As a general rule, I am not a fan of "healthified" recipes. Not because I think it's a bad idea to substitute applesauce for oil, or low-fat mayonnaise for regular, or ground flax seed and water for egg, or drained non-fat yogurt for sour cream, etc, but because (deep breath) IT DOESN'T TASTE GOOD.
Some healthified foods taste alright, I admit. But not all, or even most, are as good as the original. Whoever says they are is either lying, doesn't have taste buds, or has lived so long without tasting the full fat/full cholesterol/full sodium/full calorie version that they no longer know what they are talking about.
Case in point:
In high school, I was kind of renowned, I mean known for my chocolate chip cookies. I'm not saying they're spectacular, but they're really, really good: basic, tasty, comforting, and satisfying. I made them a lot, really a lot. A couple times a week? I really can't remember exactly how often, but when I think of high school, some of my clearest memories are of me scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl, spooning dough out onto cookie sheets, and yelling at people not to reuse their spoons between cookie dough tastings (we often went through all the spoons in the silverware drawer due to this rule). And I can still picture the exact location in the kitchen of every ingredient I used. Quite a feat since I haven't made anything in that kitchen for almost 7 years (my parents moved). But, I digress.
So, I was known for my chocolate chip cookies. This week, after hearing through a blog about this really great, healthier cookie recipe that was "just as good as the original", I threw my preconceived notions about substitutions aside and decided that maybe I could healthify my cookie recipe. I mean, I am a dietitian. What kind of message am I sending people when I show up on their doorstep with a bag full of fat-laden goodies? So, optimistically I looked at the suggested substitutions, read some recipe reviews and comments, bought some whole wheat flour, some unsweetened applesauce, and began.
They were okaaaaay, but NOT "as good as the original". Texture was decent. . . flavor? off. In my opinion, save yourself from having to learn through experience and just take my word for it; make the original version and just eat a few.
Substitutions have their place, definitely, but in general I am more a fan of moderation. I realize that doesn't work for everybody, and if you know you're going to eat the entire batch of cookies then maybe you SHOULD make the healthified version, but for me, I would much, much, MUCH rather eat one or two of the original version.
Hmmm, maybe that's the secret. . . make the healthified version and you won't want to eat ANY! That's healthier for sure, but not happier. . .
There, I said it. I should probably be stripped of my license now, but I just had to get that off my chest.
(fellow dietitians, please be gentle)