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Cranberry Spice Cookies Recipe

November 18, 2011 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Last month I posted a recipe for Healthy Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (link to recipe). The cookies were such a hit with family, friends and readers that I decided to experiment making other cookies using the same core ingredients. Today, I want to share one of my newest cookie creations as it’s particularly well suited for Thanksgiving.

Cranberries and pumpkin spice are traditional ingredients that almost always make their way onto Thanksgiving day menus. They’re also the two new ingredients in today’s recipe, taking the place of dark chocolate chips. To be precise, this news recipe calls for 2/3 cup of dried, organic cranberries, 1/2 tsp of organic pumpkin spice powder and no chocolate chips. Why cranberries? Cranberries truly live up to the description of a “super fruit”. Like most other fruits, they do contain some natural sugar. However, select phytochemicals in cranberries actually lower blood sugar and insulin and may reduce the likelihood of damage (glycation) caused by hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. This makes them an excellent candidate for those with or at risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. These tart berries are also a valuable addition to diets geared toward cardiovascular health. I’ve gone so far as to recommend pure, unsweetened cranberry juice for those who can’t drink red wine because it imparts similar health benefits. Another difference between cranberries and other sources of sugar is that they may protect gums and teeth, rather than causing decay. In part, they accomplish this by limiting the formation of cavity and gingivitis causing bacteria such as P. gingivalis and S. mutans. There’s even a serious push underway to confirm whether cranberries protect against a variety of cancers by inhibiting “cellular invasion and migration” and initiating cancer cell death (apoptosis). I could go on and on about the huge promise of this tiny, crimson berry. But, for now, I think I’ll back away from the science and just let you know that these cookies are really delicious too.

Nutritional Content (Per Cookie): Calories: 175. Protein: 4 grams. Fat: 14 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 6 grams. Makes 12 cookies per batch.

Note: I tested my blood sugar prior to and one hour after eating two of these cookies with a glass of unsweetened, vanilla almond milk. My blood sugar actually dropped by 3 mg/dL! Prior testing using my Healthy Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies resulted in an inconsequential rise in blood sugar of 2 mg/dL.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Postprandial Glucose, Insulin and Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 (link)

Study 2 – Cranberry Phytochemicals Inhibit Glycation of Human (link)

Study 3 – Low-Energy Cranberry Juice Decreases Lipid Oxidation(link)

Study 4 – Glycemic Responses to Sweetened Dried & Raw Cranberries (link)

Study 5 – Antimicrobial Traits of Tea- and Cranberry-Derived (link)

Study 6 – Cranberry Polyphenols: Potential Benefits for Dental Caries (link)

Study 7 – Effects of Cranberry Juice Consumption on Vascular Function (link)

Study 8 – Low-Calorie Cranberry Juice Supplementation Reduces Plasma (link)

Study 9 – Cranberries: Ripe for More Cancer Research? (link)

Study 10 – Anticancer Activities of Cranberry Phytochemicals: An Update (link)

Cranberry Juice May Limit LDL Cholesterol Oxidation

Source: Br J Nutr. 2008 Feb;99(2):352-9. (link)

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7 Comments & Updates to “Cranberry Spice Cookies Recipe”

  1. Judy Says:

    where is the actual recipe for the cranberry spice cookies, the link only takes me to the chocolate chip cookie recipe. Thanx.

  2. JP Says:

    Hi, Judy.

    Sorry for the confusion. This new recipe is exactly the same as the chocolate chip recipe except that it calls for 2/3 cup of dried, organic cranberries, 1/2 tsp of organic pumpkin spice powder and no chocolate chips. The bake time and everything else is the identical.

    Be well!


  3. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My grandma use to make cookies just like this and I was never able to find the right way to make it with the right ingredients. I think I may have found my answer. Thanks again!

  4. JP Says:

    I’m happy to hear it. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

    Be well!


  5. RP Says:

    these cookies look like they have oats in them. but the chocolate chip cookies don’t. are they really the same cookies with cranberries instead of chocolate chips?

  6. JP Says:

    Hi RP,

    The cookies in the photograph do contain oats. However, the chocolate chip and cranberry cookie recipes on my site are both oat-free. And, yes, the recipes are virtually identical.

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Update: Cranberries may reduce the build up of harmful oral bacteria …


    Contemp Clin Dent. 2015 Jan-Mar;6(1):35-9.

    Comparative assessment of Cranberry and Chlorhexidine mouthwash on streptococcal colonization among dental students: A randomized parallel clinical trial.

    BACKGROUND: Chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash has earned an eponym of the gold standard against oral infections, but with certain limitations. There is no effective alternative to Chlorhexidine. Cranberry is known to inhibit bacterial adhesion in various systemic infections and acts as a strong antioxidant. However, it is less explored for its dental use. Hence, there is a need to evaluate its effect against oral infections.

    AIM: The aim was to compare the efficacy of 0.2% Chlorhexidine mouthwash with 0.6% Cranberry mouthwash on Streptococcus mutans.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a double-blind, randomized parallel group clinical trial. Total sample of 50 subjects, aged 18-20 years, were randomly divided into two groups, Group A (25) and Group B (25) were given 10 mL of Chlorhexidine mouthwash and Cranberry mouthwash twice daily, respectively, for 14 days each. The plaque samples, which were taken from the subjects on 1(st) day and 14(th) day, were inoculated on blood agar plates and incubated at 37°C for 24-48 h. Number of streptococcal colony forming units were calculated using digital colony counter. The data were subjected to paired t-test and unpaired t-test at a 5% significance level.

    RESULTS: (1) Chlorhexidine mouthwash showed 69% reduction whereas Cranberry mouthwash showed 68% reduction in S. mutans count. (2) No significant difference was seen between Chlorhexidine and Cranberry mouthwash on streptococci.

    CONCLUSION: Cranberry mouthwash is equally effective as Chlorhexidine mouthwash with beneficial local and systemic effect. Hence, it can be used effectively as an alternative to Chlorhexidine mouthwash.

    Be well!


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