fbpx Skip to main content

Pumpkin Cookie Balls

Another great testimonial about this lifestyle.  

“I started yo-yo dieting and exercising when I was 8 years old even though I was a slim child with no genetic tendency towards being even slightly overweight!

I had started baby ballet a few months prior and was so gifted a dancer that in just a month I was moved to the advanced ballet class with the older girls and was (apparently) even better than all of them.

My ballet teacher who was once a prima ballerina was so impressed by my ability that she pulled my mom aside and I had the ill luck to have overheard this conversation. She told my mom that if I continued to dance that I would someday be a prima ballerina assoluta. (I had to look up this definition when I got much older  but at 8 years old I had no idea what kind of compliment I was being given). But THIS I remember…she said that for me to be a ballerina I would have to go on a strict diet because I was not a ‘skinny’ girl. That actually my (slim) frame was not ideal for ballerinas and it would hold me back. The ballet world would think I was too ‘fat’ and my body was not ideal.

There. My life was changed at that moment. I started a lifelong struggle with body image at that moment that I heard I was too fat. And even though I stopped dancing only 2 years later, the dieting and exercise continued. I would do 45 minutes of aerobics and toning in my room with my door closed and I was only 8 years old.

I never had an eating disorder but I was definitely obsessed with my weight. My eating was either feast or famine because I could never stick to a real diet. I had no concept for what was healthy and what was right. I went about ‘dieting very blindly. And because I could never stick to an actual ‘diet’ i actually started gaining weight. All the feasting was catching up to me which made me try more starvation diets only to feast later on. Because i never lost weight and I would hide my binge eating, my mom never knew how obsessed I was with my weight and my body. No one knew. It was my own secret.

To make a long story short, everyone in my family was thin except for me…which made me even more obsessed. cookie

I have been on every diet I can think of and have been to countless nutritionists with little success. I was really at the end of the line and I always felt trapped in my body. I’m an emotional eater and have a major sweet tooth. Once I start I can’t stop. I once went on a sugar binge that lasted almost a year. I felt like crap every single day!

Then one day, I had the good fortune to meet Maria who really understood me and my background! She showed me a lot of compassion and I knew she really cared about helping me.

She mapped out a great eating plan, but more importantly recommended supplements to curb my moods and emotions–which was at the crux of my emotional eating.

Since then, I have bought every one of her cookbooks. I feel very educated about health and eating and can consciously make the right choices.

By the way, I have made almost every one of her desserts and ate it guilt free!! But I slowly stopped craving sweets altogether. When you don’t deprive your body of something, it stops craving it.

Now, I am healthy at 5’6″ and 117lbs and am no longer dieting or going crazy about my weight and body which had consumed the better part of my life. I can live and enjoy life the way I was meant to…something I haven’t felt since baby ballet.

Thank you Maria. You are a superstar and life changer….and forever my go-to gal. I love you!!!!” Romy J.

Click HERE to get your 30 day meal plans and start your transformation!


This was the first time the boys experienced carving pumpkins! It was so fun watching their reactions of the whole process of digging out the guts. I was right about my assumptions… Kai loved it (and wanted to eat it!) and Micah wanted to wash his hands after every scoop!

My dad’s favorite Christmas cookie is the Italian Wedding Cookies. I thought… hmmm, we can make these into cute little pumpkins!



3/4 cups butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup powdered Swerve (or erythritol powdered and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
cookie6 TBS coconut flour
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp vanilla
Natural orange food coloring
Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
Beat butter with powdered sweetener, add flours, salt, pumpkin pie spice, nuts and vanilla and mix well. Roll into balls about a tablespoon in size. Place a pepita into the top of each cookie for the “stem”. Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes. Makes 48 cookies.
NOTE: Not all coconut flours are created equal. My suggestion is to bake one cookie first. If the cookie flattens too much and doesn’t look like a pumpkin, add 1 TBS more of coconut flour and try again until you get a nice round pumpkin shape.
Traditional Cookie = 74 calories, 6.2g fat, 0.6g protein, 5g carbs, trace fiber (5 effective carbs)
“Healthified” Cookie = 65 calories, 6.2g fat, 1.1g protein, 1.4g carbs, 0.8g fiber (0.6 effective carbs)
Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Jan J. says:

    Oh my, your boys are just the cutest! My girls will enjoy making these and we have all the ingredients! Good to have something festive for the season but healthy. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Anonymous says:

    How cute!!! The cookies and your boys!
    Do you think one could cook these in one of those baby cakes donut/cake hole makers?
    Are there any other of your “healthified” recipies that you think would work well in one of those?

    Thanks for all the wonderful information!!!! You are a blessing!!!

  • Your boys and your doggy are so sweet! As are your pumpkin cookie balls. They sound delish!

  • Laila says:

    Although I REALLY need the nutritional help, if I could go…I’d be there playing with the boys! (Sorry, Maria-LOL!)

  • I am way confused when recipes have powdered Swerve (or erythritol powdered and 1 tsp stevia glycerite). Where do you buy these items. I look but never quite see those exact names. Help!

  • Heidi says:

    I have been checking out your blog and I have seen so many yummy recipes. I would love to try a lot of them, but my husband is allergic is all tree nuts and until my kids are the age of 3 we avoid tree nuts (Dr. recommendation, because my husband’s allergy is so severe). Is there a flour that can be used instead of the almond flour? We are trying to cut back on carbs and sugar in our house.

    • Thank you! You can try coconut flour, but it’s not a 1-to-1 replacement. In general it is 1/4 the amount for coconut flour and then twice the liquid. You could start with that and then adjust (more liquid or more flour) if the batter is too dry or too wet. 🙂

  • Excellent, je croquerais volontiers
    des belles images
    Bon vendredi, ensoleillé chez moi

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria
    I was wondering…..

    is it ok to take non fat greek yogurt (6 grams sugar, 18g protein) and add fat to it? The full fat version is too much for me….

    I had a Turkish student who stayed the summer with us…..she made a dish where she would use no fat greek yogurt, sauteed carrots, garlic, salt and pepper and then she would add in extra virgin olive oil. With adding the fat back in does it make it ok?


    Laura Tyrrell

    ps…we have a friend whose daughter just got diagnosed with Crohns. We recommended your book to them.

  • The reason to use full fat yogurt is because when they make reduced fat they add sugar. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    oh…..even if the sugar grams are listed at 6 grams on the non fat? Should I consider there is likely to be more than what they claim? I didn’t think 6 grams was too awful….

    Do they take into account lactose?

    I have noticed the non fats can contain 12 to 22 grams of sugar….that’s amazing!

    I looked at skim milks label…the amount of sugar listed shocked me!

    • It depends on what your goals are. If it is weight loss, 6g of sugar in one serving is a bit more than I would like to see. Now, it depends how you use it too. If it is in a recipe and you only get 1/4 a serving of yogurt per serving of the recipe, then I wouldn’t be worried about it. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info!

    Why are the lower fat cheeses bad? Do they add sugars into them? Is it a processing issue or satiety issue or both?

    Also…what are your thoughts on non stick cook ware?

    You have my wheels turning

    Laura Tyrrell

    ps…your children are adorable!

    • Thank you! They will typically put some junk in the low fat or fat free cheeses. Also, we have to stop being afraid of fats. The more fat you introduce into your diet, the fuller you are throughout the day and the more weight you lose. I also don’t like non-stick. Over time it flakes and gets into the food. 🙂

  • ashley mae says:

    Hi maria, I noticed you had Quest bars on your amazon approved items. The quest bars you have under your amazon, have sucralose in them. Why is it that you approve these when you dont approve any artificial sweetener?

    • I thought all their products only used stevia now, but it looks like a couple do use sucralose. I will update the astore to remove those. 🙂

    • ashley mae says:

      great thanks! I bought two of their sucralose sweetened ones and two of their stevia.
      I dont think 2 bars will kill me lol, but I am glad you replied about this.

  • Amy Williams says:

    Your boys are beautiful!

  • Lots to lose says:

    Just found this post! I’m not that far from Owatonna and would’ve loved to come to your class. Do you do them often or in other districts? Can’t wait to try this recipe too!

  • Megan N says:

    I made this recipe today and they fell apart and flattened out baking. Did I need more oil or more flour to make them not fall apart? They still taste pretty good just are messy. Not as pretty as pictured 🙂

  • Megan N says:

    Its ok, they still taste delicious. I threw them in the freezer to get them to stick together more and take one out when I need a snack.

Free Email Updates

Don't miss any of our free content or sales!

We respect your privacy. We never share your information with anyone.