How To Makeover Your Christmas Cookies, Part 1

cookies stacked up

Family Tradition

For as long as I can remember, delicious, homemade Christmas cookies have been a part of my family’s holiday tradition. And when I say cookies, I mean cookies…twelve different kinds, every one of them to-die-for delicious!

Plates of these goodies would grace our tables 24/7 throughout the holiday season.

I shudder to think about how many cookie calories I consumed…so I don’t think about it. But needless to say, my love for cookies runs plates around anyone else’s.


Makeover Your Cookies

But let’s be real about this. Cookies are really nothing more than low-fiber, sugar-laden, saturated fat-rich, cholesterol-containing calorie bombs.

Cookies are low on fiber because there is no fiber in most of their main ingredients, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flavorings, salt, and there’s only a small amount of fiber in white flour: 3 - 4 grams per cup.

But don’t despair all you cookie lovers of the world. There are two main ways you can makeover your Christmas cookies and still enjoy them.


  • First: Power Them Up

There’s one simple thing you can do to increase the fiber in any cookie recipe without making a noticeable change in the taste or texture of the cookie: replace half the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour.

Whole wheat pastry flour has 15 - 16 grams of fiber per cup instead of only 3 – 4. Besides the added fiber, you’ll get more protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals! Sweet.

IMPORTANT HEADS UP: if you use more than half the flour as whole wheat pastry flour the cookies will have a heavier texture and taste more like biscuits. As one of my friends said, “It requires a sophisticated appreciation.” If you like that, go for it.

You can also increase the fiber and nutrients in your Christmas cookies by adding nuts or seeds or dried fruit.

Oatmeal is also a nutritious source of fiber, so that makes Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made with half whole wheat pastry flour and added walnuts a grand slam.


  • Second: Make Them Healthier

There are several changes you can make that do not affect fiber content but will make your cookies healthier. Feel free to try any or all of them.

If you want to lose cholesterol and decrease saturated fat…

  1. Replace butter with earth balance natural buttery spread, Original
  2. Replace cow’s milk with unsweetened soy or almond milk
  3. Replace eggs with equal parts oil and unsweetened soy milk, whisked together
  4. if you’re using chocolate chips, replace regular ones with non-dairy chocolate chips found at health food stores or progressive grocery stores

If you want to lose chemical additives…

  1. Replace white sugar with organic cane juice crystals
  2. Replace regular brown sugar with organic brown sugar
  3. Replace regular flours with organic flours

If you want to avoid GMOs…

Make sure your soy products, canola oil, and cornstarch are organic or labeled non-GMO.

If you want to decrease sweetness a bit…

You can lose ½ cup sugar from just about any cookie recipe and you probably won’t notice a difference in flavor.


Do They Really Taste Good?

So after making all those changes, would the cookies really taste good? I’m here to tell you, and remember I have years of experience as a Cookie Maiden (I prefer that over Monster), not only do these cookies taste good, they taste grrrrrrreat!

But please don’t take my word for it. Check out, How to Makeover Your Christmas Cookies, Part 2. I’m actually going to share my Powered Up, healthier version of one of the most popular cookies on the planet. Well, maybe not on the planet, but in America for sure. Then you can make them and taste for yourself.


Diana Fleming

Diana Fleming, PhD, LDN, is a co-author of The Full Plate Diet and Nutritionist for Full Plate Living. She received her doctoral degree from Tufts University and has since dedicated her time to translating complicated nutritional data into easy and fun concepts anyone can apply at their next meal. In her spare time, she has painstakingly perfected the ultimate healthy AND delicious chocolate chip cookie.

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