by Cat, Nov 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikipedia; link has been lost)
I call this a low-glycemic recipe, and it is purely of my own invention. I’ve not measured its glycemic index, but the combination of whole grain oats, high-fiber date sugar, butter and nuts will slow down the absorption of the sugars into the blood stream, for a more stable insulin response. If you use Ceylon cinnamon (instead of common cinnamon, also known as cassia), it will help boost your insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar.
Xylitol, a type of alcohol sugar found in many fruits and commercially in birch bark or corn cobs, is slightly sweeter and has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, and also helps to retain moisture in the cookie. It is not a zero-calorie sweetener, but does have fewer calories than regular sugar, and is far superior to sucralose (Splenda) in flavor, cooking texture and insulin response.
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Dried Fruit and Nuts Cookies
I came up with this recipe because I have insulin resistance (a precursor and underlying cause of type-2 diabetes), and I wanted a treat that would not create blood sugar spiking. Date sugar is a whole food, simply dried and ground dates. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with very low glycemic index and 40% fewer calories than sugar; it may not cause sugar spikes. If you use Rapadura or other sugar, that will cause sugar spikes.
This recipe produces a slightly dry cookie, reminding me of granola. I’ve not tried this idea, but you could add a bit of applesauce to the creamed butter mixture to add moisture.
I would love to convert this to a pre-soak flour recipe to improve the absorbability of nutrients in the whole grain, but that would be difficult since the recipe contains no liquid (other than the eggs). (See below recipe for possible method).
These cookies are a bit drier than most chocolate chip recipes, and I make them quite small, about 1 1/4 inch in diameter, to get 4 dozen cookies in a full recipe, or 2 dozen in a half recipe. Each is about 120 calories, if made in this small size.
I provide ingredients for a full recipe and for a half recipe. Note that the white flour for half recipe is given in Tablespoons; this is because 3 Tbsp are added with the whole grain flour and other dry ingredients; the remaining 1 Tbsp is added 1 tsp at a time as needed until you get the right consistency for the batter.
I’ve experimented with different fats in this recipe, but butter gives the best texture, and a plump cookie. If you like a flatter cookie, substitute coconut oil for half the butter.
These cookies keep a LONG time in the fridge and even longer in the freezer.
Ingredients for full recipe, with amounts for half recipe in parenthesis:
- Dry ingredients:
- 3/4 cup (3/8 cup or 6 Tbsp) whole wheat pastry flour or Hard White whole wheat flour (such as Wheat Montana’ s Prairie Gold (1))
- 1/2 cup (1/4 cup) unbleached white flour, divided
- 1 tsp (1/2 tsp) baking soda
- 1 tsp (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (1/4 tsp) unrefined sea salt
- Other ingredients:
- 1 cup (1/2 cup) butter, slightly softened at room temperature (1 cup is 2 sticks; 1/2 cup is 1 stick)
- 1 cup (1/2 cup) date sugar
- 1/2 cup (1/4 cup) xylitol crystals, or Rapadura sugar
- 2 (1) eggs
- 1 tsp (1/2 tsp) real vanilla extract
- 3 (1 1/2) cups rolled oats (the long-cooking kind; I like Snoqualamie brand if I don’t roll my own)
- 1 cup (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips (at least 65% cocoa mass) or chopped dark chocolate bar (Belgian chocolate is best).
- 1/2 cup (1/4 cup) chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts, preferable soaked and dried)
- 1/2 cup (1/4 cup chopped dates, plums, or dried cranberries (the kind sweetened with apple juice instead of high fructose corn syrup).
- Equipment (full & half recipe)
- small and large bowl
- stand mixer (optional)
- wooden spoon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet with butter or coconut oil.
- Chop nuts and dried fruit.
- Sift or whisk together whole grain flour, all but 1 Tbsp of white flour, soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl (the remaining 1 Tbsp white flour will be added by teaspoonful after the dough is mixed until the right consistency is reached).
- Cream butter and sugars in large bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Stir in flour mixture by hand (for half recipe, reserve the last 1 Tbsp of the white flour).
- Stir in oats, chips and dried fruit.
- Check consistency and add reserved white flour by tsp as needed for the batter to hold its shape.
- Drop batter by Tablespoonfull onto greased cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.
- Bake in preheated oven 10 – 12 minutes.
- Cool on a rack.
Assembly or Serving Suggestions
- Store in an airtight cookie jar or refrigerator.
- Freeze extra cookies in a sealable container
Idea for Presoaked Version (full recipe, 4 dz cookies)
I’ve not tested this so it may need some modification.
- Pre-soak: Combine whole wheat flour and oats, cut in butter.
- Add enough water to 1 Tbsp yogurt to make 3/4 cup and work that into the flour/oat mixture (add more water by Tablespoonfull, but no more than 4 Tbsp, if needed to mix).
- Cover ball of dough with waxed paper and let it sit overnight
- Next day: If soaked mixture is too stiff to work, set it in a warm place for the butter to soften.
- Meanwhile, sift baking soda, salt and cinnamon with 3/4 cup coconut flour (instead of unbleached white flour, because coconut flour absorbs its volume in liquid). Add chocolate chips, nuts and dried fruit and toss to dredge, then set aside.
- Beat eggs with date sugar, vanilla, and xylitol/Rapadura and stir into soaked mixture. Then stir in dredged mixture.
- Test consistency: If too liquid, add unbleached white flour by tsp until desired consistency is reached. If too dry, add more coconut flour, 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Shape and bake as in original recipe.
- Wheat Montana’s Prairie Gold, a hard white whole wheat flour (wheatmontana.com/store/index.php)