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Three Tips For Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Keep the yummy cookie taste and lose the fat with these smart strategies. (Photo by Evan Sklar)

Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern

You'll find them on supermarket shelves, in ice cream and even cereal—the humble chocolate chip cookie has come a long way from its Nestle Toll House roots in the 1930s! However, the classic sweet treats aren't always a figure-friendly snack. We spoke with Candice Kumai, author of Pretty Delicious, to get three tips and tricks for making guilt-free cookies that are actually a good-for-you-treat!

  • Cut calories with almond milk. "Unsweetened almond milk contains only 40 calories per cup and all the fat is a healthy kind."
  • Add nutrition. "Make your cookies nutrient-dense by adding rolled oats, raw walnuts, raw almonds, raw pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries or raisins."
  • Swap and save! "When the recipe calls for approximately two to four tablespoons of butter, swap out half for 1/4 cup natural applesauce, 1/4 cup ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup pureed dried dates or date paste."

Since some say that yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Day, we took that as the perfect excuse to head straight to the kitchen after work and bake up Candice’s Totally Bananas Chocolate Chip-Oat Cookies. Now we're hooked! The bananas add tenderness and moisture to the cookies, making them perfectly soft and decedent. For the recipe, click below.

Totally Bananas Chocolate Chip-Oat Cookies

Oats add hunger-taming fiber. (Photo courtesy of Candice Kumai)

Makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 small or 1/2 large ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer) cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the mashed banana and 1/4 cup of water, beating until incorporated. Turn the mixer off and add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until they’re just combined. Add the oats and the chocolate chips, mix briefly and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed.
  3. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Use a tablespoon to scoop out 1 1/2-inch dough balls, placing them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake until just golden on top, about 10 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Information Per Cookie: 127 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat)

More from FITNESS: For more ways to indulge your sweet tooth, try one of these 24 desserts under 250 calories.