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  • Writer's pictureMichael Glab MS, RD, LDN

100% cookie, 50% of the calories

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for the fall season. There's a fantastic recipe on called "Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies III" that I loved to make. Now being the dietitian that I am, I started thinking about ways to make the recipe healthier without sacrificing the classic texture and flavor of these cookies. Allergy friendly tips are below as well!

After much experimenting I finally found the perfect combination of ingredient swaps. These ingredient swaps led to a 50% reduction in calories per cookie in a 36 cookie batch. Cookies in the original version were 120 calories each. In my version, they are only 65 calories

each and just as delicious!

  1. Original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar. Replace with only ½ cup sugar

  2. Original recipe calls for ½ cup vegetable oil. Replace with ½ cup unsweetened applesauce.

  3. Original recipe uses 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips. Replace with 2 3.5 oz 85% cocoa bars, chopped.


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon milk of your choice

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 16 squares or 12 oz of 85% cacao dark chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pumpkin, sugar, applesauce and egg. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Chop chocolate squares into bite size pieces.

2. Dissolve baking soda with milk and stir into the pumpkin mixture. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture - add flour mixture slowly and mix in completely with pumpkin

mixture before adding more. Finally

add vanilla and chocolate pieces and mix thoroughly.

3. Drop by spoonful onto lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.


Per cookie in a 36 cookie batch: 65 calories | 2 g fat | 10 g carbohydrate | 1 g fiber | 1 g protein

Allergy friendly tips

To make recipe gluten free substitution with gluten free flour 1:1. To make the recipe vegan use dairy free chocolate and plant-based milk. Replace egg with flax egg substitute (1 tablespoon flax mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water) or 2 tablespoons of aquafaba (the juice from canned chickpeas).

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