Almond Butter Cookies

Nuts are a nutritionally dense little package. And although they are high in fat and calories, they are actually a wonderful food to eat. As a recent study indicated, eating nuts is a wonderful way to lose weight and maintain your current weight. And not only are they good for weight loss, but they are also great for your heart. The reason that nuts are so good for you is because of what's in them. The fats in nuts are unsaturated fats, or "good" fats. These kinds of fats are good for your heart because they help to lower bad cholesterol. Nuts contain two other substances that help to lower cholesterol also: plant sterols and fiber. The fiber is beneficial for control weight too, because it makes you feel full longer. Another heart healthy component of nuts is the Omega-3 fatty acids that they contain. They are a healthy fatty acid that protects your heart by keeping the rhythm of your heart regular, which can prevent heart attacks. The last component that nuts have that makes them such a great food for your heart is l-arginine. L-arginine helps protect your heart by keeping your arteries flexible and preventing blood clots. Now while nuts are good for you, it is still important to eat them in moderation. They are high in calories and fat, albeit good fat but still fat. The best way to gain the benefits that nuts have to offer, without consuming too many calories and fat, is to use nuts as a substitute. Trade nuts, with their heart healthy unsaturated fat, for foods that have artery-clogging saturated fat. For a snack, instead of chips, have a handful of nuts. Or in baked goods, replace the butter with nuts, which is what I did in this recipe. I used almond butter and yogurt to replace butter. I also increase the fiber and nutritional value of these cookies by using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. The result is a delicious, butter-free cookie made with heart healthy nuts!

Almond Butter Cookies

1/2 c. almond butter, crunchy

1/2 c. plain, fat-free yogurt

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the almond butter, yogurt and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla; mix well.  Add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Blend together just until combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper on baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes. After baking, cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 1 minute. Then move the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

 

Variations:

  • add 1/2 - 1 c. chocolate chips to make Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. My daughter loves them this way!
  • for a sugar-free cookie, I believe that you could easily trade out the sugar for 1/3 c. + 1 1/2 tbsp. of Truvia sweetener.
  • if you wanted to use all whole wheat flour, I think that I would add an additional 1/4 c. of yogurt to offset some of the dryness of the whole wheat flour.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the variations to this recipe.

 

Nutritional information per cookie:

68 Calories

2 g. fat

less than 0.5 g saturated fat

5 mg. cholesterol

36 mg. sodium

11 g. carbohydrates

1 g. fiber

6 g. sugar

2 g. protein