During the holidays, it’s easy to let your healthy eating habits slide. Tasty treats are everywhere – especially cookies. And they’re nearly impossible to resist! To help during this copious cookie time, we’ve hand-picked two of our favorite recipes that offer a healthier take on your favorite holiday treats. These recipes use wholesome ingredients so you can feel good about snacking.
Give Pick-Me-Up Cookie Balls and Good-for-You Gingerbread Cookies a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Pick-Me-Up Cookie Balls
(Adapted from Elise Museles)
1 cup cashews
½ cup pecans
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup goji berries
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cacao nibs (pulse at the end)
Pinch of sea salt
- Place the nuts in the food processor and process until the nuts are in pieces but not a powder.
- Add the goji berries, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt. (Reserve cacao nibs)
- Combine all ingredients and process until a dough-like consistency begins to form, but there are still little chunks of nuts and goji berries remaining.
- Add the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to incorporate them into the dough.
- To make the balls: use a small scooper ( about 1 ½ inches) or roll 1 Tbsp at a time in your hands. Because the mixture is mostly nuts, it will feel oily if you roll the balls by hand. Make sure to pack the dough tightly against the scooper or in your hands before placing on a plate or tray.
- Put in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days or freezer for 2 months.
Good-for-you Gingerbread Cookies
(Adapted from Pheebs Foods)
5 cups almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of Salt
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
- Preheat your oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well until the spices are evenly distributed.
- Whisk all wet ingredients in another bowl, adding the oil last to ensure it doesn’t harden.
- Pour wet mix into dry and mix well with a spoon until a dough forms – it will be a lot stickier then normal dough and a bit more fragile
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured board (using a small amount of white flour makes kneading easier).
- Form dough into a well-mixed ball. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll out dough to approximately 1/2 cm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out your gingerbread men.
- Place onto baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, longer depending on how crunchy or soft you like your cookies.
- Allow to cool fully before decorating.
For more healthy holiday ideas, read 6 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays