Chef creates chocolate chip Keto-friendly cookies

Posted on Posted in Food, Recipes, Tips & Tricks

These healthier alternatives are perfect for
those who think of sugar as a food group!


Transitioning to a healthier diet can be challenging. Some attempts to change how you eat may last just a few weeks. Other diets may not survive the first 24 hours! Chef Gerard Viverito can relate.


“At one time or another, I’ve tried nearly every diet out there – Paleo, low-fat, high-fat, Scarsdale, South Beach, Zone – and my weight always bounced back up. But this last time, I was more motivated than ever. I learned I was prediabetic, probably because I was eating so much low-fat garbage. I was determined not to progress to full-blown Type 2 diabetes,” he recalls. “For me, the answer was a ketogenic diet.”


If you’re trying to eat healthier, Chef G agrees that giving up sugar can be challenging. “It wasn’t easy at first. Sugar happens to be my favorite food group.” Still, he persisted. He’s now lost 45 pounds and feels younger than ever. He’s even become a competitive triathlete and marathoner.


But even after more than a year, he still craves sweets. “With the help of my wife, I’ve created some cookies and other treats that help satisfy those cravings. From my travels to the Malaysian sustainable oil palm plantations, I know that Malaysian red palm oil gives me a dairy free substitute for butter yet still gives baked goods a buttery flavor. I also sub stevia for sugar so they become sugar free, and almond flour for wheat flour to make them gluten free.”


What is keto?

Many people are sugar burners: they’re much better at burning sugar than they are fat. The body gets used to using what you primarily feed it, so it gets really good at using sugar and really bad at using fat. So, you’ve got all this fat on your body, waiting to be burned for fuel, but your body just can’t get to it.


Chef G’s keto tips and strategies

Chef G says he’s turned his regular diet around and so can you. Here are some of his favorite tips:

  • Don’t fall for the water weight myth. “Some people will tell you that the first pounds you drop when you stop eating carbs are nothing but water weight. Studies now show that’s just not true!”
  • Be discriminating about which fats you eat. “Your body doesn’t care if you’re eating corn oil that’s been refried 25 times or the highest quality Malaysian palm oil. Either one will raise your ketones. But one’s a junk food and one’s a health food. Junky, unhealthy fats will just wreck your health in other ways. For one thing: They are highly inflammatory. I use Malaysian palm oil for cooking. It is cholesterol and flavor neutral, it stands up well to high heat, and it contains nutrients such as vitamin E tocotrienols that are good for your heart, brain and liver. Stay away from corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and yes, soybean oil too!”
  • Track your dietary fiber intake. “One of the drawbacks to a keto diet is that it is low in dietary fiber. This can be a problem since most Americans are already fiber deficient. Consider supplementing with a high-quality fiber supplement.”
  • Distract yourself when cravings hit. “There’s a lot of mental stuff going on in the beginning. I missed my treats and food rewards. A lot of success with any change in your eating patterns is getting out of your mental routine. It gets easier over time.”


For more of Chef G’s recipes, visit



Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Grain-Free & Dairy-Free}

Chef Gerard Viverito


Yield: 2 dozen cookies


  • 1/3 cup Malaysian red palm oil (Available at specialty markets and online. Malaysian palm oil is certified sustainably produced.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 coconut sugar or monk fruit sugar substitute
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cacao nibs or sugar free chocolate chips of choice
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts (optional)



In a large bowl whisk palm oil, coconut oil and sugar together. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until incorporated.


Mix in the baking soda and salt. Add the almond flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Fold in the cacao nibs and walnuts.  Refrigerate the dough prior to baking for 30 minutes to prevent the cookies from spreading too much.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Form the dough into 2 tablespoon sized rounds and place on the lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently flatten with palm of hand.  Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown around edges.


Cool and enjoy! These cookies are best enjoyed the day they are baked but can be refrigerated for up to a week.