These Healthy Ginger Cookies are made with whole grain flour and no refined sugar! They are perfect if you’re looking for healthier Christmas Cookies to make this season!Months slip by without warning and if you aren’t looking summer turns to November in a blink of an eye. That’s how I felt when my daughter, Meghan, declared, “Mom! You need to change the calendar to November!” It was November 1st and I shook my head at how quickly time was flying.
It was also my signal that I could officially start making some healthy Christmas Cookies.
Too early, you say? Remember how time slips away?
I think we should make a deal. Let’s be better planners. Even when Thanksgiving is still lurking around the corner, let’s start thinking about our December holidays, too.
My mission this year is to create as many healthier Christmas cookies and treats as I can. If we’re going to have treats (And who are we kidding? We are.) we might as well make them as healthy as we can. Do you agree or do you go all-out-non-healthy with your Christmas treats?
Here’s my criteria for creating healthy Christmas cookies:
- Use whole grain flours instead of white, processed flour.
- Don’t use refined sugars.
- Create a variety of treats for different diet restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, etc.)
- They must taste delicious!
I started out with a classic ginger cookie. I swapped out all-purpose flour in favor of whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is such a light whole grain flour that it works beautifully in baked goods such as cookies. Instead of refined, white sugar, I used coconut sugar. I love the flavor of coconut sugar and it worked fantastically here. Coconut palm sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular white sugar, so it’s a great swap when trying to make healthier baked goods.I didn’t try to cut the fat in these ginger cookies. I will do that in some of the treats I share, but these classic cookies really need the fat for the proper texture. I used this this organic vegetable shortening, which is made with organic palm oil that is non-hydrogenated.
With whole grain flour and no refined sugar, these ginger cookies are a healthier option for your holiday treats.
Need a gluten-free cookie that’s similar? Try these gluten free molasses cookies from Meaningful Eats!
Ready to dive into the recipe? Here we go!
Recipe Ingredients–What You Need
- Whole wheat pastry flour: If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, use white whole wheat flour. Regular whole wheat flour will be too dense for this recipe.
- Ground ginger: Ground ginger gives these cookies that classic spiced flavor. No substitutes for this one!
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon: This warming spice is perfect in these cookies and also helps control your blood sugar and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Ground cloves: Another warming spice that brings the flavor profile together.
- Salt: Salt is essential to bring out the flavor of your baked goods.
- Vegetable shortening: I recommend using a brand that is nonhydrogenated.
- Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar has a deep, complex flavor and has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar.
- Molasses: In many recipes I used blackstrap molasses, but I use regular molasses here. It’s more refined but blackstrap molasses is too strong for these cookies.
- Sugar: I use regular sugar, just for rolling the dough in.
How to Make Healthy Ginger Cookies
The method for making these Healthy Ginger Cookies is pretty straightforward. Even if you aren’t a regular baker, you can make these with success!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients.
- In a large bowl, beat together the shortening with a mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup coconut sugar and beat until combined. Beat in the eggs and molasses. Finally, beat in the flour mixture.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in the 1/4 cup sugar. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown and the tops are puffed. Do not over bake. Cool on a cookie sheet for one minute, and then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
I hope you try these Healthy Ginger Cookies this year! They’ll make a great addition to your Christmas cookies line up.
I have a number of healthy Christmas treats if that’s your jam. Try these:
- No-Bake Gingerbread Cookie Energy Balls
- Almond Flour Cookies with Jam and Chocolate
- Easy Gingerbread Cookies
- Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
- Healthy No Bake Chocolate Cookies
- Strawberry Banana Santa Hats
If you make these Healthy Ginger Cookies or any of my other healthy recipes, please share it on Instagram and I’ll feature you! Also, if you try it, please leave a comment with a star rating below! Those star ratings are so helpful in helping my recipes get discovered. I appreciate you!
This recipe was originally published in November 2015 and republished in December 2021. Links to products are affiliate links.