Tis The Season

Tis the season friends for holiday gatherings that usually include high calorie desserts that may pack on a few extra pounds to take with us into the new year! This… is a clue that the fitness centers will be full in January!

My family has had a tradition of baking holiday treats for the many parties in December. You name your favorite and we probably have some version of it to share! Now, I have to tell you these are not comparable to the Christmas cookies that you find in the supermarket that are wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow to make them look appealing. I have tried the store bought ones a few times and they are disappointing, crunchy, crumbly and full of preservatives.

With my passion for nutrition and wellness, of course, I’m always searching for ways to make things a bit healthier. I want to share one of my favorites with you that I found on amyshealthybaking.com.

Cranberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup – Whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Cranberry Jam (see recipe below)

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg white, vanilla and milk. Stir in the coconut sugar, add in the flour mixture stirring until incorporated. Chill dough for 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 24 small spheres, place on the baking sheet. Use index finger or thumb to make indentation in the center of each and fill with the cranberry jam. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Note: Any store bought jam may be substituted in place of the cranberry jam. I like this one since it’s homemade and yummy and it cuts sugar content a bit.

Cranberry Jam

1 cup fresh cranberries, 1/4 cup water, 1 Tablespoon chia seeds and 3/4 tsp vanilla crème stevia (stevia is a no calorie, plant based sweetener): Pulse cranberries and water in food processor until smooth. Place mixture in saucepan, add chia seeds and stevia on medium high heat , stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes until liquid reduced by half. Cool in a glass jar with tightly sealed lid to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to use.

Nutritional Information: Calories 45, 1 cookie = serving, Total Fat 1.2g, Cholesterol 2.6 mg, Sodium 29.9 mg, Total Carbohydrates 8.2g, Dietary Fiber 0.8g, Sugars 4.2g, Protein 0.8g.

Enjoy and, as always, be well!

Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Wellness Coach