10 Healthier Cookie Recipes to Reduce Your Sweet Tooth Guilt

Ahhhhhh! The smell of homemade cookies baking is one of the best scents ever. It is used in candles, perfumes, lotions and air fresheners; not to mention as a trick to help you sell your home. As a registered dietitian, I can tell you right now that you do not have to stop baking and eating cookies, but rather learn how to make them healthier. Obviously moderation and portion control still apply, no matter how healthy the cookie is, but learning how to reduce calories and fat, along with using some healthy ingredients, will make the cookies you bake that much more appealing and nutritious.

Recipe Substitution

There is a variety of ingredients that you can substitute in your favorite cookie recipes to help make them better for you.

  • Try using whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
  • Instead of shortening, butter, or margarine use liquid oil. Please note: use 1/4 less liquid oil for the solid fat in recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup liquid oil.
  • You can also substitute applesauce or prune puree for half of the butter, shortening or oil in your cookie recipe. You may have to reduce your baking time by 25%.
  • Use skim or no fat milk instead of whole milk, half and half or evaporated milk.
  • Use egg whites (usually 2 egg whites for every egg) or 1/4 cup egg substitute.
  • Try reducing sugar by 1/4 to 1/3. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup, use 2/3 cup.
  • Try using sucalose (baking Splenda or brown sugar Splenda) instead of regular granulated or regular brown sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in addition to each cup of Splenda used. Baking time is usually shorter and the product will have a smaller yield too.
  • Add some cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract to your cookies to give the impression of sweetness, while cutting back on the sugar.

Yummy Cookie Recipes

Now that you have some new ideas on how to substitute ingredients in your existing cookie recipes, here are some new recipes for you to try as well.

  1. Almond and Honey Butter Cookies – The taste of almond in this cookie is so clear, but not overwhelming. Delish!
  2. Blueberry and White Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies – I love white chocolate and the pairing of blueberries and ginger together helps highlight it and they all taste great together.
  3. Banana Oatmeal Cookies – I love putting bananas in my oatmeal, so this is just in cookie form and delicious.
  4. Breakfast Cookies – This recipe is so fun and unique because it has carrot-flavored baby food in it, which just adds moisture and some great nutrition.
  5. Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chewies – If you like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you will adore this cookie.
  6. No Bake Cookies – Exactly as it says, you don’t have to bake them. Yum!
  7. Peanut Butter Cookies – My favorite cookie. Period.
  8. Bev’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – A classic made in a healthier way.
  9. Cranberry Honey-Spice Pinwheel Cookies – A little bit more labor intensive because of the pinwheeling, but worth it.
  10. Meringues – Try adding a little bit of lemon zest for a touch of citrus flavor to this airy, delicate and delightful treat.

Do you have any tips on how you make your cookies healthier? Or a favorite recipe to share?

Remember, even though these cookie recipes are healthier, it is still a cookie. So do not overeat them. Show self-control and will power so you do not become the “Cookie Monster.” Nom, nom, nom, nom!

Photo Credit:  mistersmed

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