Have you heard the news about Santa Claus? No? Well, word on the snow-covered streets is that Old Saint Nick hasn’t been so jolly about his health lately. We all know that his belly that shakes like a bowlful of jelly has gotten bigger the past few years. It also seems that Santa hasn’t been feeling too well, complaining of fatigue, low energy and lots of digestive issues. Let’s just say the gusty breezes aren’t the only winds at the North Pole recently. So Santa has decided to give himself the gift of health this Christmas by getting more sleep, regular exercise and adopting a plant-based diet. It’s been over a month now and reports state that Kris Kringle is already feeling better, more energetic and has even lost a few pounds. What does that mean for all the houses that usually leave milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve? Will they have to leave him raw kale salad instead? Don’t worry, there are lots of healthy cookies and non-dairy milk ideas that Santa can indulge in and still be good for his health. At One Green Planet, we have cookies filled with fruit, nuts, whole and whole grains, cookies that are oil-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and of course, vegan.
Here are some recipes that will make Santa Ho-Ho-Happy!
1. Cookies with Spice
Source: Spice Cookies
When it’s cold, warm spices make for warm bodies. Santa is outside all night and would love some healthy cookies with a bit of spice. My Gluten-Free Chai Spice Cookies are warm and spicy. They smell and taste like the holidays personified. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mug or small bowl, combine 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed with 3 Tbs. warm water. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes until it becomes a thick gel. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and ½ cup brown sugar. Mix the sugar with all the following spices: 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, ½ tsp. ground allspice, ½ tsp. ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp. ground cloves and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Take 1/3 cup of the sugar/spice mixture and set it aside on a plate for later. In a large bowl, sift 2 cups gluten-free, all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. xanthan or guar gum, 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. kosher salt. Mix well until it’s well-combined. Add 1 cup vegan butter to the bowl with the sugar/spice mixture. Using a hand mixer, mix until the sugar and butter is combined, light and fluffy. Mix in the flax gel, 3 Tbs. non-dairy milk and 1 tsp. vanilla until it is smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture, about 1/3 at a time, to the wet ingredients and mix until it is all just combined into a dough.
Wet your hands a little bit and roll spoonfuls of the dough into little balls. The balls should be about 1-inch in size unless you want larger cookies. Roll each ball in the sugar/spice mixture you set aside before and place them on the baking sheets about one inch apart. Using the back of the spoon or the bottom of a glass, lightly press the balls down into discs. Bake for 16-18 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through. They should be golden brown and just starting to brown on the bottoms. They will still feel somewhat soft on top. They will harden as they cool. When they are done, remove them from the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Other spicy cookie recipes include Heart Healthy Raw Pecan Spice Cookies, Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies, Vegan Spice Cookies, Raw Spiced Orange Thumbprint Cookies, and Chai Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies.
2. Ginger Cookies
Source: Ginger Cookies
It wouldn’t be Christmastime without gingerbread cookies. A hit of ginger is just what Santa needs to keep him healthy and ward off any bugs he might catch this winter. Make him a batch of these Soft, Chewy Gingerbread Cookies, Chocolate Ginger Orange Cookies, Gingerbread Folk Cookies, Raw Gingersnap Cookies, Molasses Ginger Cookies, Peachy Ginger Cookies, and The World’s Healthiest Ginger Cookies.
3. Nutty Cookies
Source: Almond Butter Holiday Cookies
It takes a lot of stamina to cross the entire world in one night to leave gifts for every single child. Santa will be grateful for cookies that give him a burst of protein from healthy nuts and nut butters. My Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies are easy to make and look like little chocolate snowballs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine ½ cup vegan butter and 3-4 Tbs. of powdered sugar in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until they are combined and appear fluffy. Add in 1 tsp. vanilla and mix again. Slowly add in 1 cup gluten-free, all-purpose flour and ½ tsp. xanthan or guar gum, mixing with the hand mixer, until everything is well combined. Finally, mix in ¼ cup chocolate hazelnut spread. You should have a thick but soft doughy batter. Using a tablespoon, drop balls of dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. When the cookies are completely cooled, sprinkle a few more spoons of powdered sugar over them. This recipe makes 20 cookies.
Santa will also go nuts for these Almond Butter Holiday Cookies, Lime Cashew Cookies, Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies, Oat and Cashew Thumbprint Cookies with Berry Chia Jam, Cashew Sage Cookies with Lemon Drizzle, Flourless Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, Almond Joy Cookies, Frosted Apple Almond Butter Cookies, Soft, Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies, Crisped Rice Peanut Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Apple Butter Cookies, Sunflower Seed Butter Oatmeal Cookies, and Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies.
4. Fruity Cookies
Source: Raw Christmas Cookies
Santa has been trying to get a lot more fruit and veggies into his diet lately. For one night, and a holiday night at that, Santa can get his produce from delicious cookies. He will love to find a plate of these Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate-Frosted Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies, Gluten-Free Sweet Cherry Tarts, Raw Cherry Chocolate Coconut Cookies, Orange Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies, Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies, Chocolate Raisin Oat Cookies, Gluten-Free Date Squares, Creamsicle Coconut Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies with Grapefruit and Anise, Tahini Orange Date Crumble Cookies, Raw Vegan Christmas Cookies and Raspberry Madeleines.
5. Chocolate Cookies
Source: Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cookies
When Santa embarked on his new healthy regime, he was so happy to find out that chocolate is actually good for you! This Christmas Eve, Santa can enjoy rich, chocolate-y cookies – in moderation, of course. My Chocolate Chip Cookies are simple yet delicious. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix 2 tsp. egg replacer with 6 Tbs. of water and set aside. In a bowl, combine 2 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Mix to combine. In a large bowl, add 1 cup softened vegan butter, 1 cup brown sugar, ¾ sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, mix to combine all the ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until all the flour is incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in 1 cup vegan chocolate chips. Scoop the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons. Wet your hands and roll each scoop into a ball. Place the balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. You can eat one cookie dough ball. Just one. After all, you want to taste the dough to make sure it’s good. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes for chewy cookies or 15 for crispy cookies. They will still feel very soft when they are done. Remove the baking pans from the oven and let sit for 2 minutes. The cookies will firm up. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before eating (if you can). This recipe makes about 30 cookies.
More chocolate delights for Santa include Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites, Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies, The Double Chocolate ‘Everything’ Cookie, Dark Chocolate Vegan Cookies, Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Perfect Vegan ‘Tollhouse’ Cookies, Vegan Thin Mint Cookies, Peppermint Mocha Cookies, Holiday Chocolate Coconut Cookies, and Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies.
6. Sugar Cookies
Source: Christmas Fairytale Cookies
Simple sugar cookies are a hallmark of the holiday season and Santa could probably use a little burst of sugar to help him stay up all night. My Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies are light and tasty, perfect for a little pick-me-up. In a small cup or bowl, mix 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed and 3 Tbs. warm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it thickens into a gel. In a bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup vegan butter using a spatula. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, combine 1 cup gluten-free, all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 Tbs. lemon zest. Add the flour to the butter mixture and then add in the flax gel. Mix until you have a soft dough. Shape the dough into a log, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Tear or cut off pieces of the dough log and shape into balls. Flatten the balls and lay the dough on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake 15-20 minutes until the cookies are browned a bit. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack or platter. Decorate with icing if desired.
For more sugar cookies, give Santa these Christmas Fairytale Cookies, Simple Vegan Sugar Cookies, Go Raw-Like Sugar Cookies, Chewy Sugar Cookies, Sweet Star Cookies and My Great Grandma’s Sugar Cookies.
7. Non-Dairy Milk
Source: Eggnog Milkshake
With all these delicious vegan cookies, Santa will need something to wash them down and quench his thirst. But don’t leave Santa any dairy milk; he has sworn off the stuff. Instead, leave Santa a nice, tall glass of cold non-dairy milk. There are so many types of dairy-free milks you can buy including soy, rice, almond, cashew, hemp, coconut and more. You can also make your own milk and make sure you end up on Santa’s “nice” list. Learn How to Make Homemade Unsweetened Coconut Milk, How to Make the Ultimate Homemade Cashew Milk, How to Make Peanut Milk, How to Milk an Almond, How to Make Sprouted Sunflower Seed Milk, How to Make Homemade Hazelnut Cashew Milk and How to Make Raw Cacao Milk.
As much as Santa would love all these non-dairy milks, he may be missing his traditional egg nog. Surprise him with a glass of vegan egg nog. Try this Vegan “Egg Nog,” Healthy Holiday Nog, Raw Vegan Egg Nog, an Eggnog Milkshake, and this beta carotene-filled Carrot Nog that will help Santa’s night vision. No alcohol, please, Santa is driving.
With all these healthy, plant-based milk and cookie recipes, Santa will be in fit shape in no time. And when he is even slimmer, that will mean he can fit even more presents in his sled.
Lead Image Source: Raw White Cookies