Giving Christmas cookie recipes a makeover is a great way to embrace a healthier lifestyle without giving up a holiday tradition.

Baking is one of my favourite holiday activities. Whether it’s a brand new recipe I’m trying for the first time, or a tried and true treat, I simply love the smell of freshly baked desserts flowing out of the oven.  

Healthier Sesame Tahini Cookies! I used whole wheat flour instead of the white flour called for in the original recipe. They were crumbly and delightful.
Healthier Sesame Tahini Cookies! I used whole wheat flour instead of the white flour called for in the original recipe. They were crumbly and delightful. Click on the photo for the recipe.
I also have a confession to make– I rarely follow recipes to a “t”.

The truth is, I often cut back on the sugar and/ or butter in whatever dessert I’m making by 25-30%. And guess what? They taste fantastic, and no one notices the changes in the recipe. Yup, it’s true.

You don’t have to give up holiday baking to be good to your body this December. A healthy lifestyle is all about making and keeping sustainable changes. I created a Christmas Cookie Makeover Cheat Sheet for you to use. It has a list of healthy substitutions for some baking ingredients, and how to reduce butter and sugar for a less caloric dessert. You might be surprised at how easy it is to incorporate these tips to your baking routine. Please note these tips work best for “regular” cookie recipes, not “light” ones. 

Download my Christmas Cookie Makeover Cheat Sheet, and say “yes!” to healthier homemade Christmas cookies with these simple changes to your favourite recipes!

Butter

Recipe Says

Use This Instead

Calorie Difference

⅓ cup (544 kcal) ¼ cup (408 kcal) -136 kcal
½ cup (809 kcal) ⅓ cup (544 kcal) -265 kcal
1 cup (1625 kcal) ¾ cup (1217 kcal) -408 kcal
2 cups (3250 kcal) 1 ⅔ cups (2713 kcal) -537 kcal

 

Sugar

Recipe Says

Use This Instead

Calorie Difference

⅓ cup (232 kcal) ¼ cup (194 kcal) -38 kcal
½ cup (387 kcal) ⅓ cup (232 kcal) -155 kcal
1 cup (774 kcal) ¾ cup (581 kcal) -193 kcal
2 cups (1548 kcal) 1 ⅔ cups (1238 kcal) -310 kcal

 

Healthier Baking Substitution Ideas

Recipe Says Use This Instead

Nutritional Benefits and Baking Tips

Milk chocolate chips / chunks Dark chocolate chips/ chunks
  • Less sugar
  • More heart healthy antioxidants
Candies (M&Ms, etc.) Chopped almonds/ walnuts
  • More protein
  • More heart healthy monounsaturated and omega 3 fats
Butter Applesauce / Greek yogurt / creme fraiche / sour cream / mashed banana / soft tofu
  • Less fat
  • Substitute up to 25% of what your recipe calls for
White flour Whole Wheat Flour / Buckwheat Flour
  • Higher fibre content compared to white flour
  • May give the final product a denser texture
  • Try substituting up to 25% of what your recipe calls for
Eggs 1 tablespoon ground flax seed soaked in 3 tablespoons water for 15 min
  • Lower cholesterol content
  • Higher fibre and omega 3 fats
  • May give the final product a denser texture

Healthy Holiday Eating #3: Christmas Cookie Makeover
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