HISTORY OF COOKIES
Cookies were first made after sugar became available as a baking ingredient about 1400 years ago. They were an enhancement to grain and water based breads made as early as 10,000 years ago. Persian bakers added sugar to bread recipes to create sweet cakes that baked in a clay oven fueled by dry wood fires. Because it was hard to estimate baking temperatures in that kind of oven, small amounts of cake batter, placed inside at intervals, determined the best time to start cooking the full-sized cakes. Eventually, those small “test” cakes became a delicacy in their own right, and today we know them as cookies, the Dutch word for “little cake.”
The earliest cookie recipes made use of sweet cake ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, spice and nuts. Baked twice to make a crisp biscotti cookie; they kept well for a long time. Dried fruit embellishments such as raisins and dates made these treats quite nourishing, and they soon ended up as a staple for sailors, nomadic traders, and soldiers. Today, these same ingredients, used in a centuries-old biscotti recipe, can inspire families and motivate kids to meet goals through success-oriented activities such as cookie dough fundraising projects. Otis Spunkmeyer Butter Sugar cookie dough makes a fast and easy starter for hand-shaped and cutter-shaped cookies that make a great family project.
While you wait for your history-making cookies to bake, you can entertain the kids by sharing stories about different types of cookies from around the world, exploring how cookie have changed in each place over the centuries. After cakes became widespread in Persia they caught the eye of soldiers in the armies of Alexander the Great, and were soon brought back with them to Greece. From there, the idea of making small cakes into cookies spread to India, Asia, Africa and the rest of Europe. By the end of the 16th century, individual “fine cake” cookie recipes began making their way into the bread section of nationally representative cookbooks. Early explorers from Spain and France were instrumental to introducing cookies to South America, and pioneers from the Netherlands, Scotland and England made sure that cookie recipes became a part of North American colonial history.
CALORIES IN COOKIE
Cookies have been part of American comfort food for a long time. Cookies make for a great snack and are sweet enough to be added to desserts too. There are a lot of varieties of cookies available commercially, and you can choose from chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and even peanut butter cookies. With regard to calories and nutrition, given below are some pointers:
- Depending on their ingredients, cookies have varying number of calories.
- Most of these calories in cookie are associated with sugar and fats used to make them.
- The nutrients in cookie are also dependent on the ingredients used.
- The nutritional details of cookie are usually available on the nutritional label on the back of the cookie box.
PROPERTIES OF COOKIE AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS
Cookies are considered junk foods because of their high sugar and fat content. They are snacks that are best had in small quantities. Most dieticians would recommend you to avoid consuming cookies, especially when you are thinking of losing some weight. Smaller cookies usually contain fewer calories and therefore are better for you. Try and consume small quantities of cookies at a time. Oatmeal cookies are usually considered the healthiest because of their high soluble fiber and nutritional value. The health benefits of cookies usually depend on their ingredients. Cookies with bran, oats, and resins are usually considered healthier.
WHOLE GRAINS: If you consume cookies that are made with whole grains, they can be good for your body. Cookies that are made with whole grains like whole wheat or oats can be really healthy. They are rich in fibre and antioxidants that is good for the body. So, you can include whole grain biscuits and cookies without worrying much about your digestion and weight gain.
EASY TO DIGEST: As whole grains biscuits are made with healthy grains, they are rich in fibre. Thus they get digested easily and do not deposit as fat in the body. If you suffer from poor digestion due to munching unhealthy snacks, just eat these whole grain cookies to improve digestion and bowel movements. Buy digestive biscuits and cookies to enjoy its benefits.
LOW IN FAT: Soluble fibres and whole grains make cookies a low fat and low calorie snack. If prepared with less butter, cookies can have many health benefits. Avoid having cookies that are made with artificial sweeteners and flavours. They are high in sugar content and can increase your blood sugar and pressure levels in the body.
AIDS WEIGHT LOSS: Many people hog on unhealthy snacks like chaats and fried food but do not think about the side effects it will have on your body weight. So, opt for low calories biscuits that aid weight loss. You can easily find diet-free or low-fat biscuits in stores. They are also tasty and healthy. So, dip them in your coffee or tea. These are few health benefits of cookies. You can opt for the healthy and nutritious oatmeal biscuit or other whole grain biscuits that are made with rice or whole wheat. Prepare cookies at home using less or low fat butter. Avoid adding artificial sweeteners. You can add toppings of freshly cut fruits, chocolate chips or yoghurt.
THE COOKIES HAVE NATURAL INGREDIENTS
All the ingredients in the wonder cookies are wholly natural. There are no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring or flavorings. This helps one reduce the risk of contracting lifestyle-based disorders, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity. Reducing the consumption of food containing artificial ingredients, lays one open to the risk of cardiovascular disease. People are switching over to natural ingredients and reaping the benefits.
CARRY THEM WITH YOU EVERYWHERE
Cookies need no special container unlike most other foods that are as tasty and worth carrying around. Just wrap them in a foil and drop them in the pocket. They will be there when one feels hungry. On many occasions, one gets the tired feeling, a weariness that is not exactly hunger. The body reacts in this manner when the metabolic activity has slowed down below normal levels. All one has to do is to pop in a cookie and notice how refreshed one becomes at once.
COOKIES ARE HEALTHY
These wonderful cookies are the best alternative for healthy people wanting a snack in between meals. It is a great way to deal with the problems of diabetes, heart conditions, autoimmune diseases, PCOS and hyperthyroidism.
Maintaining the minimum protein requirement is necessary even when one is dieting to lose weight. Strict control of diet is necessary for diabetic patients having elevated sugar levels in the blood. The idea is to delay the absorption of the sugar into the blood. Increasing the proteins helps you maintain sufficient nutrition value while reducing the carbohydrate that contributes to elevated sugar levels.
PCOS is an endocrine disorder occurring mainly in females. For those who are overweight, weight loss is a necessary first step. One should bring infertility and menstrual disorders gradually under control through medication and alteration to the diet. High protein cookies thus offer a double advantage here.
THESE ARE HIGH IN PROTEIN
The macronutrients providing energy for the body consist of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Metabolism is concerned with breaking this food material into small pieces for easy assimilation or conversion into energy. The protein requirements of normal people vary from 15g for children in the age group 1—3 years to 55g for those in the 19—50 years age group. On those days when the diet is lacking in proteins, a wonder cookie snack will set the person back on track. There is no ill effect of consuming too much protein.
In fact, proteins are vital for the development of new tissue and muscles. Athletes would gorge themselves with protein supplements, when they are on a training schedule. This helps them improve their stamina and help in the growth of the muscles.
HOME MADE COOKIES
There is no denying the fact that cookies are loved by people from all age groups owing to their yummy taste and nutritional values. Mothers do not prevent their kids from munching on these as snacks or even appetizers because they know about cookie nutrition. They are available from various brands and can also be made at home without much hassle. However, from the nutritional point of view homemade cookies score much higher than branded cookies. As a matter of fact home baked cookies offer better nutritional value. Cookies brought from the stores contain a large amount of sugar and while this makes them yummier the nutritional score goes down. People interested about cookie nutrition should remember that it contains carbohydrate which is essential for health but not in excess. Eating a lot of cookies daily can lead to obesity. Some people may also develop gluten-related allergies caused by flour used in these snacks.
What Is The Difference Between Healthy Cookies and Unhealthy Cookies?
1. They do not have trans fats in them, as so many of the store bought cookies do.
2. They do not use hydrogenated oils and/or partially hydrogenated oils that are harmful to our health.
3. They are not loaded with empty calories that come from only baking with white flour. (Empty calories don’t give us nutrients our body needs and they make us want to eat more. This is one way that people get fat)
4. They do not use white refined sugar; which has been documented to provide no nutritional value and has been proven to have many harmful health effects.
What Are Healthy Cookies Made Out Of?
1. Healthy cookies include sugar substitutes such as raw honey, pure maple syrup, Agave syrup, date sugar, Sucanat, coconut sugar, and fruit purees to sweeten the cookies. These natural sweeteners all have different benefits that far outweigh the lack of nutrition that white sugar offers.
2. They use a limited amount of butter, and instead use more baking oils like olive oil and grape seed oil. Fruit purees are also often substituted for the fat that is in the recipe.
3. They use a combination of whole grain flours to provide wonderful nutritional value, fiber, vitamins and minerals to every cookie. Whole wheat flour alone typically does not produce a good tasting cookie, but when you combine whole wheat with other flours such as coconut flour, amaranth flour and oat flour; you can bake delicious, very nutritious cookies that no one would even know are good for you. There is nothing better than watching your child devours a whole grain cookie with glee, and you as mom knowing it is a very healthy food.
SIDE EFFECTS OF COOKIE
Cookies are high in calories and even small servings can increase your blood glucose. They have a high glycemic index and should not be consumed in large quantities. Both diabetics and weight watchers are recommended to avoid cookies by dieticians. Sugarless cookies or digestive cookies are much high in nutrition and can be consumed without worrying about gaining too much weight. There are some side effects of cookies, especially when you consume too much of them. Anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming cookies between mealtimes spikes up blood glucose levels and spoils your appetite.
A soft oatmeal cookie right out of the oven is a tasty treat that can also be nutritious. That’s right — an oatmeal cookie does supply a good dose of certain nutrients, though it also contains too much fat and sugar to be an everyday part of your healthy eating plan. The occasional oatmeal cookie can satisfy your sweet tooth and is a better option than a candy bar or a bowl of ice cream.
One of the primary benefits of eating an oatmeal cookie instead of other varieties, such as chocolate chip or sugar, is the amount of fiber you’ll get. A 1-ounce oatmeal cookie supplies almost 1 gram of dietary fiber. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 4 percent of the 25 grams of fiber women need each day and about 3 percent of the 38 grams men require. The oats in an oatmeal cookie contain soluble fiber, which reduces your bad cholesterol level and decreases your risk of heart disease.
Though oatmeal cookies aren’t a health food, they are better than other types of cookies in terms of vitamin content. A 1-ounce oatmeal cookie contains between 12 and 27 micrograms of folate, depending on whether you purchase packaged oatmeal cookies or make your own. That’s between 3 and 6 percent of the 400 micrograms of folate you should aim for each day. Folate is a B vitamin that helps you make energy and it also lowers the risk of certain birth defects. The same oatmeal cookie supplies tiny doses of vitamin A for healthy eyes and vitamin K, which clots your blood.
The most notable mineral you’ll get from an oatmeal cookie is iron. Iron plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and can also protect your immune system. A 1-ounce oatmeal cookie supplies approximately 0.70 milligrams of iron. That’s 9 percent of the 8 milligrams men need on a daily basis and 4 percent of the 18 milligrams women should have. The same oatmeal cookie delivers small amounts of potassium, which you need for healthy muscles, as well as zinc, which aids in wound healing.
Though oatmeal cookies taste sweet, one cookie can contain quite a bit of sodium. In fact, one cookie can contain between 100 and 170 milligrams, which is between 5 and 7 percent of your daily 2,300-milligram limit. Look for reduced-sodium versions or bake your own, reducing the amount of salt you add to your recipe. Because one cookie can contain up to 6 grams of fat and 7 grams of sugar, limit yourself to just one. Too much fat and sugar can increase your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. If you make your own cookies, add unsweetened raisins to the recipe. The tiny fruits add fiber, iron and potassium to the cookies. Use whole-wheat flour, too. It’ll boost the fiber content even more.