When you are invited to a Christmas gift exchange party or you just want to bake cookies at home, it can be hard when you are trying to be healthier. A lot of holiday cookies, whether for Christmas or other holidays, are filled with chocolate, sugar, caramel, peanut butter, and a lot of other ingredients that definitely add to the calories, fat, and carb content. Here are some tips that can help you bake healthier holiday cookies, whether they become gluten-free, low-carb, or lower in fat and calories.
Switch to Dark Chocolate
Quite a few Christmas cookies contain chocolate, but that doesn’t mean you need to do without these yummy cookies when you are trying to be healthier. A better way to make healthy Christmas cookies with chocolate is to make the switch to dark chocolate. It is slightly less in fat and calories, but more important, dark chocolate is good for you. It is filled with antioxidants, and sometimes even doctor-recommended. Add dark chocolate chips to your favorite Christmas cookies to make them a little healthier.
Roll Flatter Sugar Cookie Dough
A super easy way to cut the overall fat and calories per cookie with traditional sugar cut-out cookies is to roll the dough flatter. You are going to reduce the portion sizes, but still have some amazing sugar cookies. It is a simple way to get some cookies that will cut the nutritional facts in half, but by using the exact same sugar recipe your family is used to. It also lets you have more dough to make even more cookies than you are used o making.
Use Healthy Oils
Another thing that Christmas cookies often have in common is using a lot of fats, such as butter. However, you can easily make them heart healthy by cutting gout those fats and instead switching to healthier oils. Get rid of all the butter, shortening, and vegetable oil in the recipe, and opt for coconut oil, olive oil, or canola oil instead. There are even some substitutions that allow you to use pureed fruit (like applesauce!) to replace the fats and make them even healthier.
Try Adding Some Dates
If you feel that your holiday cookies need to be sweeter, but you want to reduce the amount of sugar being used, you can replace the sweetness with dates. Dates are a type of fruit that tastes a bit nutty, but in general has a mild flavor. They contain a lot of sweetness, so when you puree them and add them to your cookie recipes, it makes a big difference without adding to the fat or calories of the cookies recipes.