Even though I’m not proud to admit it, I’ve risked my life many times in order to enjoy the pure goodness of raw cookie dough. Like, baked cookies are cool and all, but nothing beats the ooey gooey raw stuff. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t agree and has made it a mission to kill joyful holiday-baking vibes nationwide with warnings about the foodborne-illness dangers associated with consuming such deliciousness. Buzzkill. Good news, though: There’s a way to have your no bake cookie dough and safely eat it, too.
There are two main culprits behind the problems that come with eating raw cookie dough: eggs and flour. Because raw eggs can cause salmonella poisoning, and raw flour has been linked to e. coli infections, they’re basically a diarrhea, fever, and cramp-causing dynamic duo you really don’t want to mess with. Especially because both are responsible for multiple deaths each year (with salmonella to blame for an estimated 450 anually). While it’s easy to see why the CDC doesn’t want anyone putting their health at risk for the sake of a few minutes of sugary, doughy bliss, you don’t have to give up the good stuff—you’ve just gotta veganize it.
You can ensure your holiday cheer stays at its peak this month using a couple of different methods. First of all, ditching eggs is a must. Period. And while most people think their vegan raw cookie dough is safe as long as they’re not using grain-based flour, that’s wrong: You can’t eat any raw flour unless it’s heated up first, whether it’s made from wheat or made a non-grain option, like coconut, almond, or chickpeas. “I wouldn’t recommend eating raw flour made with or without grains, as it can be contaminated in other steps, including at the processing plant,” Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN tells me. “As such, I would recommend heating your flour of choice before consumption. You can toast the flour, which will do double duty, adding a nutty flavor and destroying harmful bacteria.”
“I would recommend heating your flour of choice before consumption. You can toast the flour, which will do double duty, adding a nutty flavor and destroying harmful bacteria.” —Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
While toasting your flour is the key to safe snacking, there are also options you can find in-store if you don’t want to make it yourself (like JUST‘s totally vegan cookie dough). With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite treat all season long without winding up sick or in the ER. Score.
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