What is up with those people who take so much delight in pointing out how unhealthy holiday treats are? While overindulging in any food or drink is definitely not the best choice for your waistline or overall health, aren’t tasty treats proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy? The truth is that most ingredients in a delicious Holiday Spice Cookie are actually good for you. Yes, even the fat from the butter provides important nutritional value your body needs. So, bake up a batch of spicy holiday cookies, share them with friends and family, and even leave a few on a plate for Santa. It’s a sweet surprise everyone will enjoy.
Oatmeal: A Classic Choice
Oatmeal boosts the health benefits of Holiday Spice Cookies. It’s high in fiber for heart and digestive health and, According to Medical Daily, this wholesome grain has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and colon cancer, give you an energy boost, and is an effective appetite suppressant, so you’ll be satisfied eating fewer cookies–a definite weight loss benefit.
Spices Spice Up Health
The spices in Holiday Spice Cookies do more than make them taste good. Spices have been used medicinally for centuries, and current research backs up their usefulness in treating and preventing illness. For example, Arizona Central reveals that allspice is an effective antioxidant, cinnamon helps manage blood sugar, and cloves have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Nutmeg is an anti-bacterial, and black pepper reduces cholesterol absorption. Black pepper in a spice cookie? You bet, just keep reading…
Nothing tastes as good as a cookie made with real butter and real sugar, and they’re better for you than using fat and sugar substitutes. If you try using honey in place of brown sugar in your Holiday Spice Cookies, you’ll alter the taste, so we recommend sticking with the sugar. However, if you have a problem using over half a cube of butter, the nest says that fruit purees work well as fat alternatives in baking. Unsweetened applesauce is a great universal replacement for butter because it doesn’t have a funky texture that will show up in the finished product, and the flavor is so subtle no one would guess that it is a secret ingredient. You can substitute applesauce for butter in 1:1 ratio. Just remember that using applesauce will make your cookies soft and chewy instead of crisp and crunchy, and will also add the apple’s natural sugars to the overall sugar content.
Eggs Bring the Protein
It’s common knowledge that eggs are high in protein so that part is a no-brainer. But, speaking of brains, Medical News Today says that the vitamins and minerals in eggs support brain health as well as lower your risk of heart disease, improve the immune system, and can even help prevent eye conditions such as macular degeneration.
Because they contain the fat and cholesterol found in eggs, yolks have gotten a bad wrap. While you can use two egg whites in place of one whole egg in recipes, BodyBuilding.com recommends that you don’t, pointing out that you’ll miss out on a lot of nutrition if you ditch the yolks. Not only is 1/5 of an egg’s protein contained in the yolk, but it also has vitamins A, B, D, and E, as well as biotin, choline, folate, iron, potassium, and selenium–all vital elements for complete nutrition and good health.
Add This Secret Ingredient to Up the Protein Content
Before we get to the goods, there is a way to increase the protein in your Holiday Spice Cookies if you need yet one more justification for indulging. Substitute part of the flour in the recipe with unflavored protein powder. Typically, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, you would use 1/2 cup of protein powder and 1 1/2 cups of flour. However, this Holiday Spice Cookie recipe only has 3/4 of a cup of flour, so you can use 1/4 cup of protein powder and 1/2 cup of flour. You’ll get a little extra protein and won’t even be able to taste the difference.
Holiday Spice Cookie Recipe
- 5 Tbsp butter or applesauce
- 1 c brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg or two egg whites
- 3/4 c flour or 1/4 c unflavored protein powder and 1/2 c flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground or grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 c regular rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Using a hand mixer, cream butter or applesauce with sugar and vanilla.
- Add egg and mix well.
- Add in next eight ingredients and mix.
- Pour in the oats and mix thoroughly.
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, then drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto it, approximately 2 inches apart.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until browned.
- Remove from oven and use a spatula to transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Boost the nutritional value of your Holiday Spice Cookies even more by mixing 1/2 cup chopped almonds and/or 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries to the dough. You can even mix in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, too, for an element of Christmas candy sweetness.