Rethinking treats…

Who doesn’t like treats? Personally, I love them.  Especially cookies — making them and eating them! Making them gives me a quick sense of accomplishment. It’s something I do that I don’t have to think too much about it.  Maybe that’s the thing that gets me most about cookies! Eating them is a bonus! My go-to cookie is a bomb-diggity Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie.

It’s a big hit around my house.  It’s a regular cookie calling for fat and lots of sugar.  It’s also loaded with an assortment of yummy goodness — oatmeal, coconut and chocolate chips. It’s easy to fool myself into thinking that this cookie is healthy because of the oatmeal and coconut!  But… then I remember the butter, the vegetable shortening and all the sugar!

We all know there are multiple ways to skin a cat and as I look for ways to make healthy sustainable changes in my eating habits, I started rethinking my go-to cookie recipe. What are some  substitutions that will yield a delicious and healthy version of this treat?

I started with the butter.  My cursory search for suitable subs pointed me to applesauce, banana and avocado.  Interesting… for my experimental version of the cookie I chose applesauce. Next I went to the sugar.

I know that coconut sugar has a low glycemic index which is a good thing. So rather than a cup of brown sugar and ¾ cup of white sugar, I subbed in coconut sugar. I won’t lie.  Coconut sugar is not nearly as sweet as granulated white or brown sugar.  It is however a suitable choice.  Now what to do about those chocolate chips?

I had cocoa nibs sitting in my pantry so I decided to give them a try.  Cocoa nibs as it turns out are a superfood!  The claim is that these fantastic little nuggets are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and flavonoids.  AND they fight cardiovascular disease AND improve mood!!!  After all of that why not give them a fighting chance as subs for chocolate chips.

I’ve also been investigating the pros and cons of different flours and decided to switch to stone ground whole wheat flour.   The bran, germ and endosperm of the wheat kernel are all included in the flour during the milling process. I’m a fan of Bob’s Red Mill because 1) they’re a local company and 2) they have great products. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour is rich in dietary fiber, is a source of protein and it’s also a good source of essential minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron.  You don’t get all of that in regular AP white flour.

My cookie experiment yielded a  dense muffin-like structure and a dairy free cookie.  The applesauce was subtly noticeable but I certainly didn’t miss the butter.  Coconut sugar as I mentioned is not as sweet as granulated and brown sugar but the lack of sweetness was acceptable.  If I missed anything from the original version it was the chocolate chips but knowing what I now know about cocoa nibs it seems down right silly not to use them!


Having said all of that, I absolutely will occasionally make the original recipe :-), but for general treat consumption the version with the substitutions is the one for me.

Rethinking treats… thanks for visiting Palatable Life.

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