Most people would agree that one of the most delicious holiday traditions is to enjoy some holiday cookies. But cookies whether holiday or not are usually loaded with some very unhealthy ingredients including a lot of sugar. But since the holiday cookies are a tradition, why not try to make them healthier.
If you’re going to make cookies using chocolate, use dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and may even promote heart health. While it’s not completely free of fat and calories, it’s a more healthful option than milk chocolate when baking chocolate chip cookies. Just remember, the darker the better.
Most cookies are made with eggs. For a healthier option you can still use eggs, but just the egg whites. The cookies won’t taste any different, but they will contain less calories.
You can use dates to replace refined sugar in some recipes. Dates pack in a ton of natural, unprocessed sweetness. Try cutting back on the refined sugars and compensating by adding chopped dates to your baked goods. Other fruit flavors can also be used as substitutes. Chopped and pureed fruit can really boost the flavor in baked goods.
There’s a ton of saturated fats and calories in shortening. Many recipes call for shortening including ginger cookies. Canola oil can be a great substitute for shortening. Canola oil contains 7 percent saturated fat compared to 31 percent saturated fat in shortening. Using canola oil as a substitute in your ginger cookies will make them healthy and delicious.
One thing you can add to some recipes is wheat germ. While wheat germ won’t really affect to taste your body will benefit from it. Wheat germ is not only filled with fiber but is also full of vitamin E, folate, zinc, magnesium, and essential omega-3 fatty acids. If you can find a place for it, add some wheat germ to a recipe or two.
This holiday season try using some of these examples to make your holiday cookies a little healthier.