Who says cookies can’t be healthy? Let’s take a look at healthy options if you’re feeling the need to indulge in something sweet!
Chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin, gingerbread, no bakes, white chocolate macademia nut… is your mouth watering yet? I’ll admit, cookies are a regular indulgence for me, and I love just about every flavor out there. Unfortunately, my waistline doesn’t necessarily agree with this frequent indulgence — but what’s a girl with a love of cookies to do? Make them healthy, of course!
Changing the way you bake
Those with a big sweet tooth have a hard time wanting to make cookies and cakes healthy. Healthy food doesn’t satisfy a sweet craving, but what if you can’t taste the difference? Here are a few things you can do to make your own cookies, any flavor, less fattening but still equally as delicious:
- Use whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour has more fiber, more nutrients, more vitamins (such as folate and vitamin B3) and less sugar than white flour. Since whole wheat flour is denser than white flour, reduce the amount of butter you use slightly (about 20 percent).
- Replace eggs with mashed bananas. This works incredibly well for any type of cookie containing chocolate, since it gives the cookie a hint of banana taste. One egg is about 1/4 cup mashed banana.
- Replace oil with applesauce. Any flavor will work, but using unsweetened no-sugar-added applesauce will make for the healthiest cookies. Ratio of substitution for oil and applesauce is equal.
- Replace butter with Greek yogurt. One cup butter can be replaced with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup of butter. The end result is a chewier cookie with the same flavor as if you used all butter.
- Replace butter with pureed avocado or pumpkin. Both will leave you with a chewier, denser cookie. We love using pureed pumpkin in chocolate chip cookies for the fall! Use half the amount of butter the recipe calls for and the other half pureed avocado or pumpkin.
You’ll have to do a little bit of experimenting with different cookie recipes to see which substitutions work best. We recommend always using whole wheat flour and choosing either the oil, butter or eggs to switch out with healthier items. If you switch everything out, the cookie may not taste as it should.
The healthiest cookie
With so many different variations and recipes for cookies out there, it’s impossible to determine the “healthiest” type of cookie. For example, homemade chocolate chip cookies with butter and oil substitutions are healthier than store-bought chocolate chip cookies, but store-bought sugar cookies may be healthier than homemade ones if no substitutions were made.
If we had to choose, though, we would pick oatmeal raisin cookies as the healthiest. Oatmeal is loaded with fiber and helps keep you full (hopefully preventing you from eating the entire batch!), and raisins aid in digestion, are good for the eyes, promote bone health and are loaded with antioxidants helpful in preventing cancer.
What is your favorite cookie? Share in the comments below!