There’s a lot of baking going on this time of year, and like we shared in our December Family Pages newsletter, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get off the healthy habit wagon. There are a lot of simple substitutions you can make in your baking to cut down on fat and sugar (in natural ways). Below are a few of our favorites! Happy baking!


 

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cookies

From USDA Mixing Bowl

Add extra calcium to your cookies with yogurt! These cookies also use whole wheat flour which adds fiber and other nutrients. The yogurt also helps keep the cookies moist and chewy.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup yogurt (non-fat, plain)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
1 cup flour (whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (miniature, or carob chips)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375º F.

2. In a large bowl combine sugar, brown sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy.

3. Add yogurt and vanilla; blend well. Stir in flour and baking soda; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto un-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375º F for 8 to 12 minutes or until light and golden brown.

5. Cool 1 minute, remove from cookie sheets.

 


 

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

From USDA Mixing Bowl

With whole-grains, fruit, and no added sugar, these cookies make a healthy and tasty treat. You could also substitute the yogurt for applesauce for a delicious dairy-free alternative.

Ingredients

1 cup banana, mashed (use overripe banana)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup yogurt, low-fat plain
1/4 cup water
  raisins (1/2 cup, optional)
  sunflower seeds (1/2 cup, optional)
  spices, optional

Directions

1. Wash hands, make sure utensils and counter top are clean.
2. Mash bananas, mix with yogurt and water.
3. Add quick (not instant) oats. Mix well.
4. Add optional add-ins if you wish. Keep them minimal.
5. Add spices, to taste (optional)
6. The batter should be thick and easily spoonable.
7. Grease a baking sheet. Place a tablespoon of dough on the sheet, thin out to a flat disk. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate if any is remaining in bowl.
8. Bake at 350-375°F for 20 minutes. Flip and bake on other side 15 minutes to make crisper crust.

 


 

Pumpkin Cookies

From USDA Mixing Bowl

Pumpkin gives you some extra vitamins and minerals with your dessert! Instead of the oil you could use equal parts yogurt or applesauce to cut back on fat. You could also add chocolate chips instead of raisins (this is a treat after all) and use any kind of nut you want!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups pumpkin (pureed, cooked)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts (chopped)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and oil thoroughly.

3. Blend dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.

4. Add raisins and nuts.

5. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet.

6. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

 


For more healthy recipes check out USDA’s Mixing Bowl!

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