This post was written in partnership with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and the Take Cholesterol to Heart initiative. All opinions and experiences written are my own.
Now that it’s holiday season, for many of us, all things are in go-mode times ten. Are you tired just thinking about it too? Helpful hint: remember it’s a marathon—slow and steady keeps the holiday meltdown at bay. This means, the shopping list has been written down, rather than simply floating around in my head, and all the holiday gatherings, and all the cooking and baking that comes along with them, are scheduled.
To start, Naomi and I have finalized our holiday cookie list that we will be making to send out family and friends: sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookie bars, Mexican Wedding Cakes, gingerbread cookies and a few more. Holiday cookies are a big deal to my family because we all get in the kitchen to bake and decorate together, and it’s a tradition the kids love. To keep the family cookie tradition going, I’m partnering with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and Take Cholesterol to Heart to share how you can still have fun while making healthier food choices during the holiday season that may help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
This year, I’m adding salted peanut butter oatmeal cookies to the line-up. It’s not an entirely new cookie, but it did get a major update as I’m trying to lead a more heart-healthy lifestyle.
n doing so, I’m helping to decrease my saturated fat intake where I can. This means swapping out the butter in these cookies for canola oil because saturated fat can raise low-density lipoprotein (or “bad”) cholesterol levels. While cholesterol is vital for many processes in the body, too much of it can build up in your arteries, which may lead to a stroke or heart attack.
I’m also replacing some of the all-purpose flour with rye flour and using honey instead of refined sugar.
I’m all about making smarter choices for my family and I, especially when it is simple to transform a classic recipe into a healthier option. In addition to making healthier food choices, I try to exercise regularly and have my cholesterol checked by my doctor. Be sure to have yours checked, too, as diet and exercise may not be enough for some to keep their cholesterol at healthy levels. For those folks, a doctor may prescribe a medication in addition to diet and exercise to help lower cholesterol.
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup rye flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¼ creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- fleur de sel salt
- n a large bowl whisk together the first 8 ingredients. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and canola oil until emulsified. Add in the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until just blended. Dough will be dry and slightly crumbly.
- Scoop out approximately 2 tablespoons of dough and roll dough into a 1-inch ball. Repeat with remaining dough. Place dough balls 1-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
While I may not be overhauling all my cookies, I realize it’s more important to do what I can, where I can—baby steps. To find out more information on how you make more heart-healthy choices this holiday season go to TakeCholesteroltoHeartChallenge.