Life is too short to not eat cookie dough. On the other hand, one might argue that eating too much cookie dough might shorten our lives. Which is why I decided that of all the heart-healthy snacks I could tackle this week, cookie dough dip was highest on my list.
So how do we make a heart-healthy cookie dough? First, we realize that we’re not actually making cookie dough that could be baked into real cookies but rather a dip. A cookie dip which is perfectly safe to eat but will still remind us of that sweet doughy goodness we can’t keep our fingers out of (I know it’s not just me.)
Second, we’ll round up some heart-healthy ingredients that might not be the things we normally put in cookie dough, but I promise make something so yummy you’ll wish that this was meant to be enjoyed with a spoon rather than a cracker (and I’m not saying you can’t.)
Regular intake of soy protein has been shown to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Cashews are not only lower in fat than other nuts, they provide 10gm of healthy unsaturated fats per serving. Most of that unsaturated fat is oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil that promotes good cardiovascular health. Cashews also supply fiber, and they’re a good source of vitamin E, which prevents development of plaque in the arteries.
Personal anecdote: in the six months or so after I first moved in with Ben, his cholesterol dropped about 30 points. I’d like to attribute this to the fact that he was eating more homemade, healthier meals, and more oatmeal! Oatmeal has been recognized for a long time as a heart-healthy food because it’s high concentration of soluble fiber, which is known to reduce bad cholesterol.
It’s arguable that chocolate in its raw form should be viewed as a health food rather than a junk food. After all, it contains more antioxidants than any other food tested, including the highly acclaimed blueberries or green tea. But the key is to remember that most of these health benefits are lost once the cacao bean is processed into chocolate and mixed with sugar and fat. When possible, opt for cacao nibs or very high quality, minimally processed organic cocoa.
Let me tell you, eating cookie dough is even more enjoyable when you know you’re giving your heart a treat as well. We enjoyed it with some apple slices and gluten-free pretzel sticks, but I’d love to know what you come up with!
To satisfy your snack cravings, my fellow Love Your Heart bloggers have another delicious roundup this week.
Nicole is making Buffalo Wing Hummus,
Lauren has Brownie Dough Truffles (yes, we both like to have dessert as snacks!)
and Amy and Natalie are sharing Wonton Crisps with Avocado Dip.
Amy and Natalie are also our hostesses for this week’s giveaways, which include TWO great items I’ve told you about in the past!
Do you remember when I gushed about Ricki Heller’s Sweet Freedom cookbook? That was back when I tried her vegan, wheat-free, refined sugar-free Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cinnamon Toffee Coffee Cookies. Since then I’ve also made her Ginger Coconut Cookies, Chewy Blondies, Chocolate Chip Cookies… and those Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, about 4 more times. I’m not exaggerating when I say that everyone else loves the cookies too. With Sweet Freedom, you’ll get to work with a variety of whole-grain flours, nuts, and healthy fats, making this a perfect addition to Love Your Heart. I’m SO happy that one of you is going to win this!
Secondly, someone will get to try The Simply Bar. A few months ago I told you about this fabulous nutrition bar, rich in soy protein and low in sugar. It’s all natural, gluten-free and vegan too. What’s not to love!
Remember, this week the giveaway is hosted by Amy and Natalie at Super Healthy Kids, so be sure to visit if you’d like to enter!
Also, this post is linked to the RecipeLion Blog Hop for February, featuring desserts! If you like this recipe, please vote for it by visiting the Blog Hop and voting for entry #30 by clicking “Like”. There’s a prize for the winner, and who knows, I might just share it with you 🙂 Thanks!
Oatmeal Cookie Dip
Yield: 8 servings, about 2 1/4 oz each
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free snack will make you want to lick the bowl - but that's quite ok.
1/2 cup (48gm) coconut sugar (Try: Coconut Secret)
1 12oz package firm silken tofu
1/4 cup cashew butter
2 packets of stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut flour (Try: Tropical Traditions)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 oz cacao nibs (Try: Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs)
Apple slices, pretzels, or other goodies for serving
Grind the coconut sugar to a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder. Place in a blender or food processor with silken tofu, cashew butter, stevia, vanilla extract, salt, coconut flour. Blend until smooth.
Add the oats and cacao nibs, and pulse one or two more times, to combine.
Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
Amount Per Serving (dip only)
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 66.3 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Sugars 5.1 g
Protein 5.4 g
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com