Cookies seemed much more exciting.
And to be honest, there’s no reason why cookies can’t be part of a healthy diet. When people go on a ‘diet’ they are often told to avoid treats. In an attempt to tame their sweet tooth dieters are told to:
- Drink a big glass of water; you’re probably just thirsty
- Chew a piece of gum – sugarfree of course
- Brush your teeth
- Eat a piece of fruit
- Have a handful of nuts
But honestly, if you are severely craving a piece of cake, no amount of water or chewing gum will change that.
I say let them eat cake.
More specifically, let them eat healthier cake.
Cakes, cookies, and other recipes can be adapted to be lighter on the calories, while still maintaining a rich taste. The following is a general guide on how you can adapt some of your favourite recipes to be healthier, wholesome, and a delight to eat!
Baking Substitution Guide
|Whole milk||Low fat or skim milk||Low fat soy, rice or almond milks||Lower in fat and calories, high in protein|
|Whole milk yoghurt
|Low fat/Non fat plain Greek style yoghurt||Soy or coconut yoghurt. However, these are sometimes high in sugar. Try this option 2/3 cup silken tofu blended with 1/3 cup soy/coconut yoghurt (for every 1 cup asked for).||Lower in fat and calories, high in protein|
|Sour Cream||Low fat/Non fat plain Greek style yoghurt||Process 1 cup extra firm silken tofu with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (for every 1 cup asked for). Alternatively you could try soy sour cream, such as Tofutti.||Lower in fat and calories, high in protein|
|Cream cheese and ricotta cheese||Low fat cream cheese, part skim ricotta cheese or low fat cottage cheese||1 cup silken tofu blended with 1 tbsp lemon juice for every 1 cup of asked for. Add 1 tsp cornstarch to make a stiffer ‘cheese’. Also try Tofutti ‘Better than cream cheese’||Lower in fat and calories, high in protein.|
|Liquid alternatives: Substitute ½ cup honey, brown rice syrup, agave nectar or maple syrup for every 1 cup of white sugar called for.
Other alternatives: Substitute 1 cup Evaporated Cane Juice, Sucanat, Maple Sugar Flakes for every 1 cup white sugar called for.
|These sweeteners are natural and have a lower GI. They also have more vitamins and minerals than plain sugar.|
|White Flour||Use 2/3 cup Wholemeal flour or high fibre gluten free flour plus 1/3 cup plain flour||Higher in fibre, protein, and vitamins|
|Butter and oil||Use unsaturated canola and olive oils in place of butter in recipes.
Replace 1 cup oil with ½ cup oil + ½ cup fruit or vegetable puree, such as mashed banana, apple sauce, mashed pumpkin, carrot puree or crushed pineapple
Use margarine spreads in place of butter for recipes that require structure (such as cookie dough and pie crusts)
|Cuts down on fat and adds natural sweetness. As a result, you don’t need to add as much refined sugar|
To download a printable version of the table click here: Baking Substitution Guide
Adapting a recipe is not an exact science, so trial a few different versions to see which outcome is best.
If adapting a recipe seems like too much work today, then why not try a new healthy recipe instead? Like these mini chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies! They have oats, so they must be good for you, right? But more importantly they taste fab. Give them a try and see what you think!
Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
(Recipe adapted from cleaneatingmag.com)
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes approx. 24 cookies
- Coconut oil or butter, melted
- 1¼ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup oat flour
- 2 tsp flaxseed meal
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tsp unsalted almond butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup 70% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (about 40 grams/4 squares)
1. Preheat oven to 170 °C (325° F) and lightly grease 2 baking sheets with coconut oil or butter.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together honey or maple syrup, egg white, almond butter and vanilla.
4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients all at once and combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Divide batter equally into 24 mounds (about 1 rounded tbsp in size) and arrange evenly spaced on prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a slightly dampened spoon, flatten each mound into 2.5-inch circles. Bake 9 to 10 minutes, until golden. 6. Cool on sheets for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container, cookies will keep fresh for 2 to 3 days.
To download a printable version of this recipe click here: Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
- What food do you always crave?
- What’s your favourite kind of cookie?