For so many of us during the Holidays we tend to pack on a few unwanted pounds from all those holiday parties and goodies that are brought it. We got some advice from a registered dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital on how you can go some holiday baking that won't clog your arteries.
Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietitian Nikki Ver Steeg and her co-worker Lindsey Meyers are whipping up a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with some modifications to make them heart healthy. Nikki says by swapping a few ingredients you can still enjoy holiday treats that won't sent you to the ER with chest pains. Nikki suggests using use butter instead of margarine or shortening. The latter contain a lot of trans-fat which in makes our cholesterol sticky and can build up in our arteries over time. Then she cuts part of the butter out.
Nikki says, "Let's says the recipe calls for a cup of butter. Instead use 1/2 cup of butter and a 1/2 cup of canola oil or a 1/2 cup of natural applesauce. Applesauce will give it a more cakey texture."
Nikki says to use old fashioned oatmeal not the instant because it's a slower carbohydrate and is a more wholesome food
Nikki says, "A lot of recipes also call for white flour, but you can play with that a little bit. Instead start modifying the recipe by using 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1./2 cup white flour."
Nikki also adds toasted wheat germ and ground flax as part of her flour portion.
Nikki says, "Ground flax is a nice thing to add. Use it as part of the flour. It gives you a lot of nutrients including Omega 3 fats. The goal is to try and make the recipe a more wholesome food instead of a significant treat."
Nikki suggests making changes to the recipe a little bit of a time so your taste buds can adjust. She says after you get used to the changes then can go from white flour to all whole wheat. As far as tradition goes she says, don't do away with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation that are near and dear to your heart. Adjust the ones that don't mean that much to you and enjoy the fattening goodness in moderation. By the way, these cookies really are a delicious treat that my mouth, tummy and heart enjoyed.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 ½ sticks butter
4 Tbsp Canola oil
5 Tbsp natural applesauce
Place the above ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat with mixer on medium until blended (about 30 seconds)
Add: 2 cups brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
Beat until combined. Beat in 4 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla.
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup toasted wheat germ
4 Tbsp ground flax
Stir in 4 cups old fashioned oats. Then 1 cup chocolate chips.
Bake at 375 for 10-11 minutes.