This past week I was reviewing the nutritional aspects of a couple of items for the Dish, the Toronto Star column written by health reporter Megan Ogilvie which is starting up again next week after a couple year hiatus. Yay! I'm one of the dietitian experts for the column. I can't share what those items are ahead of time, but I will say, it got me thinking about cookies, which got me thinking about one of my favourite cookies -- oatmeal chocolate chip.
I like my oatmeal cookie to be a lot more oat than flour and that’s why I created this recipe; it’s very oat-y! I also replaced butter with canola oil. Yes, you can bake with canola oil! And no, I’m not against butter – in fact I use butter all the time – but I do like to switch things up and experiment with alternatives.
When baking with liquid canola oil in place of a solid fat (e.g. shortening), you’ll need to use a little less oil. And that decreases the overall fat in the recipe, which can be a good thing depending on the recipe and your intent. I used half a cup in place of the 2/3cup butter that my original recipe called for. Although this swap might not work in all cookie recipes, it works really in this one!
So, I know I'll get asked..."is this cookie good for you?". Well, oats are a whole grain filled with soluble fibre, which generally speaking can help to reduce cholesterol, help manage blood sugars and keep you feeling fuller longer. Will you get those benefits from eating a cookie? Not so much. Yes, walnuts provide some plant-based omega-3 fats, some protein plus other nutrients, but you won't get a whole lot of nuts per serving here.
Sure, I'm using quality ingredients like oats, an egg, walnuts and canola, and so there's some nutritional benefit that come with those ingredients. And yes, it's a better choice than a store-bought, highly processed packaged cookie. But truly, we're talking about a cookie here, not a food that you're eating to boost health.
I hope you enjoy this cookie for all it's cookie-ness. I know all my testers did; in fact, this batch is all gone. Back to the kitchen I go!
Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
625 (2 1/2 cups) large flake oats
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
(1/2 cup) canola oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar
5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
125 ml (1/2 cup) finely chopped walnuts
175ml (3/4 cup) chocolate chips
How to Make:
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth. Add to the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined.
Stir in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
Using a tablespoon measure (fully loaded), drop dough onto the baking sheets. With the back of a spoon, lightly flatten the cookies.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until just golden brown. Cool on the sheet then transfer to a rack.
Make it school-friendly: You can use sunflower seeds in place of walnuts. Or, simply remove the walnuts and add in half a cup more of oats or some raisins.
Tasty tip: For this cookie, I love Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips – they are big and smooth and super tasty in this chunky cookie.
Download a printable PDF of this recipe.