Spiced Tigernut Cookies (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free)

Ali Segersten Sep 29, 2016 24 comments

Today I have a special recipe to share with you. This grain-free tigernut cookie recipe comes from a new book called The Autoimmune Fix, which I actually developed all of the recipes for! Dr. Tom O’Bryan wrote an incredible book on the current epidemic of autoimmune diseases. As a skilled functional medicine practitioner, he discusses the root causes of autoimmune disease, and in essence, all diseases. Dr. O’Bryan has spent the last few decades lecturing around the globe on how gluten contributes to disease, but now expands on that topic in his new book with the culprits and causes of autoimmunity: Genetics, exposure, and intestinal permeability.

You may be thinking, I'm fine and healthy. I don't have an autoimmune disease, though you may know someone with lupus, eczema, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, psoriasis, or celiac disease. But, did you know that you can have autoantibodies, or "messengers from the future" as Dr. Tom likes to call them, slowly degenerating part of your body without you even knowing it? And that this can go on for years and years with no symptoms or with only mild signs of autoimmunity, such as joint pain, weight gain, brain fog, gut imbalances, depression, mood disorders, and fatigue? Tom's book is essential for everyone to read because he explains, in his eloquent story-telling style, how this process happens and what you can do now to test for autoimmunity before the full-blown cascade of decline manifests in your body.  

It is estimated that there are 70 to 80 million people with autoimmunity right now in the United States. That's about 22% to 25% of our population. But only about 24 million of these people have been diagnosed. That's a whole lot of people walking around not feeling well and not knowing why! I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Autoimmune Fix to better understand, prevent, and treat both hidden autoimmunity and full-fledged autoimmune disease. 

Here is my recipe for spiced tigernut cookies, which can also be found in The Autoimmune Fix on page 276. Tigernuts are actually small tubers that are ground into a delicious flour, which is perfect for baking. Tigernut flour is high in prebiotic fibers that feed beneficial microbes in the gut. It's one thing to take a probiotic or eat fermented foods, and another to actually feed them everyday with fibers that we can't digest....but they can! Good bacteria in the gut will grow into healthy colonies with the right foods. These gut bacteria enjoy the fibers and resistant starches from tubers, root vegetables, legumes, plantains, and other plant foods, and then release, through their own digestion, short chain fatty acids (which then nourish the cells lining the gut), B vitamins, the amino acid tryptophan, and digestive enzymes to break down other parts of your meal! Beneficial gut microbes regulate immune cell function to help your immune system stay calm and not overreact (such as in autoimmunity). So each and everyday, remember you are not only nourishing your body with good foods, but also your microbial colonies that live in your gut. What have you eaten today to nourish your microbes? :)


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Tried this recipe but d end result is dark brown color yet not burnt and soft.
Could it be tigernuts milk my friend suggested we add to it?

Just made these cookies and they are absolutely delicious! Thank you for always creating the best recipes!

Wonderful! Thanks so much for your feedback. As soon as I make a batch of these they are usually gone before they even get a chance to cool...my kids gobble them up! :)

Yay! Thank you so much for your feedback! Could you explain to others reading this how you made your gelatin egg? Not everyone knows about this. :)

These are fabulous. They are delicious and comforting and don't taste in the spirit of the conventional home baking I grew up on. I did start of thinking when I saw the recipe..hmm....well we'll see how actually chewey and taste they are but they totally are!!! Thank you thank you thank you xx

These cookies were wonderful! We made them AIP compliant by using a gelatin egg to make them egg-free. We gobbled them up so fast. Next time, I'll have to make a double (or even triple) batch. Thank you!

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for the feedback! I'm glad you ordered Tom's book. He has a wealth of info in there. You will find plenty delicious recipes of mine in there too. :)

Thank you for the feedback! My kids love them too. :)

Thank you so much for experimenting with an egg-free version and reporting back. So glad they worked out. :)

Thanks Leah for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed them! :)

These cookies were amazing! We made them last week after I finally broke down and bought the tiger-nut flour at whole foods. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have Hashimoto's and am always looking for more grain-free/nut-free recipes. I also ordered the book and started reading it. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
Michelle :-)

These are so delicious! My six year old loved them!

I made these with a chia egg (1 T chia ground + 3 T water) and although they didn't look like yours with the nice crackly top, they taste very good. I do find the tigernut flour gives the cookies a slightly gritty coarseness. I also used fewer dates, 93 grams or about 1/3 cup, because I don't like things too sweet, and this was plenty sweet for me.

I made these cookies tonight and they are delicious. Will be a good addition to our holiday treats. Thanks for great recipe.

Hi Alexa,

Thanks for the sweet feedback! :)

I had not thought about trying to make cut-out cookies with this recipe, but it might work! I would suggest refrigerating the dough after mixing it and then try rolling in between two pieces of parchment paper. It might work! If you try it please report back here in the comments.

~Ali :)

We made these today and they are YUMMY! Do you think we could use the recipe to roll out and cut into gingerbread people for x-mas? I'm thinking decorated cookies with your sweet potato icing!

Hi Shawna,

Thank you for the feedback! So happy to hear that your family enjoyed the recipe. :)


I know, it is expensive. I feel blessed to have been sent samples from the company to try out. It is an amazing flour to work with, and if you use it sparingly, for special occasions, it can go a long way.

~Ali :)

Chia eggs work great in recipes calling for 1-2 eggs, especially cookie recipes. A chia egg consists of 1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds whisked with 3 to 4 tablespoons hot water. AIP often uses 1 tablespoon of pastured gelatin powder in cookie recipes to replace eggs. I have not tested either in this recipe but have been meaning to lately!

-Ali :)

Hi there,

I would suggest trying prunes in place of the dates. I have not tested this though, but have used prunes in many baking recipes successfully. Let me know if it works!

~Ali :)

My whole family loved this recipe, thank you. I had just bought a bag of the flour and did not know what to do with it, and then your recipe popped up in my inbox! Next time I will make a double batch though.


At $14.00+ a pound, tigernut flour is a bit too rich for my blood. I might try this with teff or a combination of other flours, though.

These cookies sound great; however, I cannot eat eggs. Can you suggest an egg substitute that might go well with this or other recipes? Thanks!

Hi Ali,
Thanks for the recipe! I ordered the book for myself and another family member. I don't do well with dates. Are they an essential part of this recipe or are there some substitutions that might possibly work? Anything you would recommend experimenting with? Thanks so much for all your hard work!

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