Vitamin Mom Blog

Natural Nutrition for your family

I don’t always bake cookies, but when I do, they’re full of antioxidants

I don't always bake cookies

I finally admitted to myself a few years ago that I don’t like baking. But twice a year, I am forced to bake.   Christmas time is one of those times.   My motto with sweets is, “if it’s not chocolate, it’s not worth the calories.”  And if I’m going to add ingredients other than chocolate into my baked goods, well – they might as well have some nutritional benefits.

Chocolate, Cranberry & Pistachio cookies


These cookies have 3 ingredients that make me feel a smidgen better about all of the sugar and butter.

1.) Organic cocoa powder.  This cocoa powder I used is certified organic, 100% natural and rich in polyphenols.   According to WebMD, recent studies have shown antioxidant activity of dark chocolate and cocoa powder to be the same as, or higher some other “super fruit” powders or juices, including acai berry and pomegranate.

2.) Dried cranberries.  These sweet and tart berries do more than help prevent urinary tract infections.  Cranberries are full of Vitamin C & E, high in fiber and contain vitamin K, manganese and phytonutrients that help protect the body from harmful free radicals and have anti-inflammatory properties.  If you’re interested in the health benefits of cranberries, try these supplements.

2.) Pistachios.  According to the American Pistachio Growers, eating pistachios may reduce the risk of heart disease in four ways:

  • Lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol
  • Increasing antioxidants in the blood and decreasing oxidized-LDL
  • Providing beneficial anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reducing acute stress by lowering blood pressure

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I’m not claiming that these cookies are “healthy”. They have sugar, fat and are high in calories.  BUT – if you’re going to add something to cookies – rather than pouring in a bag of Christmas candies made with artificial colors – choose something like cranberries or pistachios that are tasty and full of antioxidants.


3/4 cup butter flavored shortening

  • 1 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups  All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (plus more for topping)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (plus more for topping)
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios (or more to taste)


1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Cream brown sugar, shortening and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy.

2. Mix egg into creamed mixture.

3. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips, pistachios and cranberries

4.  Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough 3-inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

5.  I topped each cookie dough mound with 2 chocolate chips, 2 dried cranberries and 1 pistachio.  It lets people know right away what’s inside the cookie.

6.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies.  Leave them in for 2-3 more minutes for crisp cookies. Let cookies cool 1-2 minutes on their baking sheet and then transfer them to a cooling rack.


I’m not going to lie.  They were delicious.


One comment on “I don’t always bake cookies, but when I do, they’re full of antioxidants

  1. Jen
    December 9, 2013

    They sound delicious! I’m definitely going make some!

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2013 by in Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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