6 Tweaks To Make Your Chocolate Chip Cookies Healthier

6 Tweaks to Make Your Chocolate Chip Cookies Healthier

With National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (March 15) just one week away, we wanted to give you plenty of time to prep for your healthiest cookie-making session ever. We've got a few subs, swaps, and tricks that will leave you feeling a little less guilty when you reach for that second (or fifth) chocolate chip cookie.

Choose Your Chocolate Wisely

We've given you some tips to make your chocolate cake healthier, and, as you'll see, many of the methods carry over into chocolate chip cookies. Whether it's chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies, though, you'll want to choose your chocolate wisely. Dark chocolate can be healthy, depending on how much cacao it contains, so be sure to look for a cacao percentage that's as close to 100 percent as possible without completely ruining the taste of your cookies — at least 72 percent. This will allow you to maintain some nutritional integrity in your recipe while still keeping the "chocolate chip" in your chocolate chip cookies.

Coconut Oil Is a Healthier Fat Source

Butter is on many peoples' "no way" nutritional list for a few reasons: It's full of the fats that many consider unhealthy and it comes from an animal, rendering it, to some, the fatty hooved demon of the cooking world. (Check out our report on trans fats and saturated fats here.) Replacing butter with coconut oil will give your recipe not only an almost unbelievable amount of health benefits, but it will also leave your cookies with a rich, unique flavor that can't be mimicked using other fat sources.

Farewell Old Flour

Regular old all-purpose flour seems to be slowly but surely becoming outdated. OK, maybe that's not really true, but many of health-conscious people suggest using alternate flours for, well, health reasons. For a healthier cookie option, we suggest swapping out your white flour for something like oat flour. Oat flour cookies have all of the nutritional goodness that oatmeal does, seeing as oat flour is naught more than ground oats, and they'll leave you feeling full and satisfied in a healthy way.

Halve or Quarter Your Cookie

No one says that your chocolate chip treats must be the world's largest cookies. If you're eating less of something, there will undoubtedly be fewer calories in it. Consider taking your traditional cookie recipe and making the cookies half- or quarter-sized.

Sweeten Naturally

Something about chocolate chip cookies begs for sweetness, and that's fine. Refined sugar doesn't need to be your cookies' source of sweetness, though. In fact, sugarless cookies exist and they taste awesome. An example of a natural sweetener is honey. This Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe uses honey as a sweetener (and almond flour instead of all-purpose flour).

Toss Some Veggies in There

If anyone ever tells you that kale or zucchini is bad for you, please bid them "Good day!" and hurry in the opposite direction. Vegetables are good for you; just ask any vegan. Grated zucchini can easily be incorporated into chocolate chip cookie recipes, and things like kale cookies aren't too farfetched to experiment with. Zucchini cookies benefit from the added moisture that the zucchini carries, giving them a desirable soft, cakey texture.