It’s Girl Scout cookie season in many cities, and even we health nuts go weak in the knees at the sight of a Thin Mint. But even though those girls are cute and their cookies taste great, we have some bad news: They’re not looking out for your health. Their cookies are processed, full of ingredients that you don’t want in your system (corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial coloring among them), and not so hot in the nutrition department. (Don’t believe us? Just check out the ingredients and nutrition facts for two of your favorite varieties, below.) Making your own might not cut all the calories, sugar, and fat, but you can stick to natural ingredients, and even make them vegan, gluten-free, and low(er) in calories in fat, thanks to the recipes we found for healthier versions of your favorites.
We don’t want to start wars with the Girl Scouts here (we may be experts on nutrition, but we know we can’t compete with a Brownie for your love), but before you drop your month’s dessert budget on Samoas and Shortbread, check out our recipes:
Thin Mints: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, vegetable shortening (palm and/or partially hydrogenated palm kernel oils), cocoa (processed with alkali), caramel color, contains less than 2% of: high fructose corn syrup, whey, salt, leavening (sodium bicarbonate), soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, peppermint oil.
Nutrition: (serving size = 4 cookies) 160 calories, 8 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams sugar, 1 gram protein.
Caramel deLites (Samoas): Sugar, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), vegetable shortening (palm, partially hydrogenated palm kernel, and/or coconut oils), coconut, sweetened condensed milk (milk, sugar), high fructose corn syrup, contains less than 2% of: sorbitol, dextrose, cocoa (processed with alkali), whey, glycerine, salt, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, artificial color (red #40 lake, yellow #5 lake, blue #1 lake, blue #2 lake).
Nutrition: (serving size = 2 cookies) 140 calories, 7 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 19 grams carohydrates, 13 grams sugar, 1 gram protein.