When you're in the mood for something sweet and homemade, nothing beats a batch of warm cookies straight out of the oven. It's a cookie crime if you don't devour a couple while they're cooling on the rack, and if the rest make it to the cookie jar, you'll have a hard time walking by it without grabbing a few more. At 100 to 300 calories per cookie, those calories can really add up, which isn't great news if you're trying to watch your weight. But it is possible to bake your cookies and eat them too. Here are some ways you can save calories on that next batch.
- Use healthier alternatives to high-calorie ingredients: Butter, eggs, oil, sour cream, and heavy cream are full of calories, so make a few lower-cal switcheroos such as avocado for butter, applesauce for oil, a banana for an egg, or Greek yogurt for sour cream, and your tastebuds won't even notice.
- Eat a few, freeze the rest: The cookies will call to you from the kitchen, so avoid the temptation by enjoying a few and then popping the rest in the freezer. Or you can also freeze the cookie dough in ice cube trays, and cook up a couple at a time when cravings strike. Or if you know freezing the leftovers won't keep you away, give them away. You can't consume calories from cookies you don't have.
- Make the portions smaller: If the recipe yields two dozen regular-sized cookies, make cookies half the size to yield 48 cookies. You'll feel satisfied gobbling down a few of these smaller cookies but for fewer calories than if you ate the same amount of the larger-sized ones.
- Use less sugar: Cookies are meant to be sweet and decadent, but you can get away with decreasing the amount of sugar without making them taste like they were made for a health food convention. Experiment with your favorite recipes to see how low you can go. Or replace all of the sugar with dates as in this amazing recipe.
- Go grain-free: Ditching the flour is one way to save on calories. Here's a delicious recipe for almond and coconut macaroons.
- Omit the extras: Nuts, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, candy bits, and dried fruit add calories to every bite, so either use less than the recipe calls for, or omit them altogether.