Time for a healthy twist on a classic with cranberry orange carrot cookies. I love this recipe because it incorporates fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seasonal spices and has less fat than your traditional cookie.
We all want to sneak veggies into sweets without it tasting like veggies. That’s why carrots are perfect because they provide color, moisture, and nutrients. These, along with the fresh cranberries and freshly squeezed orange juice, are great sources of vitamin C, A, potassium, and other micronutrients (aka vitamins and minerals). If fresh cranberries are no longer in season, you can use dried cranberries instead.
Vitamin C is especially important this time of year with traveling and family gatherings as it may help boost the immune system to help protect us from getting sick.
I love using whole grain flour because it has almost 4 times the amount of fiber in all-purpose flour. Whole grain flour packs about 13 grams of fiber in just 1 cup, helping you reach the goal of 25-30 grams dietary fiber daily. Try swapping half all-purpose flour for whole grain flour in your favorite baked goods.
If you are looking for a little more rich flavor, you can use butter but I often love swapping butter for whole milk greek yogurt because it provides the necessary fat but also adds some great protein into the mix. Try swapping out butter for greek yogurt at a 1 to 1 ratio if your recipes calls for 1 cup or less. If the recipes calls for 1 cup or greater of butter, try replacing half the butter with an equal amount of yogurt.
Seasonal spices are a great, natural way to add flavor to your recipes. The spices I’ve chosen pair beautifully with the cranberry orange flavor combination. As a plus, cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which are good for health. Along with cinnamon, nutmeg has been shown to help with digestive issues like indigestion and stomach ulcers.
Want to have these cranberry orange cookies ready to go for your next sweet craving or cookie swap? Freeze the dough for up to 6 months and then thaw when ready to use.
Ultimately, remember the principles of Intuitive Eating. Realize the holidays are a time for truly enjoying a cookie or two without beating yourself up about it.
This recipe was developed with the help of my favorite chef–Chef Keilen Shigematsu, owner of Table Focus Catering. Happy baking!
Cranberry Orange Carrot Cookies
- 1/2 cup whole milk greek yogurt or butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely grated carrots, patted dry
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or almond flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup dried cranberries or fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the greek yogurt and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Stir in the grated carrots.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add mixture to the wet ingredients, then mix gently, just until the flour disappears. Fold in the cranberries.
- Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch. Once cooked, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While cookies are in the oven, prepare the orange glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Lightly drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Store cookies in a sealed plastic container for up to one week.