'Tis the Season for Heart-Healthy Cookies

By Liz Moore, RD, LDN

It’s hard to imagine the holidays without the chance to indulge in some favorite festive cookies. So whether you’re baking up a few batches for a cookie swap — or giving them as gifts — why not try some delicious recipes featuring healthier ingredients that can also benefit the heart?

Dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and is a potent antioxidant. It’s also been shown to decrease the risk of developing cardiometabolic disorders, a combination of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. And bananas are high in potassium, which helps control blood pressure by lessening the effects of sodium.

As with all treats, it’s important to enjoy in moderation. So, start baking — and start sharing — because everyone loves scrumptious cookies at the holidays!


Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Mix together oats, bananas, applesauce, walnuts, dark chocolate chips, skim milk and vanilla extract. Scoop evenly-sized tablespoons and place evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly brown.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 120; Total fat: 4.5g; Saturated fat: 1g; Trans fat: 0g; Total cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 4mg; Total carbohydrates: 18g; Total fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 3g


Almond Butter Balls

Serves 24

Ingredients

1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix almond butter, sugar, egg and cinnamon together until combined.

Scoop evenly-sized spoonfuls and drop evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over each cookie.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 95; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 0.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Total cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 5mg; Total carbohydrates: 9g; Total fiber: 0.5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 2g


Mint Chocolate Cookies

Serves 12

These cookies are a "treat" — be mindful of portion. Simple ingredients, but high in fat.

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
1 peppermint candy cane, crushed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a mixer, blend the sugar and butter, then stir in the flour.

Scoop out about a teaspoonful and form into a ball. Place on cookie sheet and flatten, using a fork. Spread chocolate chips and crushed peppermint evenly over top of all cookies.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 144; Total fat: 8.5g; Saturated fat: 5g; Trans fat: 0g; Total cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 2mg; Total carbohydrates: 15g; Total fiber: 0.5g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 1.5g


Elisabeth (Liz) Moore, RD, LDN, is our resident guru in heart-healthy nutrition . She is a registered dietitian for BIDMC's CardioVascular Institute (CVI) and sees patients in BIDMC's outpatient nutrition clinic and the CVI's Cardiovascular Health and Lipid Center. Moore received her BS degree in human nutrition from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Above content provided by the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

December 2016


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