No holiday party is complete without cookies. But can you enjoy the occasional treat without compromising your health? Sheila Patterson, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian, says that with a few heart-healthy modifications, you can indulge in the occasional holiday cookie.

“This healthier cookie recipe uses nutritious oats to replace some of the flour and walnuts, which contain heart-healthy fats. The ginger adds a warm, wintry flavor and is also good for digestion,” said Patterson. “Share these cookies at your next holiday gathering to ensure that there’s a tasty, yet healthy dessert option. And remember to practice moderation by having just one or two cookies.”

Gingery Oat and Molasses Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4-cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2-cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl; mix well. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, molasses and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in crystallized ginger and walnuts.
  2. Shape dough into 2 (8- to 10- inch) logs. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 to 3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Cut logs into 1/3-inch slides; place 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set. Cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 69
  • Total fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Cholesterol: 9 mg
  • Sodium: 55 mg
Sheila Patterson, RD, CDE

Sheila Patterson, RD, CDE

Outpatient Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator

Sheila is a registered dietitian for Adventist HealthCare’s Outpatient Nutrition & Diabetes program.

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