Our list of best healthy Christmas cookies has something for everyone, from soft gingerbread cookies to buckeyes with a healthy spin!
Are you looking for the best healthy Christmas cookies for your cookie tray? If you know Alex and me, you know we’re into healthy cookie recipes…or really, healthier cookies! Here are our top healthy Christmas cookies that we think would be perfect for your cookie tray. They all have a healthier spin…but they’re so delicious, you’d never know it! Don’t forget to serve with gingerbread hot cocoa, vegan hot chocolate or hot cider (or the slow cooker version).
So what are healthy cookies?
- Use nutrient dense real food ingredients. We love incorporating nutrient dense ingredients to counteract the typical loads of butter, white flour and refined sugar. Almond butter, peanut butter, oats, almond flour, and maple syrup all make appearances in our best Christmas cookie recipes.
- Amp the flavor. We use spices and natural flavors to bring in big flavor, instead of relying just on sugar. For example, there are abundant chai spices in our snowball cookies, or lots of gingerbread spices and molasses in our soft gingerbread cookies.
- Use just enough sugar. For every Christmas cookie recipe we make, we adjust the sugar content so that it tastes amazing: not too sweet, but just right.
And even though they’re healthier, we hope you’ll find all our best healthy Christmas cookies are just plain delicious. Here are our top favorites:
And now…our best healthy Christmas cookies!
These soft gingerbread cookies use almond butter to replace most of the butter, wheat flour for a few extra nutrients, and applesauce to keep them soft.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons applesauce
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup wheat flour
- Turbinado sugar (for garnish)
- In a medium bowl, add 1 egg, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup molasses, ¼ cup almond butter, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 tablespoons applesauce; vigorously whisk to thoroughly combine.
- To the wet ingredients, stir in 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons allspice, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, and ½ cup wheat flour until well combined. Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a rough ball; cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Flour a flat surface and a rolling pin, then roll out the dough ¼-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out gingerbread men, about 25-35 total. Place gingerbread men on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake about 8 minutes, until puffed and slightly firmed. Let rest on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store covered at room temperature for several days or freeze for several months.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Healthy gingerbread cookies
More Christmas recipes
We hope you enjoy our best Christmas cookie recipes! Here are a few more resources from around the web:
- 50+ Best Christmas Recipes
- Best Christmas Drinks
- 81 Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes | Bon Appetit
- 25 Best Holiday Cookies Recipes | Two Peas and Their Pod
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.