11/02/2011 02:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Secrets To A Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie

4 Secrets to a Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie
By Hilary Meyer, Associate Food Editor for EatingWell

I'm a skeptic. So when I hear the words "healthy" and "cookie" together, I imagine biting into something that tastes like particle board. Add "chocolate chip" to that equation and now you've really lost me. There is no possible way to preserve the integrity of this sacred cookie while making it healthy without completely screwing it up. Or is there?

That was my stance, until I tried our Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie. It's downright delicious and has 66% less saturated fat than traditional recipes.

More Healthy Cookie Recipes:
Chocolate Boot Tracks and More 100-Calorie Cookies
Swirled Cheesecake Brownies and More Healthy Brownies, Cookies & Bars
Easy No-Bake Cookies and More Healthy Lunchbox Cookies

What are the secrets to a healthier chocolate chip cookie that still tastes amazing? Here they are:

1. Use healthier fats: Classic chocolate chip cookies are loaded with butter. And butter is loaded with saturated fat (7 grams per tablespoon). But we all know butter is delicious. It imparts a rich, nutty taste that's not easily replaced without taking a hit in the flavor department. In our cookie, we replace some of the butter with tahini--a sesame seed puree. It has less saturated fat (about 1 gram of saturated fat per tablespoon) than butter and adds that subtle nutty flavor you may be missing.

2. Add oats: You may think that adding oats to a chocolate chip cookie is sacrilegious, but oats add fiber (about 4 grams per cup) without imparting an off taste. Plus they add texture. This allows us to cut back on the chocolate chips a little (which add calories and fat) without feeling like we're missing out.

3. Add some whole-wheat flour: The taste of whole-wheat flour can take some getting used to and may make for a tougher cookie. But when it's mixed with all-purpose flour, it's more subtle and you still get an added boost of fiber. Choosing whole-wheat pastry flour is an added benefit, since it has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour, making for a more tender cookie. Run Out of Whole-Wheat Flour? 7 Baking Substitutions for 7 Common Ingredients.

4. Add nuts: Although not always traditional, adding chopped nuts to chocolate chip cookies is a great way to boost flavor, provide an added crunch and add additional healthy fats. Walnuts are the only nuts that offer a significant amount of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA's anti-inflammatory properties halt plaque buildup in the arteries.

Don't Miss:
5 Ingredient Swaps to Make Your Cookie Recipes Healthier
How to Bake a Healthier Cupcake

Get the Recipe: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

How do you make your cookies healthier?

By Hilary Meyer

Hilary Meyer

EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Related Links from EatingWell: