This is a healthy-for-some-value-of-healthy cookie. It still have a cup of butter and two cups of sugar, but it also has flax seed, wheat germ, bran, and whole wheat flour. It’s a high fiber oatmeal cookie, with more nutrients than normal. It’s not a health bar trying to pretend it’s a cookie, this is a real oatmeal cookie that happens to have some good stuff in it.
I have long held that oatmeal cookies are amazing because you can hide whatever you want in them and they are still tasty. That precept holds true again as the cookies manage to absorb bran (bran!) without ending up tasting like old people food. It is a magical thing.
Next round, I am going to experiment with replacing a little more of the oats with barley flakes. The barley flakes don’t have as hearty a texture, so I was afraid that the flakes would turn to mush. Since the cookies didn’t seem to suffer too much, I am going to try pushing my luck, and just being careful with how much I stir.
Of course, with most of this stuff I have vague knowledge that it is good. So while I’m sitting with my cookie going “Flax seeds! Omega-3’s!” while feeling good about myself for my oh-so-healthy (yet still butter filled) lifestyle, I’m going to let Ana talk a little bit more in depth about why exactly these cookies are awesome.
After all, she should get a chance to show off her degree in nutrition (and pretend it gives purpose to student loan debt). -E
Lets start with wheat germ, it is the portion of the wheat kernel that is removed during processing into flour. For one, wheat germ is an excellent source of folic acid, folate, the form of folic acid naturally occurring in our body is needed to synthesize DNA. In addition, folic acid contains a powerful antioxidant not destroyed by cooking. Folic acid is also important for pregnant woman, as it help prevent neural-tube birth defects. While it is unusual for a western diet to be deficient in folic acid, it is definitely good for you.
Flax Seed is high dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients. Initial research has indicated potential links between flax seed intake and decrease in incidence of of certain cancers, reduced cholesterol and improved diabetes status. The omega-3 fatty acids are “good” fats and have been shown to have heart healthy affects.
Bran is another part of the whole grain and is usually produced as by product of milling. Bran is also rich in dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
Barley contains 8 essential amino acids! (very exciting) Essential amino acids are those that we have to consume, our body does not produce them. There are a total of 10 essential amino acids (one is required for the young), so to have 8 found in one place is a big deal and great way to get your body what it needs to run like a well oiled machine. The interwebs propose a very long list of benefits for barley, I would double and triple check sources before believing everything you read (about any of these). My motto tends to be everything in moderation.
I’m not going to go as far as to break down every component of this delicious cookie, but I think the above say’s that the guilt of eating a cookie (if you have said guilt) is pretty well balanced by the benefits listed above. -A
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- .75 cup white flour
- 0.5 cup whole wheat flour
- 0.25 cup wheat germ
- 0.25 cup bran flakes
- 2 Tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 2.4 cups oats
- 0.5 cup barley flakes
- 0.5-0.75 cup nuts (optional)
- 1 cup chocolate chips or raisins
- PREHEAT OVEN to 350 F
- Cream together butter and sugars. Add in the eggs and vanilla, beat well.
- Mix together salt, baking soda, flours, bran, flax, and wheat germ. Stir into the wet ingredients. Add in the nuts, chocolate chips, or raisins if using. Add oats and barley flakes last, stirring in.
- Place rounded tablespoons of the batter on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.