The classic, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie made low carb and diabetic friendly by using honey instead of refined sugar.
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Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe
- 6 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
- ¼ cup Honey
- 1½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Orange Zest (about ¼ of an orange zested)
- ¼ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour (or any healthier gluten flour)
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¾ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 cup Uncooked Oats
- ¼ cup Raisins (no sugar added)
- Move the rack in the oven to the very bottom shelf, then preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, cut the butter into six slices and microwave it until melted.
- Add the honey, orange zest, vanilla extract and applesauce to the butter and stir with a spoon until combined.
- Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix with a spoon until well combined.
- Add the oats to the batter and mix with a spoon until well combined.
- Add the raisins to the batter and stir with a spoon until well combined.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons worth of batter onto a baking sheet. Spread it to ½-inch thick and into the shape of a cookie.The cookie will spread very little while baking.Scoop the rest of the batter into cookies on the baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each cookie.
- Bake on the bottom shelf for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheet. Remove the cookies with a spatula if necessary.
See notes and substitutions below.
Oatmeal raisin cookies can be healthy if you make adjustments like lessening the fat and empty carbs.
Unfortunately, it's not as easy as just cutting the butter or flour in half. The entire recipe has to be reworked.
Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Making oatmeal raisin cookies healthy and diabetic friendly meant replacing the sugar with honey and applesauce.
There are plenty of low carb oatmeal raisin cookie recipes using artificial sweeteners, but I make it a point to use natural sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners are more nutritious. Plus, I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners because of the aftertaste and because I don't think enough research is available concerning their long-term effects.
Both honey and applesauce have a lower glycemic index than sugar.
The reason I use both honey and applesauce is because honey can sometimes be overpowering in taste, and it can be off-putting if you're not used to eating it (especially when you're used to the taste of sugar). Adding applesauce tones down the honey so it's not overpowering.
Oatmeal raisin cookies, like any other cookie, can be fattening based on the amount of butter or oil used, but this recipe uses less butter than the vast majority of other recipes. Each cookie has only 6g of fat.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe Substitutions
You can make this recipe dairy free by replacing the melted butter with any non-fragrant oil - avocado, refined coconut, olive oil, etc.
Using unsalted butter in baking is always recommended, but it you do use salted butter, omit the salt added later.
I use Nature Nate's pure honey because it's the brand I like. I suggest you use whichever honey you like because your taste buds are accustomed to it.
There's no benefit in using pure honey because almost all of the nutritious benefits of pure honey leave when it's heated.
In my classic oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, I use orange juice. The subtle orange flavor really makes the cookie sing.
Since this recipe replaces a dry ingredient (sugar) with wet ingredients (honey and applesauce), I had to take away other wet ingredients where possible. So instead of orange juice, this recipe uses orange zest.
The orange zest cannot be replaced with juice, but you can leave out the zest altogether if you don't have an orange.
It's important to use unsweetened applesauce, but you can leave out the applesauce altogether if you don't have it, or if you don't mind the taste of honey.
Omitting the applesauce won't change the final taste or texture significantly, so there's nothing to worry about. It takes away only half of a carb per cookie.
Using a flour with gluten is absolutely necessary in this recipe because there's no egg...and there's no egg because it's another wet ingredient. The gluten acts as a binder, holding the cookies together to keep from crumbling.
I used all purpose flour, but using whole wheat flour is recommended because it's healthier and lower glycemic. It takes away only 1 carb per cookie, but because it's whole wheat your body will process more slowly.
It's recommended to use iodized salt in baking unless you're familiar enough with using other salts in baking.
Use any kind of oats - quick, old fashioned, rolled, etc. I used quick oats.
Using dark or golden raisins is based on your preference; just make sure sugar isn't listed on the ingredients.
Store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator for longest life.
You can also wrap and freeze individually.
Because this recipe has more wet ingredients than normal recipes, the cookies remain moist even when left out.