5 Steps To Bake Healthier Cookies
Did you think baking healthier cookies is impossible? We have these 5 steps to bake healthier cookies, so that you can make your favorite cookie healthy and enjoy it without a second thought.
STEP 1: Replace butter with healthy oils for baking healthier cookies
Swap the fatty ingredients like butter and margarine with heart healthy olive oil or canola oil. Even pureed fruit or vegetable can be added for baking healthier cookies.
Benefits of replacing butter or margarine with oil
Using healthy oil in place of fat will reduce the saturated fat content by 5 grams for every tablespoon of replaced butter. Cookies that are made by replacing butter with some oil are crispier and dry quickly. About 50 % of the cookie recipes can be baked with oil instead of butter.
Benefits of replacing butter or margarine with fruit puree or vegetable puree
Cookies baked with fruit puree are softer, chewier and cakier so using puree in cookies will not alter the properties of cookies drastically. In oatmeal cookies and ginger molasses cookies, replacing fats with puree does not cause any difference to the taste and texture of cookie. Pureed fruits available in the baking section of supermarket are meant for baking cookies. Some readily available puree for baking cookies are applesauce, prune puree, pumpkin puree and pear butter.
It is recommended to replace half the fat with fruit puree for best results.
STEP 2: Remove unhealthy fats and compensate with other cookie ingredients for baking healthier cookies
Replace half of the butter with nontraditional ingredients like fat free plain yogurt or buttermilk or fruit juice. Replace 4 tablespoon of butter with about 2-4 tablespoon of any of the above wet ingredients.
STEP 3: Add fiber rich ingredients for baking healthier cookies
Try and replace a portion of all purpose flour with either whole wheat pastry flour or just flour along with oats or simply replace the all purpose flour with oats. Replacing all purpose flour with whole wheat flour will increase the fiber content by 4 times in cookies. Whole wheat pastry flour makes the texture more delicate than using whole wheat flour. So, those who are not used to whole wheat flour can start replacing all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour to get used to the texture and then slowly switch to whole wheat flour.
Flax seed flour can also be added to increase fiber content. Flax seed flour is ideal for oat cookies and spicy cookies.
STEP 4: Check salt content for baking healthier cookies
Restrict the use of salt in cookies. ½ teaspoon of salt is enough for a single batch is sufficient. Some cookies are salty, so control the amount of salt that you add in them, follow the above advised measurement.
STEP 5: Drop artificial and trans fat ingredients if any for baking healthier cookies
Vegetable shortening and margarine contains trans fat which is unhealthy. Eliminate them from the recipe and also avoid using synthetic food dyes. Instead of artificial dyes use natural food dyes available readily or use red color from beet for coloring cookies.
Homemade cookies are definitely healthier as they are free of processed ingredients which are inevitably present in packaged cookies. Baking healthier cookies require alteration of ingredients, replacing unhealthy ones with healthier options. Enjoy healthy cookies on all occasions with these ‘5 steps to bake healthier cookies'.
Image Courtesy: eatingwell.com