to make, and very versatile in that you can add different fillings in the middle.  Real food remixed and recipe-friendly: raw food, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, no added sugar.



1 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked minimum 4 hours in clean water (no tap)

6 large medjool dates, pitted

1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground (freshly grated ideal)

pinch pink salt


1/4 – 1/2 cup raw cranberry-orange sauce

  • Full recipe:
    • 16 ounce whole, raw cranberries (I used 2 x 8oz package. You don’t want the dried flattened ones)
    • 2 Valencia oranges, whole (Valencia’s are soft skinned)
    • 1 cup raw coconut sugar
links above are brands I personally use as nutrition you can trust

Kitchen notes:

1. Center:  what’s great about these cookies is you can try any center you choose.  Different jams, melt some chocolate and pour a bit in the center to set, etc.  I did the raw cranberry-orange sauce to keep the cookies in totality fully raw, as well as cranberry-orange is a classic winter holiday flavor combo.  

2.  Cranberry-Orange sauce:  amounts are set to make 2-3 cups for adding to other foods, etc this holiday season.  For this particular cookie recipe, you’ll only need 1/4 – 1/2 cup of final product to dollop in the middle.

3.  Nutmeg:  using whole nutmeg & freshly grating is ideal for best flavor.  If you can’t use that, use a pre-ground version like this.


Click Here to Pin!

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - Pinterest


Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - Cookie 'dough'

Cookie ingredients mixed

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - forming

Separate mixture into 10-12 even balls of “dough” and begin forming into shape 

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - formed

Form shapes and create reservoir in center

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - final

Add filling to each

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - closeup

Macadamia nutmeg cookie closeup

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - closeup bite

Macadamia nutmeg cookie closeup cross section bite


1.  Soak macadamia nuts in clean water for at least 4 hours.  Once done, drain, rinse and dry.

2.  Add all cookie ingredients to a food processor or quality blender and blend until everything is incorporated.

3.  Place combined mixture on a cutting board and begin to separate evenly into 10-12 even amounts, depending on how large you want to make the cookies.

4.  Form each cookie by lightly pressing the “dough” between the palm of your hands, turning, pressing, turning, pressing (the idea is to get everything nice and compact)… Then roll around in your hands to form a ball. 

5.  Place ball on the cutting board and gently press down with palm to form a flatter cookie base.  When you press, the sides might crack a bit in a couple spots.  That’s OK, once the cookie has been pressed just take your fingers and gently mold the sides together to get rid of the cracks.

6.  Use your index/pointer finger to tap/press and make the center reservoir.  You may have to mold the sides a little bit again after doing this (see #5).

7.  Once they’re all done, place on a plate and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to let setup.  If you’re using the cranberry-orange sauce, start making that now.

7a.  Cranberry-Orange sauce:

  • Slice oranges in quarters (peel and all), remove seeds, and place in a food processor with cranberries & coconut sugar.
  • Blend until everything incorporated well.

8.  When cookies are done setting up, remove from freezer and add cranberry-orange sauce or other center filling of choice to the cookie reservoir.

Keep these stored in the fridge and enjoy this holiday season!

GIFT IDEA:  Need an inexpensive gift idea?  See below.  Get a small gift box, fill with a little tissue paper, add cookies and give as a tasty, healthy gift this holiday season.

Raw Macadamia Nutmeg Cookies - gift idea


Do you have any questions about this recipe?  Don’t hesitate to ask below in the comments.

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