Natural and Organic Food Review

C is for cookie


No, this isn’t about diapers, but who doesn’t like cookies?  In all seriousness, I hope no one minds if I talk about other natural/green/earth friendly etc. products every now and again. 
I have a ton of diaper, diaper related and baby “stuff” reviews coming.  Also giveaways for Rockin’ Green, Five in a Row Baby Legs and Inspired by Finn Baltic Amber Jewelry.  In fact, go enter my current giveaway (if you haven’t already) for Lil’ Outlaws Wipe Solution, Almost Heaven Diaper Company Wipes and a FuzziBunz changing pad!
For now, If you’ll indulge me, I’m talkin’ ’bout cookies!  Chocolate chip to be exact.  I use shortening in my pie crusts and my chocolate chip cookies.  I just can’t get the same loft and texture with butter alone.  I’ve heard some people say they use lard, but considering that I gagged a little just typing that, lard (*gag*) is out.
So last time I gathered up my ingredients for good old CCCs, I had a newcomer to the crowd.
I saw Spectrum Naturals Organic All Vegetable Shortening in the organic section of my grocery store more than a year ago, but at $6.99 for 24 oz (if I am remembering the price correctly!) and no coupons in sight, I hesitated. 
I took a closer look at the package and decided to give it a try.  It is Non-hydrogenated, USDA Organic, Kosher, and contains one ingredient: Mechanically pressed organic palm oil.  Compare that with Crisco’s ingredient list: Soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, partially hydrogenated palm and soybean oils, mono and diglyerides, TBHQ and citric acid (antioxidants). 
As far as nutritional stats, Spectrum’s 1 Tbsp (13g) serving has 110 calories, 13g fat, 6g saturated fat, 2g polyunsaturated fat, 5g monounsaturated fat.  Crisco’s 1 Tbsp (12g) serving has 110 calories, 12g fat, 3g saturated fat, 6g polyunsaturated fat and 2.5g monounsaturated fat. 
I usually use half butter and half shortening in my cookies.  Typically, I weigh the shortening on a piece of wax paper to avoid having an icky measuring cup (and for more accurate measuring).  The Spectrum has a much drier, wax-like texture, making it a little tougher to dole out.  It didn’t have the creamy, greasy texture of shortening.  I was actually worried about it creaming in my mixer, but it worked just fine.  I’m wondering how it will work using it in a pie crust where I have to “cut” it into dry ingredients, but I will give it a try.  Same with using it to grease pans!  *edit* I used this again on a day when it was warmer, and the texture was much more crisco-like.
The package says: “When we say our Organic Shortening is good, we really mean good.  It’s better for your body than ordinary shortening because it’s never hydrogenated, has zero grams of trans fat, and is made  from palm oil, which is naturally cholesterol free and a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fat.  Even better are the dozens of small family farmers in Columbia who cultivate and press our palm oil in an environmentally sustainable manner.  It’s good for you, the farmers and the earth…just imagine what it does for a pie crust.”  High Heat up to 450, 0 grams trans fat, cholesterol free, Less saturated fat than butter, vegan – dairy free, Kosher – KSA, Gluten Free.
In the end, the proof is in the pudding…err…cookies.
The cookie dough mixed up wonderfully & looked (and tasted, tee hee) no different than usual.
The cookies were the perfect fluffy, golden brown.

The perfect mix of crispy & chewy I love so much!


glurf wur sl guf..

*Gulp*  That is, they were so good, they didn’t last long!!

In my opinion, this is a great choice for anyone who is avoiding hydrogenated oils.  I can’t wait to try making a pie crust with it!

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • April 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    >I'd actually try that shortening, I won't use the other kinds – blah!!I'm an all natural butter kind of gal.

  • April 6, 2010 at 12:38 am


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