Have Your Holiday Cookies and Eat Them Too

Without a doubt, the holidays are prime cookie season. Whatever your favorites—gingerbread, sugar cookies, thumbprints filled with jam—plates of them show up in the breakroom, you receive tins of them as gifts, and they cover the table at holiday parties. They’re delicious. But they’re also usually loaded with refined sugar, larded with butter and brimming with empty calories.

If only there were cookies that offered some health benefits so that indulgence wasn't nearly so indulgent. Turns out there are! Here are some recipes that will help you fill that holiday cookie craving without killing your diet or giving back all the gains you've been making on the bike. In fact, a few might even help your performance.

Nothing says holidays like gingerbread cookies. These dairy-free ginger spice molasses cookies have less fat, cholesterol and calories than their traditional counterparts and use power-packed quinoa as a base.

This cranberry chocolate cookie recipe uses no flour, sugar or butter. Instead it relies on healthy alternatives like banana, almond butter and chia seeds. If you read Born To Run, then you know all about the benefits of chia seeds (“chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”). Rich in nutrients, high in fiber, protein and Omega-3, chia seeds are not only a great grain replacement, they’ll power you up for your next workout. Imagine that: cookies that help performance!

Some cookies just scream holidays. These healthy thumbprint cookies are vegan, cholesterol-free and use pecans and rolled oats.

Get that pumpkin pie flavor but with some added benefits. Vegan and grain-free, these pumpkin pie cookies use protein-packed almond butter and nutrient-rich pumpkin. Rather than sugar, the recipe calls for pure maple syrup as a sweetener. 

These no-bake trail mix cookies have all the nutrition benefits of a healthy trail mix, but in a cookie. Five ingredients, no added sugar, and you never even turn on the oven! Mix and match your favorite nuts and fruits to suit your tastes.

Looking for something that’s flavorful and truly guilt-free? These chai-spiced meringues are only 5 calories each! Reward yourself with a couple after a tough ride!

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