Crazy for Crust

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Feb 06

Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Friday is National Go Red for Women Day. Make some heart healthier chocolate oatmeal cookies and be nice to your heart!

Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies | crazyforcrust.com | With a few substitutions you can make your favorite cookies a little better for your heart!

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you’ll know that the first Friday in February is close to my heart. It’s National Wear Red Day, a movement that started 10 years ago by the American Heart Association to bring awareness to heart disease in women. It’s a day that women around the country wear red to bring attention to heart disease.

Heart disease is  a silent killer, because there are often no symptoms. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women. It’s more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

If you read my post last year, you already know the story. I’ll tell it again here for all my new friends, and because it’s so important.

Heart disease runs in my family. My mom’s father and one of her brother’s died of massive heart attacks. Another of her brother’s had a heart attack and survived, and the third brother had a stroke a few years ago. He survived because the people he was with knew the signs of stroke.

Seven years ago my mom had a stent put into one of the arteries in her heart. She avoided a heart attack because she knew that the pain and shortness of breath she was feeling was not normal.

She was lucky – she knew the signs. And she was one of the ones who showed symptoms. Not everyone does.

Two years ago, almost exactly five years after her first episode, she had pain again. She ended up needing a new stent in the same artery.

The doctor told her that all the exercise and walking she was doing saved her life.

And she knew the signs.

Here are the signs of heart attack in women:

  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Back pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea, breaking out in a cold sweat, or lightheadedness
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

Most women ignore the signs of heart attack because they think that it’s nothing. They don’t know that the symptoms that women experience can be different than men.

I know this blog is a catch-22. I post sugar 4 times a week. I bake every day (and often several times a day). The key for me is moderation and exercise.

And sometimes, the key is making your favorite treats a little bit healthier. Anyone who has been on a heart healthy diet knows that things can be boring, bland, and taste like cardboard.

Sometimes you want a cookie, one that satisfies, but won’t crush your diet plan. These Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are perfect for those days.

Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies | crazyforcrust.com | With a few substitutions you can make your favorite cookies a little better for your heart!

I based these cookies off my mint chocolate cookies. I made several changes that make them a little bit better for you.

First, I took out the butter. A cookie without butter? How can it be? I’ll give you one guess. If you’ve been reading for about a year, you’ll know. Say it with me…avocado. Avocados contain monosaturated fat, which is way more heart healthy than butter. By substituting avocado for the butter in these cookies, you take out a lot of the bad fats. In addition to the avocado, there is a little bit of vegetable oil. The oil is liquid, which is better than butter.

Cocoa powder was substituted for the baking chocolate. This reduces the sugar, fat, calories, and cholesterol that would be present in cookies using semi-sweet baking chocolate. I added oatmeal to the cookies to replace a lot of the flour. Oatmeal is considered by the American Heart Association to be heart healthy. I used all-purpose flour, but you could try these with whole wheat if you prefer.

Now, these cookies do still have sugar. Sugar isn’t heart healthy, which is why moderation is key. My feeling is, if you’re going to cheat with a cookie, make it taste the best you can while still keeping it healthier. You can play around with some sugar substitutes in these cookies, but I don’t like baking with them because I don’t like the taste they give.

These cookies are heart healthier. For when you need a sweet that tastes like a cookie, not a piece of cardboard.

Because they don’t have real butter and lots of flour, these cookies are more of a cake-like cookie. The oats give them some chewiness and the few chocolate chips on top give them a punch of extra flavor. Those are optional. Another great addition to these cookies would be walnuts. Walnuts (and almonds) are considered more heart healthy nuts.

Even if you’re not trying to eat better for your heart, you can still enjoy these cookies. You can eat one (or even two) with the knowledge that they’re not going to ruin your diet.

They’re nicer to your heart than most of what you see around here. :)

Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies | crazyforcrust.com | With a few substitutions you can make your favorite cookies a little better for your heart!

Know the symptoms of heart disease and stroke. Know what to do when you or a loved one feels the symptoms. Try to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Know your risk. Know your numbers. The alternative is much worse.

Wear red on Friday, February 7, 2014. Help bring awareness to heart disease.

***I will be donating $1 for every comment left on this post (up to $200) from the time it posts until Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM PST. Spread the word, leave a comment.***

I’ll also be wearing red tomorrow. I’m flying out to Salt Lake City for the Build Your Blog Conference. If you’re going to be there, come say hi. I’ll be the one in red.

Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 13 cookies

Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mashed avocado (from about 1 medium avocado)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with silpat baking mats or parchment paper. (These cookies stick, even to the silicone, so if you are not using silicone, be sure to grease your pans.)
  2. Note on mashing avocado: Place your avocado in a small bowl and mash with a potato masher, then measure out ½ cup. Alternately, if you’re worried about avocado lumps, you can puree the avocado in a food processor, then measure out ½ cup. One medium avocado is about ½ cup mashed.
  3. Stir avocado and oil in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in both sugars. Add vanilla, egg, and cocoa and mix until smooth (there may be some lumps from the avocado). Stir in baking soda, salt, oats, and cinnamon. Carefully stir in flour. Dough will be wet.
  4. At this point you can mix in the chocolate chips and/or walnuts if you’re using them. I pressed chocolate chips on the top of each cookie instead of mixing them in. Either way will work!
  5. Drop dough by 2 tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minute (mine took 9). Cool before eating. You need to use a spatula to remove them from the cookie sheet, they will stick. Best within 2 days.
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Avocado Banana Bread

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Heart Healthy Chocolate Mousse

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Skinny Chocolate Muffins

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Sweets from friends:
Easy Skinny Smoothie by Something Swanky
Healthy Mini Fruit Pizzas by Yummy Healthy Easy
Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars by Sally’s Baking Addiction

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All information about the healthy foods and the symptoms of heart attack, as well as the information about heart disease, come from the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women websites. I am not a doctor, and these statements I’ve made are from my readings of these two sites. Consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about heart healthy foods and activities.

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65 Responses to “Heart Healthier Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on February 6, 2014 at 5:31 am (#)

    I love that you worked avo in these! And chewy oats and they’re so dark & decadent looking! I would love to try one! I bet they’re so awesome!

    Reply

  2. Lori @ RecipeGirl posted on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 am (#)

    I love this post… I need to try using avocado in my cookies!

    Reply

  3. Graham @ Glazed & Confused posted on February 6, 2014 at 6:42 am (#)

    Love that you turned your recipe into a cause! The cookies look delicious!

    Reply

  4. marcie posted on February 6, 2014 at 6:49 am (#)

    These are gorgeous, Dorothy, and for a great cause. Wonderful job!

    Reply

  5. Samantha @ Five Heart Home posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:48 am (#)

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re spreading heart disease awareness with this post, Dorothy…so important to know the signs. And of course, these cookies look pretty darn tasty, so it’s a bonus that they’re a little healthier for you, too! Have fun at BYBC!

    Reply

  6. Mimi @ Culinary Couture posted on February 6, 2014 at 8:19 am (#)

    These cookies are a godsend! I love how you dressed them up with little hearts, super cute :)

    Reply

  7. Lisa@Cluttercafe posted on February 6, 2014 at 9:28 am (#)

    Thank you Dorothy for this awesome recipe and wonderful informational post. I am doing the 28 Days to a Healthy Heart Challenge and will also be proudly wearing red tomorrow. I am absolutely making these cookies and have added a link to your post. I hope you can stop by my site and check out the challenge! Thanks again! Also, I have never been to your blog before but am now a die-hard fan.! You’re wonderful!

    Reply

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  9. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on February 6, 2014 at 10:26 am (#)

    You are so amazing. I love how you always share your story and all the imp. info because heart disease is very very serious and outrageously rampant. It’s a big problem in my family so I totally get it.

    And I love these cookies. Because they look delicious and indulgent but will keep our hearts tickin’!

    Reply

  10. Pingback: 28 Days to a Healthy Heart: Day 6 | cluttercafe

  11. Mary Frances posted on February 6, 2014 at 10:57 am (#)

    These look fantastic! I love how thick and chewy they look. And all those oats! I didn’t realize heart disease was the number one cause of death. Wow. Thank you for being willing to share with us. And for giving us this awesome cookie recipe – avocados all the way!

    Reply

  12. Bryn posted on February 6, 2014 at 11:05 am (#)

    My girls and I have our red ready!

    Reply

  13. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet posted on February 6, 2014 at 11:10 am (#)

    You are so right Dorothy, unfortunately the signs are normally ignored or women are just not educated enough about the signs to know what is happening to their bodies. Thank you so much for caring about us and making us aware of how we need to be taking care of ourselves! Have a fantastic trip!!

    Reply

  14. Mom posted on February 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm (#)

    Wow, these look great. And the fact that they are healthier than your average chocolate cookie is just a bonus.
    Love you (and yes, I’ve got my red ready for tomorrow too),
    Mom

    Reply

  15. aw posted on February 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm (#)

    great recipe, and for a great cause!

    Reply

  16. Amy posted on February 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm (#)

    You are an absolute sweetheart for writing this post. By including your family’s firsthand experience, you’ll probably save a life or two, and that’s something to be really proud of. And your cookies? You know how much I love chocolate + healthy things, so these look like a dream come true!

    P.S. I actually just picked up the same red hearts last weekend, just to have on hand for my 4-year-old next door neighbor. When a cute boy loves red sprinkles, I gotta make sure I have enough! ;)

    P.P.S. Have a fun & safe trip!!

    Reply

  17. Becca posted on February 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm (#)

    These look great but wanted to say– vegetable oil is certainly not heart healthy. Quite the opposite. It’s high in omega 6 fatty acid which causes imflammation. Stick with coconut oil for a true heart healthy oil. Also, the whole cholesterol thing is debatable, but that’s another topic. Get the imflammation out of our bodies and the rest will follow.

    Reply

  18. Laurie F. posted on February 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm (#)

    Thanks for the delicious- looking healthier cookie, Dorothy! That will help all of us. And I, too, will be wearing red tomorrow when I attend a heart health lecture and luncheon tomorrow at a local hospital. Both my parents, as well as my father-in-law, died of congestive heart failure, so I appreciate that you spread the word, and make a donation, for such an important cause!

    Reply

  19. Whitney posted on February 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm (#)

    These look awesome!! I may be out of the loop but I have never seen a chocolate oatmeal cookie that wasn’t “no bake” can’t wait to try!!
    Go hearts everywhere!!

    Reply

  20. Erin | The Emerging Foodie posted on February 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm (#)

    Yum, Dorothy! These sound (and look!) absolutely delicious. Loving the cute red hearts. What a super important story you have to share–I know I am quite unsure of the signs so even reading the reminder was helpful. You are an encouragement to many! XOXO

    Reply

  21. angela posted on February 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm (#)

    I love all your goodies posted here. It’s good to have healthier choices sometimes too.

    Reply

  22. Kelly posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:15 pm (#)

    These look yummy! I love the little heart accents.

    Reply

  23. Jen posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm (#)

    Love the deep chocolate with red heart~ <3 YUMMY!

    Reply

  24. Betty posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm (#)

    I believe I have found the recipe to get me to try baking with avocado. They sound really good. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply

  25. Tieghan Gerard posted on February 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm (#)

    I love using avocados to make sweets healthier. These cookies look beyond amazing, Dorothy! Great recipe!

    Reply

  26. Karen @ The Food Charlatan posted on February 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm (#)

    Thanks for sharing your story Dorothy! And thank you for donating for every comment, I really like that idea. These cookies look fabulous!

    Reply

  27. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious posted on February 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm (#)

    Looks like a pretty healthy cookie to me :)

    Reply

  28. charity posted on February 7, 2014 at 1:00 am (#)

    I’ve never baked with avocado. . I guess in going to have to give it a try! These look amazing! !

    Reply

  29. Donna posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:27 am (#)

    Can’t wait to try these – they look awesome!. Thanks for sharing your story – As usual your recipes and posts don’t disappoint.!

    Reply

  30. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 am (#)

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I think that we all need to have better awareness. These cookies also look delicious!

    Reply

  31. Melanie @ Carmel Moments posted on February 7, 2014 at 5:48 am (#)

    Wow. Your family has been hit by so much. It’s so awesome that you’re being a voice for heart disease. Way to go!
    Cookies look fabulous by the way. Because of course I love all things chocolate. Have a great weekend!

    Reply

  32. Kathy posted on February 7, 2014 at 6:14 am (#)

    Yum! I think I make these today and give them to our friend who just had a stent put in right before Christmas. She is getting bored with the healthy eating, so hopefully these will help!

    Reply

  33. sheila @ Sweet Baked Life posted on February 7, 2014 at 7:05 am (#)

    Pretty, yummy and for a great cause!

    Reply

  34. Crystal posted on February 7, 2014 at 7:15 am (#)

    Looks delicious! The use of avocado is genius. Thanks for the recipe!!

    Reply

  35. Kate @ Coffee with Kate posted on February 7, 2014 at 8:11 am (#)

    Great information! And jeez, those cookies are beautiful The heart sprinkle is adorable. Avocados are a great baking substitute … I’ve gotta remember to use them more!

    Reply

  36. DessertForTwo posted on February 7, 2014 at 9:08 am (#)

    I think I could somehow work avocado into all 3 meals in a day. All 7 days of the week! I’m obsessed! Thanks for another genius avocado dessert :)

    Reply

  37. Janet posted on February 7, 2014 at 9:19 am (#)

    I just happened to put red on today :) Glad I did! Recipe sounds delicious!

    Reply

  38. Donna posted on February 7, 2014 at 10:24 am (#)

    Thanks for all the info..and especially the recipe! I am definitely going to try these..my hubby Ned’s to lose some weight, but loves sweets. I will post again to let you know how it went..oh, and my daughter has lost 70 lbs and she always yells at me for baking so mush..what can I say??bakers gonna bake…:). Thanks for the heads up on the red today.
    Donna from Chicago

    Reply

  39. Tonia posted on February 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm (#)

    So scary but true! Some we know just passed away from a heart attack and he was only 40!

    Reply

  40. Chiara posted on February 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm (#)

    I’m gonna try some of the recipes! Didn’t know avocado was good for sweets too.

    Reply

  41. Dalziel posted on February 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm (#)

    Thank you for this! I’m always looking for things to bake my dairy-free daughter. She’ll love these!

    Reply

  42. Molly Wiard posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm (#)

    These look delicious. I will have to figure out the weight watchers points on them.

    Reply

  43. Liz @ TIp Top Shape posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm (#)

    Heart health awareness is so important. Did you see the commercial put out about a month ago about heart attacks in women starring Elizabeth Banks? It’s funny, but sends a great message that what a lot of women just think of as a byproduct of being busy/stressed could be something more serious. It definitely made me more aware of my health.

    Reply

  44. Tracey posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm (#)

    I would love to try these, but I’m allergic to avocado is there another good substitute for the butter? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 7th, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      I haven’t tried it, but you can use a liquid oil (olive oil is best). You probably would only need 1/2 cup but maybe less. Let me know how they turn out!

      Reply

  45. Karen posted on February 8, 2014 at 5:04 am (#)

    Have never cooked an avocado and had had it once and just didn’t like. Glad to know you can try oil instead. Thank you

    Reply

  46. Jennie @themessybakerblog posted on February 9, 2014 at 4:52 am (#)

    Heart disease runs in my family, too. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Thank goodness she is aware of the signs. It’s amazing what a bit of exercise can do. I love these heart-healthy cookies. Pinned.

    Reply

  47. Vara posted on February 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm (#)

    These are amazing! I used raisins instead of chips and they were delicious.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 10th, 2014 at 6:25 am

      What an awesome substitution! I’m so glad!

      Reply

  48. Pamelaine posted on February 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm (#)

    I’ve used avocado in baked goods before and everyone was in shock. They couldn’t taste it and it made the baked goods moist. I can’t wait to try these.

    Reply

  49. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting posted on February 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm (#)

    Thanks for sharing your story Dorothy. Pinned this yummy cookie.

    Reply

  50. Kelly - Life made Sweeter posted on February 11, 2014 at 4:32 am (#)

    What a great cause and that’s so wonderful of you to help spread the word. These cookies look incredible and love the avocado in here :)

    Reply

  51. Melissa posted on February 11, 2014 at 1:42 pm (#)

    Thanks for this post Dorothy; as a RN, I can’t tell you how many people I took care of that had a heart attack and stroke and they survived because they or a family member called 911. Thanks for spreading the word about knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke- it really does save lives. I hope you’ve had an awesome time at BYOB conference.

    Reply

  52. Jocelyn@Brucrewlife posted on February 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm (#)

    I’m loving these healthy cookies!!! :)

    Reply

  53. julianne posted on February 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm (#)

    I didn’t have an avacado so I substituted the same amt of coconut oil and omitted the veg oil. They turned out great!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 13th, 2014 at 7:09 am

      That’s great! Thanks for letting me know what you subbed. Awesome!

      Reply

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  55. Jennifer posted on February 21, 2014 at 2:13 am (#)

    What is the ratio or how many tablespoons to avocado .. ex if the recipe calls for a stick of butter how do I know how many avocados do I need to use to use?

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 23rd, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      It’s 1/2 cup of mashed avocado, which is about 1 medium. :)

      Reply

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  59. Xavier posted on June 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm (#)

    What would be a good substitute for the avocado in this recipe (and every other baking recipe)? I have an allergy to avocado but really wanted to try this.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 1st, 2014 at 8:23 am

      You could use applesauce, most likely! :)

      Reply

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