4 Healthy Additions to Your Favorite Cookie Recipe

by on December 29th, 2010
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Give your favorite cookie recipe a healthy makeover this weekend. Here are four of my favorite ways to make cookies pack a nutritional punch — and taste wonderful!

1. Flaxseed

If your go-to cookie contains oatmeal or nuts, consider mixing a few tablespoons of milled flaxseed into the batter. The nutty-flavored seeds are packed with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, disease fighting antioxidants and fiber to keep you regular, according to registered dietician Elaine Magee, an expert columnist on WebMD. Although the flavor of flaxseed is mild, it pairs best with a hearty, thick cookie.

2. Nuts

Add some crunch to your cookies by using chopped nuts. Whether you sprinkle them on top of your favorite cookie recipe, or mix the nuts into the batter, your body will thank you. Nuts provide healthy unsaturated fats, skin-clearing Vitamin E and fiber for regular digestion, according to the Mayo Clinic. To trim a few calories from the treats, choose the lowest calorie nuts such as almonds, pistachios and peanuts.

3. Spices

Instead of sprinkling cookies with colored sugar, try a flavorful ground spice. Seasonal favorites such as cinnamon and cloves not only coordinate with the holidays, they also benefit your health. Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial spice that can help ease arthritis symptoms and fight the growth of bacteria and yeast in the body, according to the World’s Healthiest’s Foods website. Cloves also help reduce inflammation, plus they are a source of vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.

4. Fruit

Enhance your favorite cookie recipe by mixing chopped, dried fruit into the batter. Dried cranberries, raisins and cherries not only provide a dose of vitamins and antioxidants, they also add color and texture to your treat. Try giving your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe a makeover with both fruit and nuts. Or use small pieces of dried fruits to decorate cut-out sugar cookies.

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