This Oatmeal Cookie recipe was my first attempt at using coconut palm sugar and stevia instead of traditional white and brown sugars. I have to say- this cookie is way better than my previously posted version which was pretty darned good!
I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to try and make all of my recipes as healthy as I could. Sugar was the main problem ingredient that I needed to work on so I started researching other natural sweeteners.
Stevia was the obvious first choice in place of white sugar because it has zero calories and a negligible effect on blood glucose which makes it perfect for diabetics or for people just trying to limit their sugar intake like Frank and I are.
The plant Stevia rebaudiana has been used as a sweetener by people in South America for over 1500 years. Japan began using stevia in the 1970′s when other sweeteners such as cyclamate and saccharin were suspected to be carcinogens. Japan currently consumes more stevia than any other country, with stevia accounting for over 40% of the sweetener market.
After reading about the different types of stevia that are available, it sounded like an alcohol free liquid type would be best for my baking. I bought KAL brand online and Lucky Vitamin has it on sale right now for only $11.30 for a 4 ounce bottle. I paid the regular retail price just a few weeks ago!
When I was doing my research on baking with stevia I found this article on the Livestrong website. It seems crazy, but you only need 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia to replace 1 cup of white sugar. I use the dropper that comes with the bottle of stevia when I am measuring for my recipes. It would be too easy to add more than you intend if your measuring spoon is not exactly the size that it is labeled.
When you are replacing white sugar with stevia in a baking recipe you also need to replace the bulk that you are losing. I read on several websites that you should add 1/3 cup of a liquid to replace every cup of sugar that you are substituting for. This liquid depends on what is appropriate for the recipe. You can add applesauce, banana, rice milk, water, etc.
I found with these oatmeal cookies it took even more liquid than that. The first batch that I attempted turned out really dry so I upped the amount of applesauce and added a few prunes too. More moisture is the key to converting a recipe to stevia and you have to be patient in case you need to tweak it an extra time or two!
The last time I made this cookie recipe I added chocolate chips and dried tart cherries- everybody absolutely loved them! The time before I made them with raisins and pecans- those were incredible too. These cookies have lots of texture and flavor from the oats and applesauce and spices. The 9 prunes that I added contribute 1/4 of a cup of puree and natural sweetness as well as moisture and more interesting flavor.
Since this cookie dough has so much texture it does need 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to hold it together if you make it with gluten free flour. I made these cookies with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats, so if you are able to eat oatmeal and can tolerate a little bit of gluten that might be on the oats you will love these cookies.
When I made the chocolate chip and dried cherry version, this recipe made 5 dozen cookies. I used 3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar and 50 drops of liquid stevia. My old original oatmeal cookie recipe called for a total of 2 cups of brown and white sugar.
Coconut palm sugar is great to use because it has a much lower glycemic index rating than white sugar does. Coconut palm sugar is 35 on the glycemic scale and white sugar is 80! Stevia is a 0 on the glycemic index scale.
I bought Coconut Secret brand coconut palm sugar at my local health food store and thought it had a slight burnt taste. I just ordered Madhava brand from Amazon and found it to have a better flavor. The price was great too.
I made all of these cookies in my new little oven in the garage and they turned out just perfect! The only drawback is that you can only bake 9 cookies at a time on the tray but the good news is these cookies only take 10 minutes to bake. Since you can only bake one pan at a time your whole 10 minutes is uninterrupted instead of having to switch the two trays top to bottom midway through the baking time in a traditional oven. This little oven also holds it’s heat perfectly so you can put a new pan of cookies in right as you remove the previous pan.
If you love cookies as much as we do you might be interested in a few more of my recipes. These recipes are all gluten free, but can be made with “regular” flour if you don’t have issues with gluten.
I will be remaking all of these recipes with healthier sugars very soon so please keep watching for your favorites!
I shared this recipe with Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten Free Homemaker, The Hearth and Soul Hop at 21st Century Housewife
Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut Palm Sugar and Stevia- GF
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (I only used 1 piece of parchment per cookie sheet because I was able to keep re-using it for these cookies)
Beat together in large bowl:
1 and 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened slightly
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
50 drops alcohol free liquid stevia (I used KAL brand)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
Add 3 eggs and beat thoroughly
Stir dry ingredients together in medium size bowl:
1 and 1/2 cups GF Flour Mix*
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix well.
Add 2 and 1/2 cups gluten free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
Add your choice of additional ingredients:
1 cup chocolate chips and
1 cup tart dried cherries OR
1 cup raisins and
1/2 cup (or more) pecans or nuts of your choice, chopped
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonful onto your cookie sheet (12 per sheet)
Use your fingers to form batter into a little more of a round shape and flatten slightly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10- 12 minutes. The cookies should still be soft and will need to rest on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before removing to a cooling rack. My little toaster oven cooks these in 10 minutes but your standard oven might take up to 12 minutes. Switch pans top to bottom midway through the baking time so they will cook evenly.
This recipe makes 5 dozen of the chocolate chip and dried cherry version.
*GF Flour Mixture
The GF flour mixture that I use is pretty standard. I use Authentic Foods gluten free flours because they are ground more finely than commercial brand GF flours that you can buy off the shelf. This results in wonderful baked goods that do not have that “gritty” feel when you chew them like so many products that we all tried in the beginning!
GF Flour Mixture
2 cups AF Superfine Brown Rice Flour (available in the amazon.com store on my blog)
2/3 cup AF Potato Starch Flour (available in my store)
1/3 cup AF Tapioca Flour (available in my store)
I make up several batches of this mixture at a time and keep it in a canister. I keep all of my other GF flours in the freezer.
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