Confession: I suck at following directions, at least in the kitchen.
It’s not because I don’t read the recipe or forget a step in the process. It’s a deliberate, conscious effort to stray. The motivation behind this is mostly due to the fact that I always want to healthify my food. Healthify is probably foreign to most of you so let me explain.
Definition of HEALTHIFY (verb) the act of increasing the nutritional benefits of a specific food or recipe by substituting more nutritious ingredients
Examples of HEALTHIFY
“I just healthified this cake but swapping the oil for non-fat yogurt!”
“These cookies were healthified with flaxseed and whole-wheat flour.”
“We enjoyed healtified egg salad with avocado instead of mayo.”
Merriam-Webster, healthify is officially ready for insertion into the 2014 edition. Please remember to credit me prior to publishing.
Now, the only problem with healthifying a recipe is that you can’t healthify every ingredient. And I admit, at times, I get a bit carried away.
Whole Wheat Flour! Agave! Yogurt! Flaxseed! Almond Milk!
When you find yourself changing more than a third of the ingredients, it’s safe to say that you no longer healthified the recipe. You created an entirely NEW recipe – which is exactly what happened to me this weekend.
I set out to make my Mom’s traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies. Buttery, chocolatey, chewy goodness. And the kicker here is, that I had absolutely no intention of keeping any of these cookies for myself and began baking knowing I would be giving these away to friends. But, my inner healthifying baker took over and before I knew it, substitutions were flying high.
- Half of the butter was replaced with greek yogurt
- All-purpose flour was mixed with whole wheat
- 18 ounces of chocolate chips became 4 ounces of semi-sweet mini chips, 1/4 cup of flaxseed, 1/3 cup coconut and a 1/4 cup raisins
- The sugar was halved and a squirt of agave was added
Wham-Bam! My Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies were no more.
These babies had just completed 12 weeks at The Biggest Loser camp and after 11 minutes in the oven, they were ready for their big reveal. So how did these cookies turn out? Let’s do a little comparison of the original recipe versus the healthified chocolate chip cookies.
Fewer calories, less fat (& better for you fat!), a tad more protein, and significantly less sugar & salt.
But let’s admit, these cookies are no longer my Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. After their makeover I have deemed them Trail Mix Cookies – Chocolate Chip Cookies alter ego. The younger, better looking sister.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, nutritionally these look pretty bomb for a cookie but how do they taste?
Well, fresh out of the oven, these cookies have a nice crunchy exterior and a soft center. After letting them cool completely, they turn a bit softer and were not as chewy as a typical cookie but they were good! The flavor combination was nice, sweet from the mini chips and a bit chewy from the raisins and coconut! Even <3M, who can usually tell healthy from indulgent had a slight complaint when I told him these cookies weren’t for us. And this is how I knew that the Healtificiation was a success.
Now, will these cookies satisfy a “ME WANT COOKIE!” moment? Probably not. Go get yourself a Mrs. Field’s if that’s what you’re craving.
Will it satisfy a “I need dessert” moment? Most definitely.
And with that sort of satisfaction, I can be completely content knowing that sometimes not following directions can lead to tasty innovations!