Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recipes: Everybody's Favorite Cookie Recipe: Modified

One of my favorite things to do is teach cooking classes.  I love to experiment with making recipes healthy without losing too much of the original taste and flavor.  My favorite class to teach is one that I created around heart healthy eating and today I am going to share one of my recipes.

I can pretty much guarantee that just about every appetizer, dessert or beverage that I have brought to share with friends or co-workers comes with some sort of healthy additive. 

Almost instantly after putting my item on the table the questions of "What's in it?", "I assume it's healthy" or "Does this have prunes again?" start flying.

While I have nothing wrong with splurging on full-fat fare on occasion I generally live on the 80/20 rule which means that the majority of the time I stick with a healthy diet. 

In order to add some "splurges" into my day I create recipes that are similar to my Sunday Funday favorites only with less fat and calories.

While teaching my heart healthy cooking class I discuss heart disease, why it is important to eat healthy, principles of a low-fat diet and recipe conversion.

I generally include three conversation recipes within the presentation, the first of which I will share with you today, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I start with everyone's favorite cookie recipe:

And then change a few things to make it healthier:

Making all of these changes cuts the total fat and calories by 60%!  Even if you only choose one or two changes you are still making the recipe healthier.

My most recent modification included sweet potato, yep, you heard right, sweet potato.

I started by baking a sweet potato until soft, mashed it up and then put it through a mesh strainer until it was smooth, think baby food consistency.

Then I made the recipe above using the mashed sweet potato to replace half of the butter, you could also use applesauce, mashed bananas, prunes, etc.

Next comes the best part, Chocolate!  I like the mini chocolate chips because you can get away with adding less since they disperse better. 

I also like to save a few mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top of the cookies once they are on the cookie sheet.  We eat with our eyes and putting chocolate chips right where we can see them tricks our brain into thinking there is more chocolaty goodness then there actually is, crazy right?!

Next step, onto the cookie sheets.  Yes, I need new cookie sheets, let's just say that these get a lot of use!

And there you have it!  Chocolate Chip Cookies that you can feel good about eating!


  1. so you say these are better for you fat content wise, what about carbs? Cody's diabetic and I'd love to find out how to make some of his favorite cookies (monster cookies) that won't send his blood sugar through the roof. P.S. I adore this blog:)

  2. Great question Janie! What a nice wife Cody has to want to make diabetic friendly sweet treats for him :)

    The best way to control blood sugars is to cut down on the carbs that come from refined sugar and boost protein and fiber, both of which slow the absorption of sugar into the blood.

    To make a cookie recipe more carb conscious try the following:

    -substitute half of the flour with whole wheat flour, adds both protein and fiber
    - substitute half of the flour with almond flour, although it will raise the fat of the cookie it is a healthy fat and a carbless alternative
    - substitute half of the sugar with a sugar substitute like splenda or stevia, cuts calories and lowers sugar content
    - scale back on additives like chocolate and nuts, sometimes recipes can taste just as good with less
    - if you are going to use chocolate or nuts in your recipe don't mix them into the batter, instead put them on top where you can see them, we eat with our eyes so seeing the yummy ingredients on top makes us percieve the item to have more then we think
    - or when all else fails keep the recipe as is and make small cookies!

    In reality a small "regular" cookie often has the same amount of carbs as a large "carb controlled" cookie. Sometimes we all need a little treat and a small portion of the real thing is better than a larger portion of an altered one!