I'm a successful Lifetime Weight Watcher who loves cookies. I believe that cookies can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It's all about moderation and finding ways to make them lighter and healthier.
But it's important to be realistic. Cookies are never going to be "health food," especially if you expect them to taste good! Apples are "health food." Cookies are sweet treats 🙂
Sometimes only the most decadent of cookies is going to satisfy your cravings.
If that's the case, GO FOR IT. I'm usually more satisfied by a cookie or two made from high quality real ingredients than a whole batch that's been altered to be "healthier" or "low fat." Cookies like these chocolate chunk cookies or chewy chocolate cookies with espresso or these amazing chewy chocolate chip cookies from Tate's Bake Shop are definitely worth the splurge..
It's also possible to make "lighter" "healthier" cookies using more wholesome ingredients. They can taste good too as long as you don't get carried away.
Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for how to make healthier cookies.
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7 Ways to Make Healthier Cookies
1. Use Whole Wheat Flour
Replace all our part of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I like either white wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour best. They taste less "wheaty" than regular whole wheat flour and turn out more tender cookies and baked goods.
I made these moist delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour...
2. Add Some Oats
I love oatmeal. Oats can add flavor, texture, and nutrition to so many easy cookie recipes, like these yummy banana oatmeal cookies.
Try replacing some of the flour in your recipe (maybe 25%), with oats or oat flour made from whizzing your oats in a blender or food processor . Or just make a batch of oatmeal cookies with white wheat flour for a nourishing one-two-punch.
3. Reduce the Sugar
Most cookies are really sweet. You can experiment with decreasing the sugar, (again by up to 25%) in most recipes, without noticing a big difference. You may need to add a little more liquid, such as milk, to prevent your cookies from being dry. Sugar attracts moisture so the less sugar, the less moisture your cookies can hold on to. These Sugar Cookies are made with less sugar...
You can also opt for a sugar substitute, such as stevia or truvia or use a less refined source of sugar such as sucanat, maple syrup or honey. Sometimes fruit purees and/or mashed bananas provide all the sweetness you need, like in these 3-Ingredient Almond Apple Cookies...
And these 2-Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies...
4. Cut the Fat.
Experiment with using less butter than the recipe calls for. Begin by cutting back by about 25%.
You can also replace a portion of the butter with peanut butter, applesauce, mashed bananas, pumpkin puree or another fruit puree that you like. Low Fat Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies and Soft & Chewy Low Fat M&M Cookies are great examples.
5. Replace the Eggs.
Again, you can use applesauce or a combination of 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water for each egg.
6. Add Healthy Ingredients.
To bump up the nutritional value of your cookies, use chopped high quality dark chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Add a handful or two of chopped nuts and/or dried fruit.
Spices such as cinnamon are good for you too. Check out these pumpkin quinoa cookies filled with wholesome ingredients.
7. Minimize Them
Making and eating smaller cookies (like these little button-size peanut butter cookies) is a simple healthier option that often gets overlooked in our super-sized society. It's the simplest, most effective way I've found to satisfy my sweet tooth, health and waistline.
When you read cookie recipes from old cookbooks, you'll find directions for much smaller cookies than found today. Sometimes the easiest ways to get healthy are the simplest!
Links to more "healthier" cookies:
- Nikki's Healthy Cookies Recipe - 101 Cookbooks
- Fig & Flax Thumbprint Cookies - Eating Well
- Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies - Texanerin Baking
- Banana Maple Oatmeal Cookies - Fat Free Vegan
- Eggless Cookie Recipes - Eggless Cooking
More Healthy Cookie Recipes for Weight Watchers
- 15 Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
- Tips for Soft & Chewy Cookies
- WW Friendly Cookie Recipes for Your Holiday Cookie Swap
- Low-Fat Healthy Pumpkin Cookies & Bars Recipes
- Skinny Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
- Soft Chewy Low Fat M&M Cookies
- 11 Healthy Breakfast Cookies
- Skinny Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookie Bars
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