These healthy Christmas cookies contain all your favourite festive flavours yet are much lower in sugar than a classic cookie recipe. These cookies are suitable for vegans.
We adore Christmas flavours and to balance out all the sugary treats that December has to offer I like to make healthier homemade versions wherever possible.
Take these healthy Christmas cookies for example. A few simple substitutions makes them a more nutritious alternative and the use of festive spices and dried cranberries means that they still taste Christmassy.
NB: dried cranberries often have added sugar so bear that in mind when choosing between them and raisins or other dried fruits.
How difficult are these vegan Christmas cookies to make?
These cookies are very easy to make. Apart from the flax or chia egg, which you make in a small bowl and set aside, the rest of the recipe is made in a single bowl.
Ground flax seeds mixed with water take on a gloopy consistency and help to bind the other ingredients together, much like eggs. Chia seeds act in a similar way.
Plain wholemeal flour
I use wholemeal flour to make these cookies because of the extra fibre and nutrients. You can also make these with plain white flour if that's what you have available.
Not only adds a delicious flavour, almonds are high in protein and fibre as well as vitamin E, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, especially folate and biotin (vitamin B7). Read more about the health benefits of almonds.
Helps your cookies to rise a little while they bake.
Mixed spice (or ground cinnamon)
I absolutely adore mixed spice - for me it really is the smell of Christmas. The ingredients can vary but it typically contains cinnamon, cloves, ginger, coriander, allspice (pimento) and nutmeg. If you prefer you can use ground cinnamon instead.
Pinch sea salt
Optional - you can leave this out if you prefer your cookies to be salt free.
A good quality maple syrup is a healthier sweetener than sugar or other syrups. It does still contain sugar but is a better option. It also tastes delicious.
Dried cranberries or mixed fruit
Dried cranberries have a lovely red colour and look very festive when baked. However, they do often have added sugar so if you prefer you can use raisins or another dried fruit instead. These cookies are also a good way to use up any leftover mixed fruit you might have from making your Christmas cake.
Helps to bind your cookies together plus adds a little sweetness of its own. You can buy apple purée or apple sauce in a jar. I usually make my own by peeling and chopping apples (Bramley (cooking) apples are best but any will do) and cooking over a low heat with a dash of water until smooth. Then you can blend until smooth with a handheld blender or mash well with a potato masher.
How to make a flax or chia egg
To make 1 chia or flax egg mix together 1 tablespoon of ground chia or flax seeds with 3 tablespoons cold water. Mix with a fork and set aside to thicken. This will help to bind your cookies together.
Equipment needed for this recipe
You will need:
- mixing bowls
- wooden spoon
- weighing scales
- baking tray
- baking paper.
Can you freeze this recipe?
Yes. Allow to cool completely then freeze on a tray for an hour before transferring to a freezer bag or box. Be sure to label and date your container.
Alternatively place a small piece of baking paper between each cookie to stop them from sticking together in the freezer.
Looking for more Christmas treats?
You might like:
- Christmas tea loaf
- Healthy vegan gingerbread men
- Spiced gingerbread pancakes
- Healthy hot chocolate
- Christmas chickpea blondies
- Gingerbread muffins with cashew frosting
- Vegan Christmas cake
- Christmas tree cookies
- Mincemeat crumble bars
- Chocolate reindeer rice cake faces
How to make healthy Christmas cookies
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Healthy Christmas cookies
- 1 tablespoon flax or chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 100 g plain wholemeal flour or use plain white flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice or ground cinnamon
- Pinch sea salt
- 60 g maple syrup
- 60 g dried cranberries or sultanas or mixed fruit
- 100 g apple puree
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/200°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper.
- Make your chia or flax egg. Put 1 tablespoon of ground chia or flax seeds in a small bowl and mix with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Set aside to thicken.
- Place 100g wholemeal flour with 50g ground almonds, ½ teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (or ground cinnamon) into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt if using. Whisk to combine.
- Add your flax or chia egg to the flour mixture along with 60g maple syrup, 60g dried cranberries and 100g apple puree.
- Mix well.
- Spoon out cookie sized balls of the dough and flatten out on the tray using your hands leaving a little gap between each one.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly risen and golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack (although they are very tasty still warm!)
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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