Healthy meal plans can definitely include some sweet treats. Moderation is the key. Find a recipe that uses clever substitutions to cut down on fat and sugar. Some good online sources for healthy meal plans include Skinnytaste, Eating Well, and Chocolate Covered Katie.

This recipe, suitable for healthy eating meal plans, uses applesauce to replace most of the butter.  Other possibilities include using Greek yogurt for sour cream and substituting avocados for butter or oil.  

Healthy meal plans won’t be sustainable if they feel like deprivation diets or if they don’t allow for sweets so cravings don’t build up. Allow yourself a treat now and then and use recipes that call for healthy substitutions but still taste decadent enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Skinny Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies

This lightened up version of oatmeal raisin cookies is compatible with healthy eating meal plans.

INGREDIENTS (makes about 30)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cup rolled oats (gluten free oats for gluten intolerant)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts (or another nut of your choice)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar on medium speed. Add the egg, followed by the maple syrup, apple sauce and vanilla extract.
  4. Working by hand with a spatula, stir in the dry ingredients until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the oats, raisins and chopped walnuts.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips: I used pecans that I roasted in a nonstick pan with no oil. I also added some mini chocolate chips for a hint of chocolate.

NUTRITION (per cookie)

Calories         87

Carbs             16g

Protein           1.5g

Click here to add this recipe to your healthy meal plans.