Let’s face it, we are all guilty of driving to Walmart for the sole purpose of picking up that Pillsbury roll of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough. Whether we were having a rough day, or simply considered it an essential to survive our weekly work load, we saw the doughboy and our hearts were sold.
The cookies may look, smell, and even taste promising, but the doughboy is deceiving. If the package is turned to its back, you’ll notice the nutrition facts are far from reassuring.
The scariest part is most of the ingredients in Pillsbury’s recipe are ingredients we would normally turn to if attempting to recreate this guilty pleasure from scratch.
But we are doing it all wrong.
And here’s the three reasons why:
- Enriched Bleached Flour
As a little science lesson to those who haven’t received their science Gen-Ed requirement, enriched wheat flour is contracted from a wheat kernel broken up into three parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Enriched flour is made only from the endosperm in order to increase the flour’s shelf life. However, the bran and germ contain the most nutrients, so when the milling process removes them, U.S. law requires that niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and iron be added to “enrich” the flour. Although the flour may have these nutrients, many other vitamins and minerals provided by the bran and germ aren’t included back in.
2. Vegetable Oil and Butter
Although butter may add flavor and consistency, according to Livestrong.com, it also “adds a whopping 1,600 calories and 177 grams of fat for every cup you use while baking.”
3. Milk Chocolate Chips
Don’t hate me for this one. Although milk chocolate contains a portion of the original cocoa bean, it’s normally diluted with sugar and cream. It may taste great, but it’s not nearly as healthy as it could be.
Okay, so before you get discouraged, I have a plan
Here are three easy substitutes to make your chocolate chip cookies a whole lot healthier:
- Substitute for Enriched Flour: Whole Wheat Flour/Oats
Adding oats to a chocolate chip cookie may seem absurd, but oats add fiber. And if the oat texture isn’t entirely your forte, use 100% WHOLE wheat flour (key here is whole wheat, NOT enriched). Whole wheat flour retains all the natural nutrients of the whole grain because it keeps all three parts of the grain.
2. Substitute for Milk Chocolate Chips: DARK Chocolate Chips
Dark chocolate has more of the original cocoa bean incorporated in it than milk or semi-sweet chocolate, meaning it retains more antioxidants than its competitors. Dark chocolate also have less added sugar and fat.
3. Substitute for Butter and Oil: Bananas
Bananas provide a healthy dose of carbs, and are filled with protein for an all-natural energy boost.
In this Word document, you’ll find that these cookies are a great nutritious alternative to the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe that we all love, without ridding it of flavor! As an added bonus, these cookies are made with ingredients we can all find in our cabinets!