Healthy Holiday Baking

Scandinavian Thumbprint Cookies from www.thespunkycoconut.com

Scandinavian Thumbprint Cookies from http://www.thespunkycoconut.com

Holiday baking is something many of us enjoy this time of year. Our nutitionist Laura tried some grain – free, healthy cookie recipes and shares her favorites here.  Recipes can also be found in the “recipe” section on the left side of our home page.

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Baking cookies is one my favorite activities around the holidays.  It is very nostalgic and relaxing experience for me.  In fact, my love of baking kindled my passion for food and nutrition when I was very young.  Being a registered dietitian/nutritionist does not exclude me from enjoying my love of baking, but it does mean twists on old classics and adding new recipes to my repertoire to increase the nutrient density of my treats.

Here are the recipes I tried this year:

Maple Shortbread Cookies: grain free and vegan, they would be good with some kind of jelly or frosting, but fell flat on their own.

Mexican Wedding Cookies: grain free and vegan (can swap out honey); these were one of my favorites.  I soaked and dehydrated the pecans prior to baking and left out the powdered sugar topping.

Fig Pinwheels: grain free and low in sugar, these were also one of my favorites.  I accidently left out the maple syrup in the fig mixture and it tasted sweet enough.

Gingerbread Cookies: grain free and vegan, these tasted better the second day, but I’m not sure I would try them again.

Scandinavian Thumbprint Cookies: grain free and vegan, these use very little sweetener.  I made my own “jam” by using some frozen berries, which I heated and crushed with some juice and arrowroot for thickening for the center.  I would be inclined to try an alternative recipe next year, though they tasted pretty good.

What are your favorite “healthy” treats?

Laura Palazzolo MS, RDN

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