Cookie Diversity

By Dean L. Jones

The American Heart Association recommends no more than half of our daily discretionary calorie allowance come from added sugars, basically meaning for most American women and men ingesting per day no more than 100-calories (6 teaspoons) and 150-calories (9 teaspoons), respectively.

Consequently, healthy eating starts with ingredients and a foodstuff item like cookies do not have to compete with candy as a sweet replacement.  Accordingly, this Valentine Day is a holiday where sweet treats are part of the norm, where giving love ones a food alternative from the harsh reality of flour and sugar enriched cookies is worthy of thoughtfulness.

Here are some diverse ingredients that will make roughly 45 healthier cookies.  Pull together 1-cup mashed sweet potato, cooked (leftovers work well), 2-large ripe bananas (use 3 if for small bananas), 1-16 ounce jar of unsalted and unsweetened cashew butter, 4-large eggs, 2-teaspoons pure vanilla, and ¼-teaspoon of salt.  A couple of optional add-in ingredients to chew on are bittersweet chocolate chips and/or unsweetened shredded coconut.

The general cooking procedure is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and place all of the aforementioned ingredients (except for any add-ins) into a food processor.  Mix on high until the batter is smooth (at least 30 seconds).  You will need to stop at least once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Then transfer the batter to a large bowl, and stir in any add-ins by hand.

If you choose to add-in ingredients consider 1-cup of bittersweet chocolate chips and/or ½-cup of unsweetened shredded coconut.  Remember this can be used or whatever seems tasty, or add nothing extra at all.

Drop the cookie dough/batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.  Bake for 15 to 16 minutes.  You will need to watch the cookies closely at the end to ensure that they come out golden brown without burning.  Obviously, the longer they cook, the crispier they will become.  Cool them on a wire cooking rack.

Because there are no preservatives these cookies taste best the same day they are baked.  On the other hand, should you want to make them ahead of time, the cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days, where they will turn soft.  When you are ready to eat or serve them, reheat in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10-minutes. This will make them crispy again. Likewise, after baking they can also go into the freezer, and when you want to serve defrost them overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat in the oven for 10-minutes.

These sweet potato cookies are full of vitamins and minerals, complete with beta-carotene that lessens the risk of heart disease, cancer and strengthens the immune system.  This cookie diversity recipe makes it easy to eat SugarAlert!
Dean is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.