What smells remind you of home? For many, the smell of fresh-baked cookies just out of the oven stirs childhood memories and feelings of nostalgia and good cheer. Maybe baked goods are even a part of holiday traditions in your family—cookies for Santa, grandma’s pumpkin pie, or gingerbread houses strung with store-bought candy and colored icing from sticky tubes.
Baked goods can be a special part of the holiday season. But it can also be one of the areas where families go overboard. If you’re looking for some healthier options to balance out trays and trays of sugary goodness, here are some ideas to get you started!
What says “It’s the holiday season!” like fresh-baked cookies? Here are some ideas for cookies that keep health in mind without sacrificing flavor.
- Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
Oats are a healthy whole grain food with a lot of nutritious benefits! They’re a good source of carbs, fiber, and high quality protein. And they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant plant compounds that boost your health! Oats can:
- lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol from damage
- improve blood sugar control
- help with skin care
- decrease the risk of childhood asthma
Reap these benefits by adding oats to your diet—and your cookies! You can spice up oatmeal cookies with additional flavorings like peanut butter, chocolate chips, or raisins. Healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies are another great way to inject some holiday flavor!
- Healthy Ginger Snap Cookies
Ginger snap cookies are a holiday staple that can be a healthier alternative to other cookies (we’re looking at you, double chocolate chunk!). These cookies are usually sweetened with molasses, which is “naturally rich in antioxidants, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.” Spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves come with extra benefits, too!
- Healthy Apple Cookies
Looking for something a little different? Apple cookies might be a good way to go! They can give you that warm holiday feeling while also bringing more fruit to the table. You can also bake cookies with seasonal winter fruits like cranberries, oranges, or pears.
Other Healthy Baked Goods
Cookies aren’t the only game in town. Here are a few more ideas for healthy holiday desserts you can stick in the oven:
- Chocolate oat cakes
- Sticky toffee date cake
- Carrot muffins
- Apricot oat bars
- Apple-cranberry crisp
- Gingerbread loaf
Have fun baking, and may your home be filled with sweet smells and holiday cheer this winter! From all of us at Appetite For Change, we wish you a healthy, happy, and fruitful holiday season!
Appetite For Change uses food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis. We bring our community together to learn, cook, eat, and grow food, creating change that lasts. Donate today to support our incredible impact in North Minneapolis! Together, we can create well-rooted and flourishing change!