5 Secrets for Baking Healthier Cookies (Page 7)

5. Eliminate Trans Fat & Other Artificial Ingredients

Steer clear of ingredients that contain partially hydrogenated oil (or trans fats), such as margarine and most vegetable shortenings. Consider limiting other artificial ingredients, such as artificial food dyes.

One of the benefits of homemade baked goods is their simple list of ingredients. By making your own cookies, you can use whole ingredients and avoid most or all processed ingredients that are found in many packaged cookies. Learn more about trans fats, like the fat in margarine and some shortening.

We’re not Scrooges—we know holiday cookies look more festive when decorated with sprinkles or colored frosting—but we like to keep ingredients as “natural” as possible. A little food dye now and then probably isn’t so bad, but if you’d like to avoid artificial ingredients, look for all-natural food dyes, such as red dye made from beets, available in natural foods stores or online. Or try a drizzle of chocolate or a sprinkle of finely chopped nuts to give cookies extra appeal. See more cookie-decorating tips from the EatingWell Test Kitchen.

Next Slideshow: Test Kitchen Secrets: How to Bake a Healthier Cupcake »

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