Why We Love Oatmeal Cookies

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Recipes, Healthy Tips, April 30, 2011
Oatmeal Cookies
Celebrate one of our favorite food "holidays" with a homemade oatmeal cookie.

In honor of National Oatmeal Cookie Day (officially April 30!), we’re celebrating this classic cookie.  There are so many reasons we love this delectable treat — here’s how it can be part of a healthy diet.

Nutrition Facts
Size matters when it comes to cookies. A Homestyle Oatmeal Raisin Cookie from Starbucks weighs in at 390 calories, 15 grams fat and 65 grams carbohydrates while one at Subway (which is half the size) contains 200 calories, 8 grams fat and 30 grams carbohydrates.  An even smaller commercially-prepared oatmeal cookie (3½ to 4-inches in diameter) contains 113 calories, 5 grams of fat, 17 grams carbohydrates.  At home, you control the size of the cookie — use a teaspoon to spoon out batter and aim for 3 1/2-inch diameter after baking.

Ingredient Goodness
It’s so easy to bake your own, there’s no need to buy the store-bought oatmeal cookies with a laundry list of preservatives. Here’s the lowdown on the healthy ingredients you can add to your next batch. Freeze the extras for a wholesome snack anytime.

  • Rolled Oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats contain cholesterol-lowering fiber and energy-boosting B-vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
  • Whole-Wheat Flour: Up the fiber and protein by combining whole-wheat flour with all-purpose flour. Use whole-wheat pastry flour to keep your cookies light while still getting all the whole-wheat benefits.
  • Raisins: Bake a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies for an extra dose of fruit. They add chewy texture and some natural sweetness.
  • Walnuts: With healthy omega-3 fats and fiber, a touch of chopped walnuts can jazz up the everyday oatmeal cookie. Add a modest amount (about 1/4 cup per batch) as the calories can add up quickly (1 cup chopped contains 765 calories).
  • Other Flavor Boosters: Add fun flavors to your cookies with any of these ingredients: honey, ginger, pecans, chocolate chips or peanut butter.

Recipes to Try:

TELL US: Why do you love oatmeal cookies? What’s your favorite recipe?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio >>

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