Friday, December 21, 2012

Healthier Holiday Cookie Recipes

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The holiday season is all about tradition, and cookies are no exception! They are the quintessential treats that sweeten the season, but some recipes contain 200 calories per treat - quickly creating diet disaster. This year, deck the kitchen with Bon'Approved lower-calorie recipes that pack in the flavor and pull out the fat. Give them as gifts or set them out for Santa: we bet jolly old St. Nick won't even detect a difference! 

Gingerbread Cookies

Skip chasing the traditional gingerbread man, and run after this low-fat version that replaces butter with applesauce. Fragrant with spices, the ginger in these cookies aids with digestion while the cinnamon reduces inflammation and provides magnesium, an essential mineral. Mix up some dough, and then use various sized cookie-cutters to create a gingerbread "family". Pipe on buttons and bow-ties with homemade icing, or enjoy plain for just 94 calories and 1 gram of bad fat per cookie! 

Dark Chocolate Florentines 

According to legend, this traditional Italian cookie was imported to France in 1606, and presented to King Louis XIV at the Palace of Versailles.  Eat royally without gratuitous calories this holiday season and try making Dark Chocolate Florentines. The crispy wafers have a crunchy texture and touch of sweetness - the perfect dessert to serve at all your holiday festivities. Mix in chopped walnuts for a dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids, and add dark chocolate chips to receive health benefits from the antioxidants found in cocoa. 

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut butter sometimes receives a bad rap for it's high fat content, but natural varieties are chock full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and contain 8 grams of protein per serving! Full of oats and natural-style nut butter, this Peanut Butter-Oatmeal cookie recipe contains just 2 grams of bad fat per cookie! Serve with a glass of low-fat milk for a protein packed treat everyone will enjoy. 

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies
The most classic of holiday treats, sugar cookies are a must have on any holiday cookie platter. Rolling, cutting and transforming dough into unique cookie creations is a great way to spend an afternoon; but the calories quickly add up. Tweaking fat laden traditional recipes and using egg whites and whole-wheat flour cuts calories and minimizes bad fat. Preheat the oven and pull out the baking sheet, this Whole-Wheat Sugar Cookie recipe is a guilt-free way to satisfy any sweet tooth. Topped with a sweet-lemony glaze, these cookies contain just 114 calories and 3 grams of bad fat - a heart-healthy way to enjoy the season! 

With these Bon'Approved recipes, holiday cookies no longer have to be a guilt-ridden indulgence. This season, turn up the holiday music and spend an afternoon baking your favorite festive treats.

Happy Healthy Holidays! 

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