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How to make my chocolate chip cookie recipe more healthy

Hello All,

This is my go to recipe for classic chocolate chip cookies. Its the Nestle Toll House recipe with some modifications (I use margarine instead of butter because the cookies stay soft afterward). Does anyone have any advice on how to make this more healthy (maybe whole wheat flour?) without changing the taste too much? Or maybe have a better chocolate chip cookie recipe? The only thing I won't do is sugar substitutes...


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

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  1. Swap out the margarine for either apple sauce and/or sour cream.

    Instead of using whole eggs substitute with egg whites (2:1 ratio)

    You can reduce the amount of chocolate chips that you use by adding some cocoa powder into the cookie dough

    Whole wheat flour does not make for good cookies ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      ips I love using applesauce as a substitute; often keeps things moist and chewy!

      However, I did use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white for these and it turned out really well. I have also used whole wheat in oatmeal raisin cookies and it was great! I think it depends on the type of cookie you're trying to make-and often mixing it with white works well.

    2. Use all "white whole wheat" flour, or half AP and half regular whole wheat. The former (sold by King Arthur and in most supermarkets) does not have the strong taste of regular whole wheat. Many people think butter is healthier than margarine or shortening. Using all brown sugar will keep the cookies softer than in the original recipe. Baking powder instead of baking soda will also keep them puffier. 2 to 2-1/4 tsp should do it.

      1. - lose the margarine. use butter instead, and replace half of it with mashed banana, applesauce, or fat free yogurt.
        - as ipse said, substitute egg whites for the whole eggs (or use one whole egg and replace the other with 2 whites).
        - as greygarious said, use all brown sugar. and i'll add that you should cut back on the sugar - most cookie recipes contain much more than necessary. use about 1 cup of brown sugar and omit the white.
        - at least half of the flour should be whole grain. as greygarious said, white whole wheat is a good option. you can also try substituting barley or buckwheat flour for half the AP flour.
        - use mini chocolate chips instead of the large ones, and cut down the amount by at least one-third (i'd be inclined to do half). you'll still get plenty of chocolate in the cookies, just in smaller bits.

        1. Use ground flax seed and water instead of the eggs. 1 Tbsp ground flax seed & 3 Tbsp warm water = 1 egg. Consider substituting freshly ground quinoa (and/or millet or brown rice or buckwheat) flour for some or all of the all-purpose flour. If you replace all the flour you'll need to add 1 tsp of xanthan gum as well.

          1. Thank you all for the great suggestions!

            1. Thanks very much for asking about this, I use the same recipe and had the same question! I actually did as the folks here recommended-except I used 1/2 stick butter, 1/2 of one ripe banana, 1/2 teaspoon salt, one flax egg and one real egg, one cup of brown sugar, and one cup of wheat flour with one cup white flour (no more flour than that). I kept all other ingredients the same--but I put one Hershey's Special Dark kiss on top of each instead of regular chocolate chips. They took less time to bake, but had a similar consistency and were really flavorful! It's still more sugar than I'd like, but it's definitely better than the alternative. :)

              1. I'm not so sure swapping sugars or grains does anything concrete for the healthfulness of the cookie and it probably ruins a good cookie. Unless eaten by the pound how much difference can it make?

                And who is to say what's more healthful? Sour cream is better than margarine? How does one determine that?

                1 Reply
                1. re: sal_acid

                  I'm with you. There are curtains foods/recipes that I love which were not improved by me trying to make reductions in fat, salt, sugar or whatever is deemed "unhealthy" or improved with increases in fiber, whole grains, agave, or what is currently deemed "healthy". In thoses cases I prefer eat the real thing.

                2. Different cookie, but this is a very popular CC cookie made with whole wheat flour from Kim Boyce:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emily

                    I second this recommendation. Very good recipe, though it is not as good on subsequent days in my experience. Make and eat fresh.

                    My other thought would be that margarine is actually *less* healthy than butter due to unnatural fats, but I guess that depends on what's in your margarine.

                  2. I also use the same recipe, BUT I use the real butter, and I use just one stick of it. Also I Completely Melt it, and it's perfect!! And not greasy. Sometimes I use a little water to make the dough fully come together. Also sometimes I add ground flax to the dough.

                    1. If the margarine is not creamed there's no reason to use that rather than oil. If it is creamed (the step of creaming crystal things into solid fats is done to introduce air bubbles into the batter which aid the rising and result in a lighter baked good) I would probably still replace it with oil because I avoid margarine but you could experiment with replacing it with some combination of butter and oil to get the benefit of the better rise and the softness.

                      There's no significant nutritional benefit to swapping out the white sugar for brown http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/12/hea...

                      If you want to reduce the sugar content be aware that sugar has more of a purpose than just making the cookies sweet http://joyofbaking.com/sugar.html

                      I made some cookies recently where I halved the sugar without replacing it with anything and I found the result acceptable (in terms of moistness and shelf life etc.), so I wouldn't worry too much about ruining the cookies, just be aware of the the functions of the ingredients so that you can figure out why something may have turned out the way it did and how you might correct problems.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ecclescake

                        I usually eat Chocolate Chip cookies dipped in low fat milk-maybe it isn't any healthier but then again maybe it is!