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Ways To Keep Cookies Both Tasty And Healthy

August 20, 2011

Baking cookies can be easy, fun and healthy. Most restaurants add extreme amounts of butter and shortening to almost any food, and cookies are no exception. The average restaurant cookie has between 6g and 47g of fat. Most of that is from butter. The cookies provided in some popular fast food chains contain as much as 50 percent of the daily saturated fat requirement in a single cookie. The world has a shortage of healthy cookies!

There are a few easy steps any cook can take to make delicious, restaurant style cookies without giving up on taste. This isn’t some ancient recipe or family secret. These are some simple replacements that can make your recipes healthier. So, grab that recipe book and prepare to scribble some notes.

First off, there is the classic butter for margarine trade off. Margarine is made from vegetable oil. That means it has no cholesterol, a highly saturated form of fat. Not all margarine is healthy. Try to find margarine that is lighter in color. This means there is less dense fat in the spread. Margarine for butter is a one for one trade that can reduce saturated fat in a cookie by over 80%. The biggest complaint with this method is that cookies lose their fluff. This happens because margarine contains more water than butter. There are two simple ways to solve this dilemma. First, trade all white sugar in the recipe for brown sugar or powdered sugar. This should remove some of the water while the cookies are baking. Alternatively, an extra little bit of egg goes a long way. If neither of those methods work to fluff up your pastries, try using margarine shortening. While a little less healthy, it is usually better than butter.

Another easy method for making healthy cookies is elimination of high fat elements altogether. Just look at your recipe and circle each high fat item. Butter can be completely replaced with apple sauce or plain yogurt. Your favorite jam can be used to replace sugar. Peanut butter can be exchanged for low fat peanut spread. Substitutions like these can dramatically reduce the fat content of a cookie without compromising taste. Avoid or replace the big calorie items like shortening, butter and lard. Most of all, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try to think of something that would give your cookie a unique taste and substitute for something unhealthy.

A few simple changes in your favorite recipe can make a world of difference to overall health. Plus, you get the benefits of avoiding fat saturated restaurant cookies. Finding the perfect mixture is adventure not science. There are always ways to keep cookies tasty and healthy.

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