I don’t think that I have ever made it through the holiday season without a solid round of baking, those sweet little moments of mixing up batches of love are so important to me!  Now that my daughter is a big third grader, she has a lot of opinions about what we bake, lol.  This year we have joined forces and came up with a plan to hand out a short list of our favorites to all the grandmas and the grandpas.  I am feeling like we really covered all the flavors of the season with this list right here, with some always welcome health benefits!  Let me know which ones you decide to try and what you think of them!

4.  Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies by Celebrating Sweets,  this is a new recipe to us..  My daughter’s absolute favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.  I let her choose our fourth flavor and she asked me to find something that was like the cookie version of her favorite ice cream.  I think these cookies are a GREAT representation of that!

2.0…..  Alternate Contendor!  Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies by twopeasandtheirpod.com

What makes these cookies healthier than the rest?

Health benefits of peppermint extract:  Peppermint is some pretty great stuff!  It can help ease digestive issues like bloating, gas and indigestion and even relieve a headache!  It is also known to help with menstrual cramps and relieving clogged sinuses.  One of the most amazing things it can do is aide in clearing up bacterial infections, wow!  It can also help improve your sleep, which in turn improves your mood, while even freshening your breath!  Just some pretty great stuff, am I right?!  🙂

3.  Cranberry Orange Cookies by LandOLakes, this was my pick!  It has been years since I last made these cookies and the flavors just scream Christmas to me.  They are are sweet and buttery like a crunchy sugar cookies zested with orange and filled with tangy bites of cranberry.  So good!!

What makes these cookies healthier than the rest?

Health benefits of oranges:  We all know they are high in vitamin c which helps keeps our immune systems strong but, what else can oranges do for us?!  They keep our blood pressure and blood sugars in check while keeping our skin beautiful by preventing skin damage!  All of this while lowering our cholesterol and our risk of cancer!  What an amazing, super fruit!  

Health benefits of cranberries:  This superfood is known to be high in nutrient and antioxidant content which has brought research to link them with lowering the risk of urinary tract infections.  And, just like the orange, they can also help prevent certain types of cancers while decreasing blood pressure and improving immune function.  

2.  The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies by food.com, what is Christmas without gingerbread right?!  We just have to make those little men year after year, we need to fill our home with that perfect smell and just nom nom nom, mmmmm I can’t get enough!!

What makes these cookies healthier than the rest?

Health benefits of ginger:  A spice that every person should add to their diet because of all its wonderful nutritious properties that have powerful benefits for your body and your brain!  It has been proven to treat many forms of nausea including morning sickness, can treat chronic indigestion and also relieves menstrual pain.  It contains Gingerol which is a substance with a long history of being used in traditional and alternative medicine due to its strong medicinal properties.  It has been known to reduce muscle pain and soreness and also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help with osteoarthritis.  Just like our friends the oranges and the cranberries, ginger can also drastically lower blood sugar and help improve heart disease factors.  It can also lower cholesterol levels and contains a substance that can help to prevent cancer.  Ginger can also help to fight infections and may improve brain functions which protects you against developing Alzheimer’s Disease.  

1.  Lemon Blossoms by Paula Dean, this is easily our top favorite cookie for all time.  I requests to make them year after year.  They are like bite sized muffin shaped lemon donuts covered in a sweet and zesty lemon glaze.  I have yet to meet someone who just doesn’t fall head over heels for these, even the non sweet eaters in my life can’t resist!  They are only a few ingredients and, a mini muffin silicone pan like this one here:  makes the process a lot easier.  I used to scoop each one out of my pan with a spoon but this pan was a real gamer changer for us!

What makes these cookies healthier than the rest?

Health benefits of lemon:  Just like the orange, lemon contains high levels of vitamin c which help us to keep our immune system strong and supports heart health!  They are promoted as a weight loss food due to the soluble pectin fiber they contain which expands in your stomach and helps you to feel fuller longer.  The citric acid they contain increase your urine volume which may help to prevent kidney stones from forming in your urinary tract.  They help improve your absorption of iron from plant foods which helps protect you from developing anemia.  They aide in your digestive health and also lower your cancer risk.  Another super food you definitely want in your diet!  

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