Some of our best memories as kids were the times spent in the kitchen baking holiday cookies with our mom. And now, with our own kids, this is still one of our favorite things to do. The difference is that now with the hectic holiday season we don’t have to stress over finding a full day to bake as we’ve created some fun, delicious and healthy holiday cookies that don’t take an entire afternoon to make. We’re so excited as these cookies are easy for the kids to get involved, fun to make—and healthy too—but no one has to know that!
One of the best parts about these cookies is the holiday twist—the cranberries! These sweet treats are nutritional powerhouses and their red sparkle makes the cookies so festive. And as registered dietitians that love to pack nutrients into our kids we love that cranberries contain beneficial bioactive compounds known as PACs, that help reduce the incidence of certain infections and maintain a healthy urinary tract. Cranberries may help maintain cardiovascular health (we’re never too young—and neither are our kids—to protect our hearts!) thanks to these bioactive compounds that improve blood cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and improve inflammation and oxidative stress.
With only 82 calories per delicious cookie, you’d never believe that these sweet treats have the health benefits of the cranberries, plus, fiber and nutrients. And while some cranberry products, such as dried cranberries and cranberry juice, have some added sugar for palatability, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that a healthy eating pattern has room for nutrient dense foods with added sugars as long as calories from added sugar are less than 10% per day – and we certainly think cranberries, a festive and delicious superfruit, are an awesome choice, especially when paired with the other great ingredients in these cookies!
One of the things we love about these cookies is how truly easy they are to whip up and that kids of most any ages can help!
Healthy Cranberry Holiday Cookies
Serves: 12 cookies
3 very ripe banana, mashed
½ cup rolled oats
3 Tbsp. almond butter
½ tsp almond extract, optional (use the higher amount if you like it more almond-flavored)
3 Tbsp slivered almonds
1/3 heaping cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium sized bowl, smash banana. Add almond butter, almond extract and oats, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cranberries and almonds.
- Place 2-1/2 tablespoons of mixture on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven when cooked completely through.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving (1 Cookie): 82 Calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 25 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
The Nutrition Twins are creating recipes with cranberries this holiday season to enjoy their flavor and health benefits.