PRODUCT REVIEWS

cookies blush-checkoutFrom “cookies for skincare” to “cookies for weight loss,” we can’t stop hearing about cookie-centric diets. Unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Eating cookies and just cookies, day in and day out might not be all it’s crumbled up to be. Here, we take a bite out of the crazy-for-cookies diets that are whetting the appetites of everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Denise Richards.
Natasha’s Health Nat CookiesNatasha’s has whipped up a relatively low calorie cookie (120 to 140 cals) which tastes great, is gluten free, low carb and has no sugar added. Also, it’s got special almond meal, which curbs the appetite. Natasha, the cookie baker who still handmakes each batch, encourages you to think of this as a healthy snack, not an indulgent dessert. Also, she promises a faster metabolism if you chop one of these cookies up into bite-sized pieces and eat it throughout the day.cookies2Our Rating: 5 cookies for realizing cookies shouldn’t be eaten 24/7. Instead, these cookies are the perfect guiltless supplement to a healthy, balanced diet.

The Examiner

Natasha’s Health Nut Cookies are one of the most unique gluten-free cookies on the market. As the name implies, the cookies are made with nut flours – in particular almond flour. The cookies contain fiber, protein and antioxidants are low in sugar and carbs. They are Weight Watcher and diabetic friendly. Each large cookie contains 120-140 calories, making them a perfect mid-afternoon energy booster or after dinner treat. Keep in mind that you might be tempted to eat more than one cookie like the gluten eater in our house was. One cookies is plenty filling and will satisfy cravings for something sweet.

The healthy nut cookies came to be when Natasha Becker started looking for a healthy treat that would not sabatoge her diet. Since a lot of mainstream “diet food” contains corn syrup and artificial ingredients, Natasha decided to create her own healthy treat. The resulting nut cookies are astonishingly good and unlike most gluten-free cookies, they are one of the most healthy cookie options on the market today. Each cookie counts as 3 Weight Watchers points which is why many gluten eaters enjoy the treat. The fact that the cookies are gluten-free have nothing to do with their choice to eat them.

We’ve all thrown out dry sawdust tasting gluten-free packaged cookies so it’s a bit surprising to think people who can eat gluten would actually choose to buy Natasha’s Healthy Nut Cookies.

Natahsa’s motto is “keep cravings at bay with a cookie each day”. It sounds silly but it actually works! The cookies actually sustain you from munching between meals on less healthy options like chips or candy.

The words cookies and health food are not usually used together but these cookies really are good for most everyone, except those who can’t eat nuts. There are 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and only 3 grams NET carbs in one Raisin Amaretto Cookie. That means you can stick to a regular and/or gluten-free diet and have your cookie too! If you don’t like raisins try the Cranberry Orange version. The Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookies were not as tasty to us as the other two varities but everyone has different tastes.

Natasha’s cookies can be ordered online at present but Natasha has a bigger plan for her great cookies. According to a GIG newsletter, the hands on owner of the company is interested in finding a large company to manufacture, package and distribute the cookies so she can focus on product promotion and marketing. Natasha goes on to say “Miss Oprah can you hook me up?” And I think if Oprah (who is always battling weight issues) tried these cookies, she might invest in the company herself. They should be one of Oprah’s “favorite things” – if they are not already!


Diabetes Health

We recently taste-tested some of these robust little cookies, and my, are they good. Natasha, a long-time Russian baker, makes them with almond meal instead of flour so that people with celiac disease can enjoy them.

Because they only have about six grams of low glycemic carbs, they’re good for people with diabetes as well. They even pack a few grams of protein and fiber and some anti-oxidants and vitamin E into their 120 calories.

At $6.49 (plus shipping and handling) for a six-pack, they’re a little pricey for cookies, but not bad compared to the price of most health bars. Just one cookie will satisfy you for a good long time. You can order all three toothsome flavors at natashascookies.com.


The Nibble

With more and more of us having special food needs—sugar-free and gluten-free being at the top of the list of a growing number of Americans—companies are racing to fill the need with products. But so many of the “acceptable” products taste so disappointing, one would rather have another sugar-free soda and an apple slice. Just one tasty cookie, please!

Now, cravings can be satisfied happily, thanks to Natasha’s Health Nut Cookies—made from almond meal instead of traditional flour and sweetened with maltitol. There’s “no sugar added”; while no sucrose (table sugar) is stirred in, the raisins, dried cranberries and chocolate chips in the recipes contribute some sugar. Still, the recipes are low sugar—two or three grams—and total carbs of six grams apiece. Those managing diabetes (low-sugar, low carb), celiac disease (gluten-free), on a low-carb diet, following Weight Watchers, or simply seeking healthier, energy-oriented snacks, can go nuts.

These cookies taste great. The biggest caveat is the warning to resist temptation to eat more than one at a time: Maltitol, the calorie-free sweetener, “may cause a laxative effect.” The cookies are made largely of unblanched almond meal, plus pecans, unsweetened coconut chips, eggs, canola oil, baking soda and flavor-specific additions. They’re a healthier cookie. Almonds are an effective hunger fighter (our diet doctor always prescribes them as a snack)—full of fiber, antioxidants and protein—and are a good source of vitamin E. So even if you aren’t on a restricted diet, these cookies, packed with nuts and flavor, are a better mid-afternoon energy booster, or a treat for those of us who work late at the office.

But hear it from a professional. According to Dan Nadeau, M.D., diabetologist and author of The Color Code: A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health, “In a fast-paced world, where finding convenient and healthful foods is often a challenge, these cookies represent a true milestone in taste, convenience and nutritional value.”

Speaking of healthful, we were surprised that cookies with high natural sugar ingredients like raisins, and added-sugar components like chocolate chips, were a recommended part of a diabetic diet. We asked Stephanie Clarke, a registered dietician with C&J Nutrition in New York City, how they fit in. “There is often a misconception that people with diabetes cannot have any sugar or should keep it as minimal as possible,” she explained. “This is not entirely true. It is correct that you want to minimize the amount of simple sugars, like that from refined table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, because they contribute little nutritional value and affect blood sugar more quickly and dramatically. That said, in the end, all carbohydrates get converted to glucose, which is what ultimately affects blood sugar. So in reading a label, people with diabetes should focus on the total carbohydrate content and not the sugar. The 8g of carbohydrate in a Healthy Nut cookie is about half of a diabetic carbohydrate exchange. People following a 1600 calorie per day diet (which is on the low side) are usually recommended to consume about 7 to 9 carbohydrate exchanges per day (105g to 135g of carb/day). If fact, most people with diabetes are recommended to have a snack that contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate (1 exchange). A snack that only contains 8 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of sugar is small in comparison.”

Health Nuts Cookies were created by Natasha Becker, a California baker, to meet a need after she began to hear from customers that new dietary restrictions meant they could no longer enjoy her Russian Sherry Tea Cakes. The cookies are generously-sized, up to 1/2″ thick and 2-1/4″ in diameter—a hefty cookie for 120 to 140 calories, depending on flavor. They’re completely gluten-free, low in sugar, low in carbs, and Weight Watchers-friendly.

Cookie Flavors

Natasha currently bakes Health Nut Cookies in three flavors:

  • Cranberry Orange adds cranberries, orange emulsion and unsweetened coconut chips to the basic recipe. The cranberry-orange flavor is fresh-tasting, like a good cranberry-orange relish. The coconut adds a good, chewy coconut cookie texture and a very subtle coconut flavor.
  • Raisin Amaretto adds raisins, almond extract and more coconut to the mix. Because the almond extract flavor is so pronounced, the coconut, subtle to begin with, disappears in this flavor; but the nice chewy texture remains.
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip is a really satisfying chocolate chip cookie. It’s not a Toll House clone by any means, but on its own, the semi-sweet chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract provide lovely flavor. The coconut gives texture, not flavor—although we wouldn’t mind a “Coconut Chocolate Chip” version.

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Cranberry Orange cookies: fresh flavors and great, chewy texture.

Online ordering requires a minimum of three boxes, which lets you try each flavor. They’re all winners in our book. We’ll bet that you’ll be back for more within a week!

NATASHA’S HEALTH NUT COOKIESCranberry Orange, Raisin Amaretto, Vanilla Chocolate Chip

  • 10-Ounce Box$6.95Minimum Order 3 BoxesIncludes Shipping

Purchase online at

NatashasHealthNutCookies.com

Or telephone 1.866.328.8225

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.

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Get a box of every flavor…and then get some for your friends!

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