Olivier Blondeau for Getty Images
Olivier Blondeau for Getty Images

You know the drill: mix butter, flour, sugar and eggs in any combination, and you'll have something delicious. It’s a good thing to forgive yourself if you splurge at holiday time, but if you want to fire up a recipe that doesn’t set you back five pounds, try these tricks that Libby Mills, a nutrition and cooking coach and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told to CBS News to hack your recipes for health:

  • Flour fix. That all-purpose white flour is just empty calories, providing nearly no fiber for your health. Swapping it out for whole wheat flour is a major game-changer, because now your calories are working for you. If you can’t get used to the denser, nuttier taste, go half and half with white flour and whole wheat flour, or try replacing one-quarter of the white flour with oat flour.
  • Salt shake-off. Your cookies will get a flavor boost from as little as a half-teaspoon of salt. Why use more?
  • Sugar underload. In most cookie recipes, you can cut the sugar content by one-quarter and still retain the texture. Try boosting sweetness with nutmeg or cinnamon instead of all that sugar.
  • Butter bust. Substitute applesauce or a fruit or veggie puree for up to half the recipe’s butter, and you’ll trim fat while producing a chewier cookie rather than a crisp one. Purees of pear, prune, pumpkin, zucchini and beet are good choices. 




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