Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carrot Cake Cookies

Consider this Carrot Cake Cookies recipe a hybrid of carrot cake and oatmeal raisin cookies, and what's not to love? Chewy like your classic oatmeal raisin cookie but full of texture from the shredded carrots, these cookies bring satisfaction to both your sweet tooth and nutritive cravings.
Natural sweetness  from the raisins and pineapple eliminate the need for a cream cheese frosting glaze - if you really crave it though, use low or fat-free cream cheese to preserve the healthiness of the recipe. (You can adopt the one from my Baked Apple Cider Donuts.)

The only fat in these cookies come from the walnuts and canola oil- thanks to no butter or egg yolks, they consist only of  heart-healthy monosaturated fat. Whole wheat flour and rolled oat add a generous dose of whole grains, while the shredded carrot bulks up the cookie in both volume and nutrients. Orange zest- which possess high concentrations of the LDL cholesterol-lowering compound flavonoids- add a subtle citrus that is further enhanced by the pineapple.  In fact, these cookies are so healthful that I would recommend eating them as a dessert, snack or breakfast if you're on-the-go. They don't really expand while cooking, so if you stay true to the 1 tablespoon batter scoop you will get a bite-sized cookie- adjust accordingly if you want bigger!
Carrot Cake Cookies (from Shape Magazine)
Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients:
1 c. whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 egg whites
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil - I used canola
1/4 c. pineapple, drained and crushed (I doubled this to 1/2 c because I love pineapple)
1/2 c. fat-free milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. raisins
1 c. carrots, grated
1 tbsp. orange zest
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Combine the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, oats, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg -in one bowl. 
3. Add the wet ingredients - egg whites, oil, pineapple, milk and vanilla - to the dry, stirring together. Stir in raisins, carrots and walnuts. 
4. Drop by tablespoonful onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes.

Sources:
Manthey, John A., and Karel Grohmann. "Concentrations of Hesperidin and Other Orange Peel Flavonoids in Citrus Processing Byproducts." J Agric. Food Chem 44.3 (1996): 811-14. Web. 2 May 2012. <http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf950572g?prevSearch=orange%2Bpeel&searchHistoryKey=>.

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