taste test: which healthy cookie-dough recipe reigns supreme?

I tested five of the most popular healthy cookie dough recipes on the internet so you didn’t have to. And because it would be delicious. Starting from the top center and moving clockwise, we have dough from: Popsugar Fitness, Natacha Oceane, Well + Good, Goodful, and Tastemade.

I haven’t been this excited about a health trend since just about every wellness guru on planet earth told us we needed to be sleeping more.

There are few things in life that give me as much satisfaction as melting into my couch at the end of the day, switching on Netflix, and spooning mini-mountains of Toll House cookie dough straight into my mouth, salmonella be damned. But real talk though, I haven’t done that since about the 4th grade; most health-conscious individuals, for good reason, wouldn’t advise.

A few years ago I felt like I couldn’t scroll through my Instagram or Facebook feed without witnessing the masses lose their minds over everyone’s dream come true: the opening of cookie dough restaurants. Places like DŌ Cookie Dough Confections in New York City and Doughp (pronounced ‘dope,’ it took me a second too) in San Francisco cropped up suddenly, serving safe-to-eat scoops of flavored dough like it’s ice cream.

#tbt to when I spent over an hour waiting for ‘unicorn’ flavored dough (whatever that means) from DŌ in nyc earlier this summer.

Thankfully for those of us plebeians who aren’t about to hop on a plane to try some, the internet saved the day.

Hundreds of edible, safe-to-eat cookie-dough recipes can be found online. Baked cookies are almost a thing of the past. While most of these recipes are loaded with dairy, butter, and sugar, leave it to the health community to find a way to hack the system. Do you really expect us to sit around and watch everyone else have all the fun?

Therefore, I had plenty of recipe options to choose from. I selected five from some of the most popular wellness websites to pit head-to-head for the incredibly imperative task of determining which healthy cookie dough is actually worth the effort.

But I didn’t do it alone. As I’ve been keeping keto, I wouldn’t be able to try most of the recipes myself, so I recruited the assistance of the biggest sweet-tooth I know: My mother.

This was serious business. After spending an entire afternoon practically covering my entire kitchen with almond flour and scraping concoctions out of the bottom of my Vitamix, I handed my mom a plate of five individual servings of health-conscious chocolate chip cookie dough (I’ll never get tired of typing that). She knew none of the ingredients of each nor where each recipe came from, but she knew she loved cookie dough, and what else really matters at the end of the day?

My mom, living her best life honestly. I better win daughter of the year for this one.

A lot of stuff, but for the purpose of this post, nothing else. She rated each dough out of five, with five being the best. She also commented on texture and appearance for the total package. In order to not demolish my entire pantry, I quartered each recipe, but I’ve written out the full measurements below. I skipped on writing out each step for you, but check out the links for full instructions.

So, is cookie dough you can shovel in by the spoonful without worrying about your waistline too good to be true? Let’s meet the contenders.

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review: I caved and bought a Moon Dust

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Beauty Dust. Photo credits to Instagram/@moonjuiceshop.

I’d like to meet the person who says they’re immune to impulse buys. I’d like to ask them how they manage to hold themselves steadfast in the face of sparkling checkout-counter goodies. How they’re not drawn in moth-to-flame by the newest Lululemon window display. How they manage to ignore the ads lining their Facebook timelines, which we all know are specifically tailored to your previous searches (creepy, but also kind of convenient).

Seriously though, from the packs of gourmet gum at Target to the travel-sized bottled rip-offs at Sephora, I’m no stranger to the guilty habit of chucking just *one* last item into my basket before calling my shopping trip a day. That’s why I knew the extravagant display of Moon Dusts set up at the grocery store right across the street from my gym this Summer spelled serious trouble.

Each day I hit up the market after my gym sesh. And each day I spent just one meager extra minute examining the little glass jars like they actually were from the moon. With ingredient lists boasting some of the most interesting and powerful herbs and adaptogens in the wellness community (ashwaganda root, pearl extract, Lion’s Mane mushroom, schisandra berry, and maca were some highlights), I knew I was a goner.

Moon dusts, created by the company Moon Juice and popularized by celebrities like maca-matron Gwenyth Paltrow, are aesthetically pleasing little jars of herbal concoctions aimed at targeting a specific area of health to improve. The company offers six varieties: Power Dust, Spirit Dust, Beauty Dust, Sex Dust, Dream Dust, and Brain Dust complete the collection.

The company recommends “getting dusted” by adding the blends into coffee, milk, water, smoothies, hot cocoa, and even ice cream.

I left the market that day with a little less pride in whatever pseudo-frugality I thought I had as well as two sachets and a full jar of dust. The damage? $44 ($6 for the two single-use sachets and $38 for the 1.5 oz jar. Reminder: this is a no-judgement zone).

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my month-long affair with the keto diet

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Ketogenic fat bombs. Photo credits to Instagram/@keto.connect

I’ve never been much of a ‘dieter,’ per se. I’m not a fan of the restriction that often lives hand-in-hand with promises of certain physical or mental benefits here and there. Isn’t the preservation of your overall sanity worth more than any (often short-lived) pride you get for turning down dessert?

A month ago, my answer would have been absolutely. However, 4 weeks into doing keto and I was amazed at how my sanity didn’t even seem tested. All the negative connotation associated with ‘dieting’ seemed to fade into the background, along with my cravings for sugar and pasta.

But that’s skipping way far ahead. There’s a lot to go over about this way of eating that’s suddenly sparking major interest in the health community. Let’s begin with the basics.

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Wellness blogger Lee Tilghman (@leefromamerica), while not a strict ketogenic eater, is a big proponent of adequate consumption of healthy fats in a balanced diet. Pictured above are her chaga coconut fat bombs (photo credits to Instagram/@leefromamerica).

What is keto?

A ketogenic diet is one comprised primarily of fat and next to nothing in terms of carbs, with moderate protein. In legitimate macro terms, that means that my daily caloric intake would need to come from 70-75% fat, 15-20% protein, and a *minuscule* 5-10% carbohydrate.

Once you’ve been eating this way for a week or so (duration varies from person to person), you enter a state of ketosis. In this state, as opposed to running on glucose derived from carbs, your body begins producing ketones for energy.

Essentially, your body runs on fat, not sugar.

This switch in energy source is supposed to come with a slew of health benefits: increased energy levels, sharper mental focus, weight loss, hormone and blood sugar regulation, and glowing skin are just a few of the features that drew me in.

While all grains, sugar, fruit, and root veggies are a no-go on this plan, most keto-aficianados stick to meals filled with meats, high-fat dairy, avocado, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and tons and tons of vegetables. The closest cousin I can think of to this plan is paleo, as meat and veg seem to be its staples.

For the first week or so, keto followers experience something called the “carb flu” or “keto flu,” where there body, so accustomed to running on carbs, isn’t quite sure where to look for energy. You also lose quite a bit of electrolytes through this process (sodium, potassium, and magnesium are the big three), so every keto website on planet earth recommends taking supplements to ease you through the transition.

Alright, I just gave you the *way* simple run-down of keto. If you’re hungry for more, check out this thorough explanation.

Why did I do it?

Honestly? It seemed like a challenge. To actually manipulate the body to run on an entirely different fuel source seemed like a crazy experiment almost too good to be true.

Not to mention I dragged a solid partner-in-crime into doing it with me, my dad. Having someone to keep me accountable and answer all my questions made the process run a bit more smoothly (cue the daily phone calls: is cauliflower a carb?)

Oh, and the celebs who’ve done the same provided some extra motivation (Kim K, Vanessa Hudgens, Halle Berry, Megan Fox, and Adriana Lima! Are you kidding? Sign me up).

The breakdown:

The first shopping trip: Went terribly. I loaded my cart up at my nearest Whole Foods with items I had been conditioned to avoid for years: bacon, butter, heavy cream, ghee, cheese, you name it. I flipped flopped about keto so many times I turned a 15-minute grocery trip into about an hour (several calls to my dad for advice contributed to this time-suck. And also checking out all the pretty, overpriced things Whole Foods has to offer). After filling my cart with heaps of veggies to qualm my anxiety about clogging my arteries, I checked out and decided to dive in.

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