Low-Carb Cookies

These cookies are tasty and low in carbs.

When it comes to low-carb snacks or desserts, most people probably wouldn’t think of cookies.

But cookies can be low in carbohydrates, says Maxine Smith, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic. “Low-carb cookies are all-time favorites revamped to lower sugar and carbs by using grain flour alternatives and stevia instead of sugar,” she says. “These cookies are chewy and delicious — a healthy comfort food you can pair with a hot cup of coffee or tea on a blustery day.”

Cookies that are low in carbohydrates include:

— Chickpea chocolate chip cookies.

— Banana grain-free chocolate chip cookies.

— Black bean brownies.

— Snickerdoodles.

— Nilla vanilla wafers.

— Lorna Doone shortbread cookies.

— Peanut butter cookies.

1. Chickpea chocolate chip cookies

These scrumptious cookies are vegan and gluten-free. “They are sweet, very light and easy to make,” says Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition. Chickpeas provide protein, fiber and iron to make these cookies a nutrient-packed treat. Each cookie contains about 13 grams of carbs.

Recipe:

— 1 can or 1 ½ cups of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

— ½ cup of almond, cashew or natural peanut butter.

— ¼ cup honey or agave nectar.

— 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

— ? teaspoon of salt, optional.

— ? teaspoon of baking powder.

— ½ teaspoon of baking soda.

— ½ cup of 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add chickpeas and nut butter to food processor and blend for 1 minute. Add honey or agave and vanilla, continue to blend until the mixture is free of lumps. Add baking soda, baking powder and salt and blend for 30 seconds, then stir in chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. This recipe yields about a dozen cookies.

2. Banana grain-free chocolate chip cookies

This recipe is a quick way to use ripe bananas, as well as other simple staples to create low-carb cookies. “Forget about feeling guilty with these naturally sweet treats,” Zumpano says. The banana provides natural sweetness, as well as vitamin A and fiber. Dark chocolate supplies antioxidants that protect your cells. Each cookie has 5 to 7 carbs, depending on the size of the cookie and the kind of chocolate chips used.

Recipe:

— 2 ripe bananas.

— 1 egg.

— ½ cup of dark chocolate chips, preferably 70% or greater cocoa content to get antioxidants.

— ½ cup of chopped nuts or natural nut butter.

— A pinch of salt.

— 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Mash bananas, then add egg, chocolate chips, nuts, butter, salt and vanilla. Bake the concoction for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the cookies to cool. This recipe should yield a dozen cookies.

3. Black bean brownies

“I love this recipe because it replaces less-healthy white flour with nutrient-rich, complex carbohydrates from black beans,” Zumpano says. The black bean flavor is masked by the sweetness of applesauce, cocoa powder and a small amount of added sugar. The beans provide the cookies a fudge-like texture. Zumpano likes a recipe from the Bean Institute.

Recipe:

— 1 15.5 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained.

— 3 eggs.

— 3 tablespoons of applesauce or canola oil.

— ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder.

— 1 pinch of salt.

— 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

— ¼ cup white sugar.

— ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract and sugar in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth, then pour it into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the concoction. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Divide the pan to create mini-brownies. Each brownie contains about 14 grams of carbs.

4. Snickerdoodles

Lower the carb content of this all-time favorite by using grain flour alternatives and stevia instead of sugar. Each of these cookies has about 3 grams of carbs.

Recipe:

— 2 cups of almond flour.

— 2 tablespoons of coconut flour.

— ¼ cup of canola oil spread.

— 1 egg.

— 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

— ½ teaspoon of baking soda.

— ¾ teaspoon of liquid stevia.

— ¼ cup of unsweetened almond milk.

— 2 tablespoons of cinnamon mixed with 3 packets of dry stevia.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-size bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, mix canola spread, egg, vanilla extract, liquid stevia and almond milk and whisk together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until they are well-blended. Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Put cinnamon and powdered stevia into a small prep bowl or ramekin. Roll each ball in the mixture until coated on all sides and place them back on the baking sheet, keeping them about 2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies with the bottom of a small cup or jar. Bake on the center rack for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are semi-firm in the center and lightly brown on the bottom. Cool on a cooling rack. Use this recipe to make about 1.5 dozen cookies.

5. Nilla wafers

Some commercial cookies are low in carbs, says Denice Taylor, a dietitian at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital in Arlington, Texas. For example, Nilla wafers contain just 2.6 grams of carbs per cookie. “This is a versatile cookie and can be used in recipes like banana sugar-free pudding,” Taylor says.

6. Lorna Doone shortbread cookies

One of these cookies has just 4.8 grams of carbohydrates. “These cookies are a traditional shortbread but are made with less sugar than other shortbreads,” Taylor says.

7. Peanut butter cookies

Packed with protein, peanut butter cookies are low in carbs and high in satisfaction, says Tambra Raye Stevenson, a nutritionist based in the District of Columbia. “Rich in healthy fats, this cookie recipe uses only a few simple ingredients to make for a holiday treat,” Stevenson says. Natural peanut butter is a good source of oleic acid, which is good for heart health, she notes.

Recipe:

— ¼ cup creamy peanut butter.

— ¼ cup powdered sweetener (sugar or sugar substitute).

— 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder.

— 3 tablespoons of water.

Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder with three tablespoons of water. Mix together with the peanut butter and the sweetener, and let sit in your fridge for 15 to 30 minutes so the concoction sets up and thickens. Cut into cookie shapes.

More from U.S. News

Specific Carbohydrate Diet Food List

The Best Vegetable Replacements for Carbohydrates

Fruits to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet

Low-Carb Cookies originally appeared on usnews.com

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