If you’re leaving cookies for Santa this year, try the veggiejane Ginger Snaps or simply any cookies from scratch vs. the chemical-laden cookie mixes out there.  Aren’t traditional Christmas cookies supposed to mostly consist of flour, egg, butter, and sugar?  Isn’t icing supposed to be powdered sugar and milk?  As you celebrate the holidays this year, I urge you to make conscientious decisions that you can feel good about.  Why not make a choice to feed your family and friends with real ingredients?

Here’s a hint, when you see the words ‘partially hydrogenated’ in an ingredient list,’ it’s a trans fat.  The FDA recently proposed banning trans fats, as they are directly linked to heart disease. Trans fats were introduced into the food supply in the 1950s, and scientists have been sounding the alarm on them since the 80s.  Dr. Walter Willet, the chair of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, has called trans fats, “The biggest food processing disaster in US history.” Trans fats extend the shelf life of packaged goods and are cheaper than natural fats, which helps keep money in the pockets of Big Food.

Check out the ingredients in the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix that you can purchase for $1 at Walmart and decide for yourself.  Don’t forget that 90% of the corn, wheat, and soy in the US are genetically modified as well.

Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And/Or Cottonseed Oil, Egg Yolk, Leavening (Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Baking Soda), Egg Whites, Salt, Corn Starch, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Yeast. Contains Wheat, Egg; May Contain Milk And Soy Ingredients.  

Packaged icing is no better.  Check out the ingredients in this Betty Crocker Red Decorating Icing for sale at Walmart for $2.98.  Some of the worst offenders in this icing are Corn Syrup, Red 40, and the Natural & Artificial Flavors.  The food dyes often used in cookie icing are linked to hyperactivity and many other health issues in children and adults alike.  These dyes are regulated and labeled in Europe but not in the US. Read more on food dyes here.

Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, Gum Arabic, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Xanthan Gum, Red 40, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Natural & Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid.

Better yet, vegan baking (baking without animal products)  is also lots of fun and a new twist for seasoned bakers.  Why not give it a try?  Check out this simple vegan sugar cookie recipe, and enjoy more tips and recipes from here.

Enjoy your Christmas Cookies with the power of knowledge this year.

Santa and any little elves in your life will thank you for helping to keep them healthier.