Often laden in fat and empty calories, cookies don't often impress parents. At least not as a go-to snack to fuel growing bodies and minds. But if you're willing to bake your own, you can turn out some delicious and appealing cookies that will satisfy kids and adults alike.
For our take on healthy cookies, we used one of the healthiest and most flavor-packed cakes for inspiration -- carrot cake.
We start with a low-fat, cake-like cookie. It's plenty moist thanks to a small amount of oil (instead of butter) for healthier fats and is supplemented with crushed pineapple. Using dark brown sugar as the sweetener adds more flavor and even moisture, while white whole-wheat flour adds whole grains. Then we add oats and a few nuts for texture, a handful of spices for flavor.
And, of course, the carrots and raisins.
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dry ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 egg whites
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, rolled oats, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
In a second medium bowl, combine the egg whites, brown sugar, oil, pineapple, milk and vanilla.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, then stir to combine.
Stir in the raisins, carrots and walnuts.
Drop by the tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges and slightly firm to the touch.