So I haven’t blogged in quite some time and left the story of my foodservice dietetic internship experience unfinished- I’ll get back to that! Just to ease back into it, I want to share a project from my advanced food prep class. So almost the entire class was group work creating, planning, cooking, and serving large scale meals, but there was one individual project- a modified recipe research project.
The objective was to find a recipe and make it healthier by altering it for one nutrient (fat, protein, fiber) make it, evaluate it, and run a nutrient analysis to prove if you did or didn’t make the change you thought.
I found a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe that included butter and shortening and decided to replace the butter with avocado, keeping the shortening.
My hypothesis- The saturated fat would decrease and the mono- and polyunsaturated fats ( good, heart protective fats) would increase.
What actually happened- the total amount of saturated decreased by a little less than half! But the mono-polyunsaturated fats also decreased. Why is that? Butter contributes about the same amount of the good fats as an avocado! So choose butter, not margarine 🙂 Back to the cookies, they tasted good! Especially if you like a soft, cakey cookie because they were soft and chewy.
So those very healthy, delicious cookies did not quite measure up to the appearance of the traditional cookie. We all eat with our eyes! As part of the project, we had to make both the original recipe and the modified to be evaluated by classmates, faculty, and other passersby who wandered in and while the modified cookie was preferred by many, the appearance grading was quite low due to the shape and slight green tint.
I ended my paper stating that the modified recipe was acceptable for those looking to improve their lifestyle by incorporating a healthy diet, or those looking decrease saturated fat due to a heart condition with some research and development in altering the appearance. Also, saying more research is needed as always!
So do you love avocados? Even if you don’t, you can’t taste them- so go ahead and make these cookies and tell your co-workers that they’re healthy! It’s January 2nd so they’re all on diets. I think my evaluators wouldn’t have even noticed the green if they had not been right next to the original cookie.
½ cup shortening
½ cup or 150g avocado
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar, granulated
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 12oz package of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 F and line cookies sheets with parchment.
Beat together the shortening and avocado with an electric mixer until creamy and uniform. It will be green!
Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda and beat until the mixture is combined.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer, and stir the rest by hand.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop two teaspoons until parchment lined cookie sheets and back for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies have a slight brown appearance on top.
***Cookies will not flatten out like normal cookies due to the higher melting point of the avocado.
Recipe adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.