I had been doing some research online looking into how to substitute unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones in baking and my first experiment turned out pretty well. The cookies turned out to be completely different to the ones that they were based off but they were equally as good, if not better.
The first tweak that I made with the recipe was swapping butter for avocado. Most sites recommend using half of the amount of avocado (in weight) as you would butter however this would make the mixture impossible to whisk so I added 50 ml of water to make the mixture wetter.
In my opinion, when making cookies the two unhealthiest ingredients that you use are flour and sugar. This Is why ‘VitaFiber’ is so useful, it is more than 70% fibre and is gluten free. It is also great for satisfying a sweet tooth as it is slightly sweet (it has 60% the level of sweetness of sugar). Protein powder is a great ‘whey’ to flavour your cookies and add protein to them. It is low in sugar, fat and carbohydrates. They are also often enriched with nutrients and their protein levels are always very high. You don’t have to get whey (which is made from milk) as there are many alternatives such as pea and rice protein. However, I wouldn’t advise using soy protein is it is likely to be GMO (from a genetically modified organism); there is some evidence to suggest that GMOs might negatively affect your health.
I use two things to help make these cookies rise: baking powder and apple cider vinegar. This will help them stay light in the centre and create a delicious crispy skin. A bonus of using apple cider vinegar is that it has been shown to aid fat loss and there are various other benefits to consuming it.
When I made these for the first time, because they are so sticky it was very difficult to get them off the parchment paper; if you use an oil spray it could help you when you get to that stage. I would recommend using one made from coconut oil or from olive oil as these two oils are proven to be much healthier than others such as rapeseed oil and vegetable oil. Also, make sure that the oil hasn’t been hydrogenated as there is significant evidence to suggest that the fats formed from the hydrogenation (which are known as “trans fats”) are detrimental to your health.
Different flavour ideas:
Ginger chocolate: Use protein powder and add a cube of crystallized stem ginger.
Ginger biscuits (higher in fibre, but lower in protein): Swap the protein powder for more ‘VitaFiber’ and add a cube of finely chopped crystallized stem ginger.
Double chocolate: Use chocolate flavoured protein powder and add dark chocolate chips.
- 65g mashed avocado (a great replacement for butter)
- 250g powdered ‘VitaFiber’
- 50ml water
- 1 large egg (you could try 1tbsp of ground flaxseed and an extra 3tbsp of water if you are looking to veganize this recipe)
- 75g protein powder (any flavour, I used mint)
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 1tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Oil spray (optional)
- Set the oven to 190 degrees celcius (375 degrees fahrenheit).
- Cream or whisk the avocado, protein powder, apple cider vinegar and the water together.
- Cream the egg into the mixture.
- Sieve the VitaFiber powder and the baking powder into the wet ingredients.
- Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment and spray with oil (if using).
- Spoon around 8-10 equal amounts of the mixture onto the parchment and spread them out to make cookie shapes (you will probably need 2 trays). Alternatively you could make one large cookie.
- Bake them for 12-15 minutes or until they are crispy and crunchy on the outside but light in the center.
Nutrition info (this could vary depending on what brands of protein powder and VitaFiber you use):
When the recipe makes 8 cookies, each cookie has:
- Calories: 103
- Fat: 1.9g (Saturated Fat: 0.4g)
- Cholesterol: 23.3mg
- Protein: 7.3g
- Sodium: 70mg (less than 0.03g)
- Carbohydrate: 27g (of which just 0.2g is sugar)
- Fibre: 22.3g
- Net carbs (carbohydrate – fibre): 4.7g
If you don’t usually have much fibre in your diet (use I diet tracker to find out how much you eat – it may be less than you think) make sure to add fibre to your diet slowly as if you are not used to a large amount of it you could have some gastrointestinal problems whilst your body adapts. A good target to start with is around 30 grams (one cookie would be over 2/3 of that) before increasing your daily intake even further than that. Hunter-gatherer communities commonly eat between 100 and 150g of fibre per day so this could be a good target to aim for. But remember to take it slowly!