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I’ve been working on this one for a while, and I think I finally have a recipe worth sharing.

My original goal was to try to make the “perfect DASH” recipe. A recipe that would include all the DASH food groups, in the right proportions. But as I worked on my first attempt I realized that was not going to be easy. I ended up with a very dense cakey thing, and even that had too much grains in relation to the other food groups. I may still continue that quest some other time, but for now I’m pretty happy with this compromise.

Here is a cookie that includes all the food groups except milk. But the cookies taste great with a glass of milk, so that’s taken care of. And the proportions are not correct either. Although the cookies are really not very sweet, a trio of cookies still counts as one serving of sweets. But unlike most sweets, it also counts as a serving of grains, and partial servings of meats (i.e. eggs), vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats (the avocado and peanut butter contribute some healthy fats).

This recipe illustrates a few tips for healthy baking. Most cookie recipes start with butter or some other fat, mixed with sugar. Then you add flour and other flavorings. This recipe has no butter, oil, or granulated sugar. Instead, I used the following tricks:

  • Avocado is loaded with very healthy fat as are peanuts and peanut butter.
  • Bananas and applesauce are good substitutes for fat in baking.
  • Fruits can be used to reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe. This recipe gets its sweetness from apple, banana, a small amount of maple syrup, and the whatever added sugar is in the dried cranberries and in the granola (I couldn’t find any cranberries or granola without some added sugar).
  • Cinnamon adds a sweet taste without adding sugar.*
  • Ginger adds a little bit of zing that makes up for the lack of sweetness.*
  • The mini chocolate chips add a sweet chocolaty taste, so that you don’t miss the sugar in the cookie dough. By using mini chips instead of bigger morsels, you get that chocolate taste in every bite without using as much chocolate. Instead of mini chips, you could also use dark chocolate chopped in small pieces.
  • The cranberries provide a little tartness, adding to the variety of tastes and making the cookies more interesting.
  • Substitute whole grain flours for at least some of the highly refined all-purpose flour to add fiber. These high-fiber cookies are more filling and will curb your appetite for longer than cookies made from refined flour.

So, while I’m not advocating that you should snack on these cookies all day long, I think I’ve come up with a sweet that’s more nutritious than most, and a good addition to a DASH diet. If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think.

*Credits go to my husband for pointing out in an earlier version that the cookies would benefit from more cinnamon, and to my daughter for suggesting more ginger.

Dashing Cookies

Dashing Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies



  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  2. In large mixing bowl, mash the banana and half avocado.
  3. Core and cut the apple into chunks. Use food processor to puree and then add it to the banana-avocado mush.
  4. Use food processor to grate the carrot and half zucchini. Mix into the banana mush.
  5. Mix in the eggs.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter, the maple syrup, the cinnamon, and the ginger.
  7. Stir in the oatmeal flour, the all-purpose flour, and the baking powder.
  8. Stir in the oatmeal.
  9. Stir in the cranberries, chocolate morsels, and granola.
  10. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (Makes about 3 sheets of 12 cookies each).
  11. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool.
  12. Enjoy with a glass of milk to complete the collection of food groups.
  13. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.



Serving size:

 3 cookies

DASH Food Groups per Serving





meats, fish, and poultry

seeds, and legumes

and oils

and added sugars












34 mg