If you crave cookies, fudge, and other baked goods all the time, you’re probably a big fan of chocolate. The sweet combination of cocoa butter (AKA, extracted cocoa beans), sugar, and cacao is simply to die for, especially in cookies.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ve probably got your favorite cookie or chocolate chip cookie recipe on lock. Whether your chocolate chip cookie recipe was handed down from your grandma, is a keto spin on a classic, or is MiiRO’s Ultimate Vegan and Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, you’ve found an old faithful you can rely on. Still, why not shake things up from time to time?
There are so many substitutes we can use instead of chocolate chips when baking cookies, and each healthy chocolate chip alternative has its own brand of yum that it brings to the table.
Where do you fall when you think about substitutes for chocolate chips? Maybe you’re thinking about the crunch factor, maybe you’re someone who likes a little bit of salty with their sweet, or maybe visions of dried sugar plums dance in your head.
Come along with us as we explore the possibilities of healthy chocolate chips substitutes! What you find yourself craving may surprise you.
What Healthy Substitutes Can I Add to Chocolate Chip Cookies?
As incredible as chocolate chip cookies made with those classic semi-sweet chocolate chips are, sugary chocolate shouldn’t be a daily treat. Unfortunately, the same goes for many other chocolatey treats, including milk chocolate bars and brownies.
We all should be mindful of the amount of added sugar in our diets, as consuming too much sugar from chocolate cookies and other treats can lead to many dangerous and unwanted health effects (that is, unless you’re using MiiRO’s low sugar alternatives — but more on that later).
Let’s take a quick look at the sugar count of some of the most popular types of chocolate chips:
- White chocolate chips: 8g per tablespoon
- Unsweetened baking chocolate: 0.3 g per ounce of chocolate
- Semi-sweet baking chips: 9g per tablespoon
- Yogurt chips: 1.4g per tablespoon
- Melted chocolate: 24.23 grams of sugar per 100g
- Butterscotch chips: 23g of sugar per ounce
As you can see, the chocolate that your favorite cookie recipe calls for is often loaded with sugar. So, how do we satisfy our daily chocolate chip cookie cravings while still being intentional about our overall wellness?
There are a lot of snacks and delectable treats that you can mix into your cookie dough before they head to 350 degrees. The cookies you and your loved ones are whipping up on a cool fall day could be taking advantage of keto-friendly flours and classic chocolate chip cookie flavors, such as vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
If you are searching for chocolate chip substitutes to keep your cookies healthy, low-sugar, or a little more fun, there are plenty of possibilities! Many potential chocolate chips substitutes provide their fair share of health benefits so that you can dip that cookie into your almond milk and go back for seconds — sans guilt.
Raisins are always a classic cookie mix-in — they’re almost as popular as the classic chocolate flavor itself! And for good reason, too. Studies have shown that adding about half a cup of chewy raisins into your daily diet is helpful for your overall health.
Here’s a tart twist on raisins you can try out: Enter dried cranberries! Dried cranberries can be a great chocolate chip substitute around the holidays. And did you know that cranberries can help prevent cavities? We sure are glad we learned this little tidbit about these tasty dried fruits.
For a little hint of rich flavor, feel free to play around with adding dried coconut flakes or shreds while stirring your cookie dough together, too. We are partial to adding bigger coconut flakes vs. smaller to impart more of that tropical coconutty taste. Really want to take your cookies on a summer vacation? Try mixing in some dried pineapple with your coconut flake-studded cookies.
Finally, while not a fruit, crystallized ginger can add a peppery bite to some sweet and soft cookies. Ginger is amazing for our bodies, containing many antioxidant compounds that can help soothe inflammation.
Seeds and Nuts
Our favorite ways to boost the crunch factor of chocolate chip cookies? Adding heart-healthy nuts, of course! Small pieces of crunchy nuts can give you the same complexity of flavor as bittersweet chocolate without all the sugar.
Some of the best nuts for cookies are also some of the best for our health. One example of this is walnuts, which have the potential to lower cholesterol. But the opportunities for crunchy, health-promoting nuts don’t stop there! You can add any number of these nuts as a chocolate chips substitute in your cookies:
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Peanuts (or peanut butter)
Don’t forget about seeds! Pumpkin seeds provide us with a great amount of zinc, which is needed for optimal immune function.
Here are some other healthful seeds that you can include in your chocolate chip cookies:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
Unexpected Healthy Chocolate Chip Alternatives
Sure, we will never say no to the cookie of champions: a classic chocolate chip cookie. But there are a few yummy chocolate chip substitutes that may surprise you!
Crush up some salted pretzels and sprinkle them into your mixing bowl filled with cookie dough, mixing thoroughly until well incorporated. We love the sweet and salty aspect of adding pretzels into a dessert!
You can add some unsweetened, whole grain cereal to cookie dough, too. This takes the concept of cookies and milk to another dimension, with milk’s other one true love: cereal! Whole grains can help lower your risk of diabetes and promote heart health. Not bad for some sumptuous cookies!
Granola is also another great swap for chocolate chips in a cookie recipe. There are a ton of different granola flavors on the market, so you can take your cookies in any direction, depending on what you fancy.
There’s Nothing Like a Classic Vegan and Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie
Did you know that you can still enjoy classic chocolate chip cookies without compromising your diet? All chocolate is NOT created equal … some chocolate is just plain better.
With our keto and vegan Dark Chocolate Baking Chips, any thoughts of chocolate chip cookies being unhealthy will go out the window. There is no bitter flavor to worry about when you incorporate these healthy chocolate chips into your baking recipe! We keep it low carb, low sugar, keto, and vegan — while also keeping it delicious. Talk about a chocolate-chip-of-all-trades! These little morsels do it all.
But how? Our specific blend of sweeteners reminds us of the classic chocolate chips we all know and love without feeling like a diet product. At MiiRO, we pride ourselves on offering chocolate and baking products that taste just like the real thing, if not better.
With these healthy vegan and keto dark chocolate baking chips, you’ll never feel like you’re missing out. You can use an equal amount of these chips in your favorite recipe as you would typical baking chips, and you’ll get that classic chocolate taste without all the heaping tablespoons of sugar. Plus, in addition to chocolate cookies, these chips make the perfect base for vegan hot chocolate, ice cream, and other delicious treats.
Nuts, dried fruit, and unexpected mix-ins such as cereal can all find a home in a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. But armed with a craveable Keto and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and some Low Sugar Dark Chocolate Baking Chips, you have the makings for the best variation of a chocolate chip cookie you’ve tasted yet.