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1/11

healthy-almond-and-cinnamon-starsRolling out sugar cookie dough and cutting out gingerbread men is a huge part of the holiday season for many people.

And then there are the food bloggers featured here, who’ve managed to take the whole tradition up a notch, adding in healthy ingredients like coconut oil, making smart swaps like maple syrup for sugar, and offering super-tasty options for those who come to the holiday table with vegan or gluten-free restrictions.

Think coconut macaroons with dark chocolate, ginger, and pistachio and the almond and cinnamon stars pictured above. If you don’t have an annual holiday baking tradition, these are reason enough to start one. —Willa Tellekson Flash and Lisa Elaine Held

(Photo: Heavenlynn Healthy)

 

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2/11
Christmas+Gingerbread+Cookies1. Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

Maybe you should use a knife to imprint some abs on these gingerbread men? Olive oil is substituted for butter, spelt flour for white flour, and honey for processed sugars in The Herb Diaries‘ simple take on the Christmas classic.

(Photo: The Herb Diaries)

 

3/11
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies2. Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies

What’s in VeguKate‘s gorgeous, gooey, gluten-free cookies? “Only 10 simple ingredients include heart healthy coconut oil and peanut butter, protein rich almond milk, fiber filled rolled oats, and vitamin and mineral rich coconut sugar.”

(Photo: VeguKate)

 

4/11
Coconut Macarooms3. Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate, Ginger & Pistachio

Josephine of A Tasty Love Story makes her macaroons unique by adding “an extra flavor boost from candied ginger and salty pistachios.” And in addition to using just a few simple ingredients like coconut, eggs, and vanilla, she also offers plenty of variations for naturally sweet sugar substitutes if you want to skip the real stuff.

(Photo: A Tasty Love Story)

 

5/11
Nuts-Seeds-Taffy-114. Nuts & Seeds Toffee Squares

Thought you’d never hear the words toffee and healthy in the same sentence? Healthful Pursuit‘s Leanne uses almond butter and honey as a base and then packs walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds into her toffee that has crunchy, salty, sweetness.

(Photo: Healthful Pursuit)

 

6/11
vegan-gluten-free-linzer-cookies-recipe5. Vegan and Gluten-Free Linzer Cookies

The Unconventional Baker has a secret weapon: powdered coconut milk—a healthy replacement for powdered sugar. You won’t even be able to tell that this holiday classic has been healthified.

(Photo: Unconventional Baker)

 

7/11
Peppermint Truffles6. Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

The Smart Cookie combines dried figs, chickpeas, and cocoa powder to make these festive bites. An added benefit? “Smashing the candies into dust is strangely satisfying and would probably be a great stress reliever,” just in case the holidays are getting to you.

(Photo: The Smart Cookie)

 

8/11
healthy-almond-and-cinnamon-stars7. Almond and Cinnamon Christmas Stars

The star of this recipe? Coconut sugar. Lynn of Heavenlynn Healthy uses it in place of white sugar, combined with ground almonds and chia seeds, to make these stunners.

(Photo: Heavenlynn Healthy)

 

9/11
8. Spiced Vermont Maple Cookies

Coconut oil, maple syrup, and applesauce replace butter, sugar, and eggs in Caroline’s Cooking‘s wholesome vegan recipe. Think cozy winter cabin, in a cookie.

(Photo: Caroline’s Cooking)

 

10/11
Molasses-Cookies9. Soft + Chewy Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies and winter practically go hand in hand. Jessie of Faring Well likes to make hers with coconut oil and maple syrup and then “dunk them in some melted dark chocolate and crushed pistachio dust,” for a fancy twist.

(Photo: Faring Well)

 

11/11
Chewy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies10. Chewy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

“To put a healthier spin on these seemingly over-indulgent treats, I used whole wheat pastry flour and rolled oats to form the dough, along with a combination of coconut sugar and molasses rather than traditional brown sugar,” writes Jodye of Whole Pure Recipes.

Kitchen time = the best time. Keep cooking with these 5 recipes from the new Bulletproof Cookbook (no coffee mug needed).

(Photo: Whole Pure Recipes)