Low-fat oatmeal cookies have a lower calorie and fat content than a traditional oatmeal cookie recipe, making them ideal for low-fat or heart-healthy diets. The ingredients in these cookies are similar to those in traditional recipes and include dairy, sugar, oats, flour, and, occasionally, fruit or nuts. Unlike a traditional recipe, the low-fat cookies have a reduced amount of sugar or butter and may replace some higher calorie ingredients, such as white sugar, with a healthier alternative like applesauce. As a result, low-fat oatmeal cookies may not be as sweet as those made from a traditional recipe.
The main ingredients in a low-fat oatmeal cookies include oats, flour, eggs, white and brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Generally, the higher calorie ingredients are reduced for low-fat recipes. For example, a low-fat oatmeal cookie recipe may call for less white and brown sugar. Adding less of a certain ingredient like a sugar can alter the taste of the cookie but also reduces the fat content.
Often, low-fat recipes use substitutions in place of ingredients with a higher fat or calorie content. For example, a low-fat oatmeal cookie recipe could call for applesauce instead of white sugar. Applesauce is naturally sweet and is healthier than refined sugars. Many low-fat oatmeal cookie recipes use margarine in place of butter as margarine may have fewer calories.
A reduction or substitution can alter cooking times. Low-fat oatmeal cookies may need to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time to ensure that the cookies stay moist and soft. Over- cooking low-fat oatmeal cookies can cause them to burn or crumble.
Additional ingredients can be added to a recipe to change or improve the taste of low-fat oatmeal cookies. One popular addition is raisins, which have a naturally sweet taste and do not add many calories or any fat to the cookie. Nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, are another common addition to low-fat oatmeal cookies. While adding nuts gives the cookies more flavor, it also increases the calorie and fat content and should be done sparingly.
A few baking manufacturers sell pre-made low-fat oatmeal cookies. Store-bought cookies generally have a reduced calorie content, but may contain more fat than cookies made at home. Consumers on a restricted diet should read the ingredient label on any store-bought cookies before consumption. This label includes a serving size as well as the number of calories, amount of fat, and nutritional information for each serving.