Sunday, January 15, 2012

Heart-Healthy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies with almonds – perfect with a cup of tea.

Happy New Year! If you are like me, you may have included 'eating healthier' in your New Year's resolutions. Eating healthier meals doesn't necessarily mean that you need to stop enjoying dessert! Besides including lots of fresh fruit in your diet, you can easily whip up some of these heart-healthy cookies for a special treat.

Health Benefits
Dried Cherries: I used dried Montmorency cherries in my cookies. Montmorencies are tart, or sour, cherries. Cherries are high in the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, which has been shown to be beneficial in preventing many diseases, including cancer. Dried tart cherries also contain high levels of melatonin, which can help regulate sleep and slow the aging process.

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants. Chocolate increases blood flow to your brain and heart. It can help control blood sugar. Chocolate is high in the minerals potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. It also makes you feel happier by elevating your mood. And it tastes great!

Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains a fiber called beta-glucan. Including more oatmeal in your diet can lower cholesterol, boost immunity, and stabilize blood sugar. Oatmeal also is high in magnesium, which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Almonds: Almonds are high in the antioxidant Vitamin E, cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats and are a good source of protein. Almonds also contain Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), manganese and copper. Don't care for almonds? Substitute walnuts, pecans or chestnuts; all of which are also high in good fats and antioxidants.

Chewy little yummy nummies

I found these cookies to be a little too mounded, so I flattened them with a spatula slightly before baking. The dried cherries I bought were really huge; next time I will chop them up. I'm not a fan of chopping chocolate, so I might use dark chocolate chips next time.

I hope you enjoy these heart-healthy cookies!
I ate four. They're healthy, so it's OK. Right? Anyone?
Heart-Healthy Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Based on a recipe by Cooking Light
Makes 42 small cookies

Ingredients
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup dried cherries (chopped up if you like smaller bits)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flours, oats, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3. Melt butter in a small bowl. Mix in brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate and almonds. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Nutritional Information
Amount per cookie (based on 42 cookies)
Calories: 67
Fat: 2.3g
Saturated fat: 1.1g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.43g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.14g
Protein: 1.2g
Carbohydrate: 11.2g
Fiber: 0.9g
Cholesterol: 7.1mg

4 comments:

Christine said...

Chocolate, cherries, oatmeal, and almonds!? I'll jump on the healthy cookie train with my bag packed for a day trip and a coffee in my hand anytime! Coffee has anti-oxidants in it, too! :D

Good to see that you've broken through your blogger's block -- I'm still in an apathetic battle with mine. :P

Deanna said...

What a enticing presentation with details on calories, etc. I will be sure to give them a try!! sound nummy and healthy

Heidi said...

Yummy! These look like my kind of cookies, and I love how good the ingredients list is, for cookies. They look great! I noticed you're from BC, so am I! Always nice to meet another "local" blogger :D

stephchows said...

ooo This sounds like the perfect cookie combo if you ask me! Delicious!