March 14th through March 20th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie week, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect! As a refresher, the topic of discussion in last week’s post was how labeling certain food products as strictly healthy or strictly unhealthy often leads to misunderstanding. This one-dimensional pattern of thought makes it easy to completely eradicate certain foods from our diets, and this takes away the opportunity to elevate the nutritional content of a product. Our message this week is that while transforming a product into something “healthy” cannot always be achieved with one-hundred percent accuracy, transforming a product into something “healthier” than it was in the beginning is always within the realm of possibility! In order to illustrate this theme, below you will find quick tips on how to elevate chocolate chip cookies (typically referred to as “unhealthy”) into a healthier dessert.
The most impactful aspect of my “healthier” chocolate chip cookies is the DIY part. With most purchases of processed, grocery-store cookies also comes the purchase of an umbrella of chemically altered substances, preservatives, artificial flavors, syrups, colors… the list goes on. Simply committing to the DIY part of the process immediately enhances the nutritional quality of the cookie, as it is pretty much guaranteed that you won’t be adding any hard to pronounce substances that are unrecognizable by name and picture to your cookie batter… I hope 🙂
With this in mind, it is imperative that the components in your cookie batter are whole foods, or at least components with the fewest amount of ingredients in them as possible. Elevate the usual ingredients by putting quality first. Here’s the quick and dirty on how to do this: Swap ordinary eggs with hormone-free, omega-three enriched farm fresh eggs. Commit to using an equal mixture of whole wheat flour with white flour to boost the nutritional content. Get rid of the milk chocolate chips with soy lecithin, and add dark chocolate chips for antioxidants. Check the ingredient label on the vanilla extract that you’re using and make sure that it is from an actual vanilla bean, and that it doesn’t have contain vanillin (basically fake vanilla which is usually paired with corn syrup, sugar, or some other sweetener, none of which is found in authentic vanilla extract).
After you’ve finished elevating the typical chocolate chip cookie ingredients, you can experiment with adding a few new ones into the mix. Nuts are frequently incorporated into chocolate chip cookie batters, and if you’re nuts for nuts, then walnuts are one of the best choices that you can make for this recipe! Their high levels of omega-threes make this addition a no brainer! Also, flax seed oil, oats, and wheat germ offer an abundance of fiber, making these additions worth noting as well.
I hope that this helps make my case for “healthier” vs. “unhealthier” instead of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy.” Please let me know if you use any of these tips to make DIY “healthier” chocolate chip cookies, and also comment with your own secrets to elevating this classic American dessert!
Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,