October: National Cookie Month

Two-thirds of the way through October I realized something BRILLIANT.

It’s National Cookie Month!

I’m a cookie monster; It’s genetic (Thanks momma, love you) and sometimes, it’s not the best attribute.

But if you make cookies from scratch rather from those nasty Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines boxes, you’re doing yourself a favor. First of all, those boxed mixes (unless they’re the scrumdidliumptious Barefoot Contessa) – are full of preservatives and that really, really bad fat…

Trans Fat! It’s hidden on the box as Partially Hydrogenated Oils. What it means is clogged arteries and oxidation of cells- Trans fats are linked to cancer and heart disease. And even if you’re young and healthy, that’s still not something you wanna mess with.

So in addition to saving yourself from unhealthy fats, when you make cookies from scratch, you control the ingredients – Guess what? You don’t actually have to stick straight to the directions on the Tollhouse bag! Here’s how you can make a few healthy changes to your Grandma’s famous cookie recipe…

1) First up, FAT!

When you knix butter or shortening and replace with heart healthy canola or veggie oil, you wont taste the difference (careful when using olive oil unless you like olive flavored cookies), but you’ll be eliminating up to 5g of saturated fat per cookie.

But butter is part of the tastiness, so don’t replace all of it – According to Eating Well, you can replace up to 50% of the butter with oil.

If you’re watching calories, replace some of the butter or shortening with pureed fruit. A while back we talked about using a totally unsexy prune-puree.
There’s also a product called Lighter Bake that’s a fat replacement made of pureed plums and apples and sugar. Anytime you remove fat, though, you’re going to change the texture and you’ll be increasing the sugar content, so it’s not always worth it.

If you’re not so sure about the whole replacement thing, try something tried and true, like these Banana Chip Cookies.

2) Flour Power…. There are lots of types of flour, and you can actually use cookies as an opportunity to add FIBER to your diet.

Use oats or whole wheat flour in place of nutritionally irrelevant white flour. You’ll get FOUR times the amount of fiber in each batch.

If you’re not crazy about whole-wheat, try White Whole-Wheat Flour (pictured above), or start by replacing half the white flour with wheat. Baby steps, babes.

Replace With
All-purpose flour
Whole Wheat Flour
½ to ALL of flour in recipe
All-purpose flour
¼c -½c of flour
Don’t replace anything!
Add Ground Flax Seed
Add 2-4Tbsp


3) Get Spicy!

Give a new kind of cookie a chance – especially ones with antioxidant rich-ingredients, like cinammon, nutmeg or ginger.
Try a few of these:
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Carlsmith Family’s Gingerbread Cookies

4) Go NUTS.
Throw in some heart-healthy walnuts, almonds, or pecans.

Try one of these:
Chocolate Puddle Cookies (Pictured above, How can you say no to a name like that?!)
Pecan-Cinnamon Wafers
Nutty Date Cookies

Don’t forget: Cookies are meant to be enjoyed, so don’t go crazy making them healthy if they’re going to be inedible. It’s all about balance…. and there’s nothing like a perfectly gooey chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

*I thought it was salt on top til I checked out the recipe… it’s sugar… but a little salt would be a cookie version of Trader Joes Sea Salt Brownies. Worth every extra minute you have to run. Happy Cookie Month!!

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