Healthy Homemade Cookie Recipes

An easy chocolate chip cookie recipe demonstrates how quick substitutions can make any cookie or dessert recipe healthier.

Healthy Homemade Cookie Recipes
Image by eseering from flickr.com
Overview
Baking healthy homemade cookies may sound like an impossible task but it is not. With some simple substitutions, cookies can be made healthier. When you bake cookies with wholesome ingredients you don't have to worry about giving them to friends or family. They probably will not even notice the difference.
Flours
Regular whole wheat flour can usually be used to replace half of the regular white flour in any recipe. Another option is to use white whole wheat flour instead of regular white flour; it is made from a specific variety of wheat and has much the same appearance and texture of white flour , but a nutritional value closer to that of whole wheat. Most major supermarkets and health-food stores carry white whole wheat flour.
Fats and Oils
Substitute healthy oil such as canola oil for half of the butter in a recipe to minimize the cholesterol. Alternatively, applesauce can be substituted for half of the oil to reduce the fat content. To eliminate the fat in egg yolks, use two egg whites to replace one whole egg.
Sweeteners
There are several artificial sweeteners available that can be used for baking. Some of them, such as Splenda for Baking, can be substituted cup for cup for granulated sugar. To achieve a taste that is close to that of original sugar a combination of artificial sweeteners works best -- a combination of erythritol and Splenda works well.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe demonstrates how substitutions and blends of oils and sweeteners can be used to make tasty cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two baking sheets with cooking oil.

Grind 3/4 cup rolled oats in a food processor until fine. Add 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pulse to mix.

Place 1/4 cup of softened butter in a the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fluffy. Add 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/3 cup granulated sugar or Splenda for Baking, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 large egg (or the whites of two eggs). Beat until creamy.

Set the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Batter will be still. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonful onto oiled baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil.

Combine 2 cups packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 5 teaspoons of water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until smooth.

In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of all purpose white flour, 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combines.

Form into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheet two inches apart. Flatten the balls with a fork. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Resources
reference
University of Illinois Cooperative Extension
reference
Ohio State University Extension
resource
What Is Erythritol Sweetener?