Bake a batch of naturally sweetened whole wheat peanut butter sugar cookies for a great sweet treat or snack you can feel good about!
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You guys, I feel like it is my mission to live my life in balance. And since so much of my life revolves around food (hello, food blogger with six other people in my house who love good food as much as me), that especially means that I aim for balance in our food life. Which is why over the weekend I made my son a birthday cake with waaaay too much sugar and butter, and then this week we have been snacking on peanut butter cookies made with whole wheat flour and rolled in coconut sugar (nary a drop of refined sugar in sight). (Seriously, though. That cake was amazing and birthdays deserve amazing cakes). Part of living in balance means that we still enjoy treats, but I am focusing more and more on developing and sharing recipes for treats which are on the healthier side of the spectrum. There are innumerable ways people define healthy, but this is what I’m aiming for in a “healthy” cookie…
- whole grains
- reduced sugar and/or natural sweeteners
- less butter and/or healthy oils
- nutritious “extra” ingredients (like peanut butter, pureed pumpkin, dark chocolate, etc)
The goal is to enjoy food and at the same time, feed our bodies what they need and not too much of what they don’t need. Wanting to use more natural sweeteners and whole ingredients? These are my ALWAYS-KEEP-ON-HAND ingredients:
- maple syrup (from Costco)
- honey (from Costco)
- coconut sugar
- whole wheat (either ground from soft white wheat berries or already ground all-purpose, both ordered on Amazon)
- coconut oil (from Costco)
- brown rice, oats, nuts, and arrowroot for gluten-free baking
You can’t just throwing in maple syrup or honey for sugar in all your baked goods, though. Baking requires the right combination of ingredients, and using natural sweeteners changes up a recipe. Making a gluten-free carrot cake naturally sweetened, for example, required testing and referencing two of my favorite cookbooks (The Homemade Flour Cookbook and Naturally Sweet). Of course, if you’re used to treats loaded with sugar, you might find naturally sweetened treats to be much less sweet. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just like getting used to homemade yogurt instead of (overly) sweetened yogurt from the store, we can train our taste buds to not require as much sweetness in our foods.
Why natural sweeteners? More antioxidants. Less of a spike on the glycemic index. Less (or none at all) chemical processing. Great flavors. Reduced amount of sugar in our diet. Simply put, better overall health and nutrition.
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Sugar CookiesPrint
A soft and chewy peanut butter cookie naturally sweetened and rolled in coconut sugar. These cookies make a great sweet treat or snack you can feel good about!
- 1/4 C (4 Tbsp) melted butter
- 1/4 C peanut butter
- 1/2 C honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 C whole wheat flour (freshly ground or white whole wheat work best)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 C coconut sugar (for rolling)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the liquid ingredients (melted butter through egg). Once the liquid ingredients are well blended, add 1 cup of the flour and the baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir with a spatula for a minute until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated, then add the remaining flour and stir just until there are no more streaks of flour.
- Pinch off a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in a small bowl of coconut sugar. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten slightly. Repeat until you run out of dough.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack.
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