Celebrating Summer with a Sweet Finish

Summer is almost over so why not celebrate with a nutrient-rich twist to your favorite cookies! Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to add nutrients, fiber and protein to your sweet treat! Check out my delicious, nutritious cookie swaps:

  1. Change the flour: Most cookies are made with enriched flour which is a more processed flour, meaning it has less nutrients. Try using 100% whole wheat flour or oat flour for your cookie base. It will pack nutrients and fiber into your cookie.
  2. Add some fruit: Try mixing dried fruit into your favorite cookie mixture. Dried cherries or cranberries go nicely with a dark chocolate chip. Raisins are a great add into oatmeal cookies and you can even use things like dried apple and banana pieces if making a no bake cookie. Fruit adds nutrients and fiber along with a dash of color to your bite sized treat!
  3. Use nutrient-rich sweeteners: Try using natural apple sauce as a sweetener in your cookie recipe. Often times it can sub for oil or butter. Honey can be a great way to sweeten up cookies as well. Remember these are still sugar, but ingredients like apple sauce also provides vitamins and minerals. And if you are making energy bite cookies, try pureeing Medjool dates; it’s a nutrient-rich base full of fiber and potassium. Think of it as the “glue” that holds your energy bites together!
  4. Use nut butter: Nut butters like peanut, almond and cashew are a great way to add healthy fat and a little protein to your cookie. They also provide natural sweetness ideally allowing for less sugar in the recipe. And if your kids have a nut allergy, try sunflower seed butter. You can also sprinkle chopped nuts or seeds into almost any cookie to add the same healthy fat nutrient punch!
  5. Add protein: In many baked good recipes you can swap out half of the flour for unflavored whey protein powder. This allows for a pop of protein in what is naturally a very low, if any, protein food. Pair that cookie with a glass of low-fat milk or a string cheese and you have a protein-rich snack.