Fit & Slim at Christmas in Spite of Gingerbread, Cookie & Shortbread Season – Part II
Pimp your cookie recipes: How to prepare low-cal versions of you favorite cookies
Winter holidays and cookies are simply inseparable. Yup. And we don’t want you to do without these little treats, nor will we tell you to bake different cookies from now on. In this post, we want to show you how to modify the recipes of your favorite cookies to help you stay slim at Christmas thanks to some simple tricks by baking healthier versions of your favorites with reduced caloric content.
Fat is a flavor carrier and the one ingredient that makes cookies flat and crumbly. Therefore, we shouldn’t cross it off our list entirely. One possibility is to substitute all the butter, or at least part of the amount used, with lower fat margarine. But pay attention to what you buy, since not every lower fat margarine can be heated. In case you prefer sticking to your normal margarine, you can reduce the amount used and complement it with some yoghurt, milk, sour cream or even applesauce! These products contain less fat and, therefore, fewer calories. Try new versions of your recipes in small batches at first, so you can get used to the cookies’ new consistency and possible changes in taste.
You can always reduce the amount of sugar called for in your recipes. You won’t notice a difference in consistency or taste, even when reducing the amount of sugar by one quarter to one third! Using unrefined sugar or honey as a replacement, however, does not have positive effects on the caloric content of your cookies.
Many of our traditional cookie recipes contain nuts, a rather fatty ingredient and high in calories. To save calories, you can substitute one third of the nuts with whole grain wheat flakes or oats. Just grind them together with the nuts. And, compared to other nuts, almonds contain the fewest calories. Therefore, substituting other varieties with almonds is a good trick to reduce the caloric content of your cookies.
You can also save calories when it comes to your filling. Butter creams, cream, chocolate cream, etc. are true calorie bombs. Jams and jelly, on the other hand – especially those with high fruit and low sugar content – are the best choice here. You can get them in the supermarket or even make you own using canning sugar in a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1.
By dipping cookies in melted chocolate, you add calories. Try to make your frosting as runny as possible to coat your cookies with just a thin layer of chocolate. You can also consider coating only half of each cookie or simply drizzling a touch of frosting over their surface. They will contain much fewer calories, but still taste and look delicious. If you can manage without chocolate at all, try decorating your cookies with dried fruits. Tastes yummy and looks great, too!