The phrase “Caveman Cookie” may sound like an oxymoron to those who know about the caveman diet, but the idea is pretty simple: dessert made from ingredients that humans have been eating for tens of thousands of years. You won’t find any milk, eggs, flour or refined sugar in these cookies, not to mentioned artificial additives. “Cavemen didn’t have refined sugar,” explained Stephanie Lester, the founder of Caveman Bakery LLC. The three flavors of cookies — Original, Tropical and Alpine–are made mostly from nuts and honey.
Lester began eating like a cavewoman in her junior year of college, using the plan laid out by Loren Cordain in The Paleo Diet. She found that she had better energy and that her skin improved. “Back in college I already started making some cookies that people liked,” she said, but would have never anticipated that her baked goods made from hunter-gatherer ingredients offered a potential career path. She went on to earn a law degree, but found that practicing law wasn’t for her. Lester started her bakery while working as a trusts and estates attorney, and soon left her firm to dedicate her full energy to Caveman Cookies. Today, Lester and her husband both follow the paleo diet, but allow themselves modern food on occasion.
While some following the paleo diet shun honey and most modern fruit in an effort to cut all forms of sugar out of their diets, Lester said that our ancestors certainly had access to honey, it’s just important to remember that they had to brave the bees to get it. “You don’t want to have too much,” she said, explaining that her cookies have about a tablespoon of honey per serving. “They’re definitely a treat. I would not advocate eating them as your only meal.”
The cookies have 65 to 75 calories each (depending on the flavor), and are a source of healthy fats, fiber and protein. For something that should be eaten in moderation, that’s a lot more nutritional benefit than most cookies. “When you eat one of these cookies it’s not like you’re taking in this huge sweet thing like you would if you’re eating cake,” explained Lester. “What you’re getting is a bite of something that’s actually going to satisfy you.” Because the cookies include so few ingredients, they’re also gluten-free, grain free, dairy free and peanut free, making them great for a variety of people with food allergies.
The taste may not appeal to everyone, particularly those unaccustomed to gluten-free or paleo fare. One of my colleagues tweeted that she thought the Original flavor “Tasted like mud, mixed w cardboard.” When doing demos of the Caveman Cookies, Lester says about 80 percent of people really enjoy them, and about another 10 to 15 percent like them but don’t love them. But you can’t please everyone. “Some people just absolutely hate the texture…if you don’t like the texture, you can’t get past it.” Caveman Cookies are chewy, more like an energy bar than your typical oatmeal raisin cookie, but I did find all three flavors yummy.
The fact that each cookie is made from a short list of minimally-processed ingredients is also appealing to me. “There are basically four or five ingredients per cookie, depending on the variety,” added Lester. “They’re made with ingredients you can actually pronounce.”
Caveman Cookies are available online at CavemanCookies.com and at select stores across the U.S.