Walnut, Raisin, Rolled Oat Cookies


photo credit | gourmetmetrics

Cookies are scrumptious little bundles of calorie dense fat and sugar. According to the most recent survey I checked, Oreos are still the best selling off the shelf branded cookie and chocolate chip cookies make the top of the list for home made. Whether store bought or freshly baked, most of us enjoy a good cookie.

My preference is to bake my own at home. The aroma that fills the air whets my appetite and I always put a couple of freshly baked cookies aside to savor as soon as they’re cool enough to eat.

Cookies are an indulgence so it’s not surprising my favorite home baked beauties stumble a bit on the Kiss ☠️ Test.

FOOD – PROBABLY PASS (Whole Grain, Protein)

All my recipes pass the food component of the test. That’s because I love to cook and my cooking always starts with simple basic ingredients.

Those cookies pictured above are made using mostly minimally processed ingredients (grains, nuts, dry fruit, egg) and processed culinary ingredients (fat, sugar, salt). Vanilla extract is technically ultra-processed I suppose because the essence is extracted from the vanilla bean with alcohol.

Here’s the ingredient list in descending order by weight: rolled oats, walnuts, raisins, whole wheat flour, egg, butter, demerara sugar, vanilla extract, salt.

NUTRITION – PROBABLY FAIL (Saturated Fat, Sodium)

No surprises here. All cookie recipes fail the nutrition component of the test because all cookies have too much sugar and too much fat. To assess the degree of failure, however, we’ll need to take a look at Daily Values (DV). Bolded values exceed the threshold.

Stats on my home baked walnut, raisin, rolled oat cookies (30g): Saturated Fat = 15% DV Added Sugar = 8% DV. Stats on Nabisco Oreo Sandwich Cookies – 3 cookies (34g) / Smart Label.: Saturated Fat = 10% DV Added Sugar = 28% DV.

My cookies have a smidgen more fat; Oreos have significantly more sugar. Both fail the Kiss ☠️ Test. Bottom line, probably every cookie recipe or formulation ever written down will fail. Cookies are an indulgence. Common sense should tell us we don’t eat cookies because they are healthy. We eat them because they taste good.


About 10 years ago, the buzz was that Oreos were as addictive as cocaine. The global food activist community sent out a resounding collective cheer that has haunted the echo chamber ever since. I’ve always had a hard time with the addiction hypothesis. Recently however I’ve been reading the research work of Tera L. Fazzino. She’s developed a construct for a standardized definition of hyper-palatable foods (HPF).

I still have a hard time with the food is addictive mindset. But a standardized definition for hyper-palatable food may be important for other reasons.

Healthy dietary patterns as currently defined in our Dietary Guidelines aren’t popular with many Americans. How do we know that? Because the current Dietary Guidelines grade our collective compliance to a healthy dietary pattern and we fail. Our collective score is 59 out of 100. Taste is the number one driver of consumer choice and 41% of us don’t like the taste of healthy.

If so many Americans don’t like that taste of healthy food, what do they like? The opposite of healthy is weak or feeble or lethargic. But those words don’t work in the food environment.

Thanks to the research done by Tara Fazzino, I have an answer now. The opposite of healthy is hyper-palatable.

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