If Cookie Monster can be convinced to trade in his fat- and sugar-laden cookies for healthier versions, then shouldn't kids? Celebrity chef and author Rocco DiSpirito thinks so. He invited the beloved Sesame Street star and a gaggle of tots to the New York Public Library to prove that the low-calorie and low-fat treats don't sacrifice taste and still score big with kids. Chef DiSpirito spent the morning touting the benefits of natural sweeteners, such as agave nectar, and fat substitutes like apple butter — which has about half the fat of butter, oil, or shortening — to help lighten up kids' intake when they're eating sweets.
Though Cookie Monster did question the inclusion of cannellini beans in his chocolate-chip cookies (and made quite a mess while mixing up his batter — much to the kids' delight), the resulting cookies were quickly gobbled up by both the grown-ups and lil ones in attendance, leading me to wonder if Chef DiSpirito is on his way to starting his own Food Revolution here in the U.S.
Want to try your own taste test at home? Chef DiSpirito shared his oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, complete with apple butter, Cheerios, and puffed millet cereal to reduce the cookie's calories from 320 to 84 and fat content from nine grams to zero. Keep reading for the recipe.
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup no-sugar-added apple butter
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups toasted whole-grain oat cereal, such as Cheerios
1 cup puffed millet cereal, such as Arrowhead Mills
1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add the agave, vanilla, apple butter, egg substitute, and cinnamon. Stir together until well blended.
- Place half the oat cereal in a reusable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add the crushed cereal, remaining cereal, millet, and raisins to the apple-butter mixture. Stir together.
- Spoon the cookie mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, and bake until they are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
(makes 12 cookies, 84 calories each)
- Desserts, Cookies