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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipes for Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I came across these great recipes today on a friends blog.

Is it possible to occasionally indulge in healthy chocolate chip cookies that taste good? Yes, and I have gathered a dozen recipes for healthier chocolate chip cookies to prove it.

Many “healthy cookies” don’t taste very good and, in my opinion, just aren’t worth the calories.

After a lifetime of weight struggles, I’ve learned that I would rather have a small tasty cookie every now and again than a bunch of tasteless substitutes, even if they are purported to be healthy. I am a survivor of the “Snackwells” era, where I somehow was convinced I could eat boxes of these tasteless wonders without guilt. I only managed to gain weight while getting zero satisfaction!

Now, I am older and a bit wiser. I know what works for me – real food in healthy balance. And when it comes to indulgences, I am on the lookout for treats that can satisfy my taste buds and my desire for wholesome goodness.

It’s important to remember that a chocolate chip cookie is an indulgence to be enjoyed sparingly. It will never be a truly healthy food, and can only be made so healthful, before it begins to lose its lusciousness.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies Healthier?

There are lots of things you can do to lighten cookies and boost their nutrition. Here are a few of my favorites:

* Use less fat or a healthier fat
* Substitute part of the fat with applesauce or yogurt
* Replace all or some of the flour with whole wheat or another whole grain flour
* Add some oats, nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit
* Add some ground flaxseed
* Use dark chocolate chips
* Replace all or part of the sugar with a natural sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or sucanat
* Add a healthy fruit or vegetable such as shredded zucchini, mashed bananas, or pumpkin puree.

 Recipes for More Healthful Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Makes about 24 cookies

These cookies have a lot going for them — they are low in sugar, dairy free, gluten free, easy and delicious. With just 6 ingredients they stir together quickly so you can be enjoying luscious, warm from the oven healthier chocolate chip cookies in 30 minutes or less.

1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup Sucanat
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70%), broken into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

In a medium bowl stir together the almond butter, Sucanat, egg, baking soda and salt until blended. Stir in the chocolate pieces until incorporated throughout the mixture.

Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto lined cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool for 15 more minutes.

This recipe for healthier chocolate chip cookies comes from the March/April issue of Clean Eating Magazine.

2. Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 12 cookies

These are just good, honest, chocolate chip cookies with less butter and fewer chocolate chips. To boost the nutrition even further you can substitute all or some of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour.

8 tablespoons (1 stick butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Position an oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Stir in the eggs and vanilla until well blended. Add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Portion the dough into 12 balls that are each about 3 tablespoons in size. Place balls of cookie dough on the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart.
Bake on the center rack, until the edges are golden and the middles are just barely set, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding

3. Healthier Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

No eggs, no margarine, oats, barley flour, and maple syrup make these chocolate chip cookies a healthy vegan friendly choice.

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola, safflower, or sunflower oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chip or vegan carob cookies
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup barley flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or oil lightly. Position one of your oven’s racks in the center. Preheat oven to 350 F. Process the oats in a food processor or blender until they are the consistency of coarse flour.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ground oats until well blended and then stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until everything is well blended.

With a small ice cream scoop or two 2 spoons, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly with damp fingers or the bottom of a flat glass (Dip the glass in water first to prevent sticking.)

Bake, one cookie sheet at a time on the center rack, for 11 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet from front to back to ensure even baking. Bake 5 to 6 minutes more or until the cookies are golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a rack. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for 5 to 6 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Recipe from Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to Scrumptious Baked Goods
by Ellen Abraham.

4. Makeover Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Whole wheat flour, brown-rice syrup, almonds, and dark chocolate boost the nutrition in these healthier chocolate chip cookies. Using half all-purpose flour and half whole-wheat flour is a great way to ease yourself into the world of healthier baked treats. This cookie dough needs to chill for at least one hour before baking.

1 cup whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup oat flour, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown-rice syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, rice syrup, sugar, egg, water, and vanilla until completely blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; fold in the chocolate and nuts. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or as long as overnight.

Position an oven rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time on the center rack, until light golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheet front to back halfway through, for more even baking.

Remove from the oven and cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5. Healthy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe with Yogurt
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

This chocolate chip cookie dough needs to be chilled before baking so plan accordingly. It replaces much of the butter with yogurt and applesauce for a lower fat cookie.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate morsels

In a large bowl beat butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add egg and beat until combined. Add yogurt, applesauce and vanilla and mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture and stir to blend. Add chocolate morsels and stir until distributed through the dough.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough until chilled (for crispier cookies, freeze dough for at least 2 hours before baking).

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350F degrees and lightly grease cookie sheets. Place level tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cookies begin to turn golden around the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer the cookies with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely.

6. Healthy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe with Cream Cheese
Makes about 3 dozen

These cookies puff up while baking so the instructions have you lightly flatten them with your finger part way through their baking time to deflate them. Be careful not to burn yourself!

Canola oil (for greasing the cookie sheets)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 6 ounces

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with canola oil. Alternatively, line your baking sheet with parchment paper and skip the oil.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix on low until just combined.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Add the flour mixture to butter mixture and mix with a large spoon until combined.

Place heaping teaspoonfuls (or use a 3/4 ounce scoop) onto baking sheet spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for 7 minutes. Lightly flatten cookies with finger. Rotate baking sheet (front to back) and bake an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

7. Holiday Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Makes about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen

These cookies are tasty but different because of the olive oil. They are a bit pale, with crispy edges, and are dense in the center. If you are committed to baking with olive oil, these are a definitely worth trying.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (optional)

Preheat 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment, nonstick foil, or silicone liners.

In medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the olive oil and sugar with an electric mixer till creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, cranberries, coconut, and nuts if using, until incorporated.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookies sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies onto wire racks to cool completely.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you have a favorite healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe? I hope you will share it with me here.

About Sheila Thomas

Hi, My name is Sheila and I am the Living Smart Girl. My goal is to bring everyone the latest and greatest tips and advice on fitness, healthy choices, recipes, shopping, beauty, home and garden, family and parenting, daily deals, travel, and so much more. I love fitness, but life is more than just exercise and when you visit Living Smart Girl you can connect the dots and live a well rounded life ~ the Living Smart way :)

I love working online and spend most of my day blogging, and researching new topics and tips to bring my readers.

Join me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LivingSmartGirl

Sheila Thomas

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