Chocolate chip cookies are an all-American classic that doesn’t need a special occasion, just a half hour or so and a desire to sweeten up your day.
Who doesn’t love dessert? Offer a plate of chocolate chip cookies and young and old alike will step up to sample with delight. That is, unless you are one of the 25.8 million adults and children in the United States who have diabetes
The 8.3 percent of the population who have to remain vigilant with regard to their serum glucose level need to drastically limit or avoid sugar altogether.
Perhaps you are among the almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S who are overweight or obese or the whopping 17 percent of our youth 2 to 19 years of age (12.5 million) who are also obese.
It’s no wonder that artificial sweeteners, such as, Sacchrin, Aspartame and Sucralose can be found in everything from chocolate and ketchup to gum, ice cream and soft drinks.
Artificial sweeteners have been examined and analyzed for decades. Many critics believe that artificial sweeteners can cause a variety of health problems.
While the FDA regulates artificial sweeteners and sets limits regarding the level of intake, many of us choose to avoid them simply because they are artificial and oftentimes leave a troubling aftertaste.
Stevia is a natural sweetener with a negligible glycemic index and zero calories that is an extract of a plant in the sunflower family.
Sometimes called sweetleaf because of its sweet leaves, stevia extracts are about 300 times the sweetness of sugar and have become increasingly popular among dieters and those who are forced to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diet.
There are quite a few stevia products on the market in both powder and liquid form and I wanted to give it a try. I was drawn to the Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Stevia for a number of reasons, not the least being that it is organic.
What really caught my attention is the fact that this stevia is a blend of organic stevia and organic blue agave. I am a huge fan of organic blue agave.
I tested it in beverages and cereal, using the one packet equals two teaspoons of sugar formula recommended by the manufacturer. Unlike artificial sweeteners, there was no aftertaste and the agave/stevia blend had a really smooth, mellow taste.
So I decided to try it in baking. My Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pillows are light and airy with chocolate chips throughout. Choose barley or grain sweetened chocolate chips and any flavor of soy yogurt you have on hand.
Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pillows (video)
3 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar-free, vegan chocolate chips
1 (6 ounce) carton fruit flavored soy yogurt
1/4 cup prune puree (video)
1 small banana, sliced
1/2 cup soymilk
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave, cinnamon
4 packets Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Stevia
Preheat oven to 350° oil spray cookie sheets
Mix together the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl in the order listed. Set aside. Place yogurt and remaining ingredients in a food processor, in order listed and blend. Fold liquid ingredients into the dry. Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on racks.
Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pillows
Nutrition Analysis: per serving: 2 cookies
Calories 119, Protein 3g, Carbohydrate 21g, Fiber 2g, Fat 3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 61mg, Sodium 162mg.
Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vegtv
 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/