5 secrets to a healthy cookie
Love a biscuit with your cuppa but want it to be good for you?
Have your biccie and eat it too by choosing one that sticks to our five criteria for a healthy biscuit. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine.
1) Whole Grains
For the most part, whole or minimally processed grains – like wholegrain spelt flour (an ancient form of wheat that’s easier to digest) and chewy rolled oats - should be the first ingredient/s listed. Why? Ingredients on a food label are presented in descending order (so whatever’s listed first is the main ingredient).
If you’re looking for a healthier gluten free biscuit, the first ingredient should ideally be a gluten free whole grain flour like brown rice flour. Grain free nut-based flours like almond or hazelnut meal also get our tick of approval and are a great way to add moisture, flavour and nutritional value to baked goods.
2) A Low Sugar Content
Packaged biscuits where the first ingredient is sugar (AKA evaporated cane juice) won’t do your blood sugar any favours; Nor will biccies where the first ingredient is wheat flour, as this is purely refined carbohydrate.
The sugar in your biccie should be closer to the end of the ingredients list, and ideally an unrefined, more wholesome form of sugar, like honey, coconut sugar or fibre-rich dried fruit.
Certain natural ingredients can also impart a sweet taste into a dessert, without the sugar. Shredded coconut, coconut oil, vanilla extract and cinnamon are particularly good – oh and a bit of salt, which brings out and balances the sweetness.
3) Healthy Fats
Low fat or ‘diet’ biscuits are a no-go in our books, one reason being that they’re a fake food and like any diet food, easy to overdo because you feel like you’re eating air.
Go for a wholesome biccie with good fats – like a Kookas Natural Raw Cacao and Macadamia Cookie (so good!) - and I bet you’ll find that just one is enough. The coconut oil, flaxseed meal and nuts in these make for a super satisfying dessert, thanks to the well-rounded mouth-feel that fat provides.
Fibre fills you up and provides a steady energy supply, rather than a blood sugar spike. So which ingredients give you fibre? Think plant-based whole foods with a satisfying chew, like shredded coconut, dried fruit, nuts and seeds and whole grains.
Look for ingredients like these in a biscuit and see if you feel fuller for longer than you would from a white flour-based biccie.
5) Portion Control
A cookie the size of your hand probably isn’t the best snack choice; Even if it is made with wholesome ingredients, it will give the average person way too much energy and may encourage weight gain if consumed too often.
Go for a biccie the size of a truffle instead – a Kookas Oat Coconut Cookie is perfect when you feel like a treat but don’t want to undo your health efforts.
Kookas Natural Cookies: Find out more at www.kookasnatural.com.au