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Put a healthy twist on an old favorite treat

January 24, 2012

Cookies are good for you. Really. Also, money grows on trees, and one day very soon automobiles will run on happy thoughts.
Back in the real world, however, no one loves a good, homemade chocolate chip cookie loaded with Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips and Plugra more than yours truly. But sometimes, especially when she has a metric ton of student papers to grade and a shamefully large pile of laundry to put away, a girl needs a sweet treat that isn’t going to make her want to take a nap immediately following its consumption.
Normally, when I get that craving for something sweet but not totally unhealthy, I go for fresh fruit. But I don’t much appreciate buying any kind of produce that is not in season and/or did not come from the Community Market, and regardless of what anyone says, frozen does not taste as good as fresh.
So during the great white winter, I usually angle toward warm baked goods that can be dunked in some cocoa or coffee.
This week, I’ve included the recipe for a little beauty that does the job just right at my house.
I found a healthier spin on traditional oatmeal raisin cookies through the Martha Stewart website a couple of years ago but have since made a few adaptations to my liking which I think improved the overall quality and healthfulness of the recipe while actually maximizing taste. I’ve also tried using gluten-free flour, which also works well.
I’ll be the first to admit that should you try this recipe out, you will be slightly aware of the absence of butter and white sugar, but trust me, these cookies are still quite yummy and are just the cure for that “It’s 8:30 p.m. and I want something sweet but don’t feel like doing anything complicated or feeling like a guilty cow afterward” kind of feeling, like the one I get on a nightly basis.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

(Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food)

Leave the Kitchenaid on the counter for this one. All you need are two bowls, a spoon and a cookie sheet. And an oven, of course. You might also need a big glass of cold milk.

1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. canola
2/3 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir to combine. Mix in oats and raisins. Drop spoonfuls onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool five minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Kate Salter is a lecturer at Mississippi State University. Email her at

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