On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness news for all Oklahomans.

Healthy Cookie Recipes to Share

What are the holidays without cookies? Fun snowman-shaped sugar cookies and sugarplum delights make Christmas all the sweeter. But these delicious treats make it harder to stay healthy and limit ingredients that can cause or exacerbate existing conditions. If you have chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity or heart conditions, worry not! We have healthy cookie recipes that will not only satisfy those holiday cravings but can even boost your health.

Baking the healthy way

If you’re baking at home, there is no good excuse not to “healthify” your sweet treats, and luckily, a few simple ingredient swaps make all the difference. Toss those refined flour and fattening oils for these healthy alternatives that take your baking game up a level.

  • Swap with applesauce - A great way to cut fat and calories is to swap a cup of unsweetened applesauce for one cup of sugar. A cup of sugar has a whopping 800 calories while applesauce only has about 100.
  • Use greek yogurt instead of sour cream - Greek yogurt is high in protein and lower in sugar than sour cream or oil, but delivers the same creamy texture. Be aware, however, that’s it’s not always a one-to-one ratio swap.
  • Replace with mashed banana - If you’re baking cookies, brownies and muffins, then mash up a banana as a good swap for oil and sugar. Bananas are naturally sweet and are great ways to sneak in potassium and vitamin B too.
  • Sneak in flaxseed - As you are whipping up that batter, sneak in a couple of spoonfuls of flaxseed. While it doesn’t replace sugar or oil, it can turn your average cookie into a healthy hack that promotes healthy digestion and helps lower cholesterol.
  • Use coconut or almond flour - Coconut four is great for gluten-free cookies, but even if you aren’t gluten-intolerant, it’s a great choice for baking. Not only is it lower in total carbs, but full of fiber too. 
  • Use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar - Sugar really has no redeeming nutritional value, so replacing that super-refined, high-calorie ingredient with honey or 100 percent maple syrup should be an easy swap. Honey is packed full of vitamins and minerals and doesn't send your blood sugar levels spiraling out of control. Maple syrup also has a less spiking effect on blood sugar compared to regular, more refined sugars.
  • Beans for brownies - Yes, this may seem a little weird, but black beans actually make great brownies. Instead of using white flour in brownie recipes, use one cup for one cup of black beans instead. Not only do they make rich, chocolatey brownies, but they pack a protein punch as well.
  • Use avocados instead of butter - Cut your fat and calories dramatically by using a half of a tablespoon of mashed avocado for one tablespoon of butter. You’ll not only have a healthier cookie but a rich, satisfying one as well.

These are just a few of the healthy swaps you can make for holiday treats, but we’ve made it easier by including some simple and luscious healthy cookie and treats recipes below.


Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies from Diabetesstrong.com

(click here to download the recipe)

Snicker-doodle Cookie

 


Sugar-free “Oatmeal Cookies” from LowCarbMaven.com - Flaked almonds are the real “oats” in this treat!

(click here to download the recipe)

Oatmeal Cookies

 


Soft and Chewy Grain-Free Gingerbread Men by Texanerin.com

(click here to download the recipe)

Gingerbread Cookie

 


Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprints from CookingLight.com

(click here to download the recipe)

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie

 


Cranberry Flax Blondies from Holistic and Happy - This recipe uses protein-packed beans!

(click here to download the recipe)

Cranberry Flax Cookie

 


Now that you have some alternatives to those high-calorie, not-so-healthy ingredients, get baking and enjoy the indulgence of the season with a little less guilt! For more ways to stay healthy during the holidays, check out the On Your Health blog.

Subscribe to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog

Subscribe for regular emails full of useful and interesting Oklahoma-centric health and wellness info, from the doctors and health experts at INTEGRIS.