Heart Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Heart Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Moist and heart healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!  Sometimes you just need something yummy and slightly sweet and these fit the bill.   This one involves a happy accident I must share because it makes such a difference in the flavor of these gems.  Preparing to make a batch last week, I’d zested the orange, but our plans suddenly Orangeschanged and I needed to do something with the fresh zest.  I know I thought!  I’ll put it in the ½ cup oil the recipe calls for and set it aside for the time being.  As circumstances would have it, it was several days before the cookie-making resumed, and now I had the most lovely, orange-infused oil!  A grand touch of serendipity.  It really punches up the orange flavor, so I highly recommend it if you can wait that long to make them.  My friend Kristy will be in town in a few days and I’m infusing oil now so I can serve these warm from the oven when she gets here.

Bill loves them as an afternoon snack with green tea, and I like to munch them for energy before a workout.  Oatmeal helps lower LDL (“lethal” cholesterol) and according to WebMD, more recent data shows it may improve your cholesterol profile by curbing small cholesterol particles and may also reduce inflammation.  Additionally, chocolate is believed to help protect your cardiovascular system because it’s rich in flavanoids.  It’s important though to choose the purest dark chocolate you can find. (The heart-healthiest dark chocolate has at least 60 percent cocoa solids.)  And nuts are good for your heart too!  Walnuts top the list because they’re found to have more antioxidants than other nuts.

Heart Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Another goodness ingredient is flaxseed, which contains omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), so it’s a good source of antioxidants and healthy fat for the heart.  You can purchase the seeds and grind them yourself, or buy them pre-ground.  Either way, it’s best to keep ground flaxseed refrigerated if you’re not using it right away.   The coconut oil is a good source of lauric acid, which studies have shown can increase your HDL or “healthy” cholesterol and lower your LDL, but you can use another healthy oil, such as light olive oil.

Heart Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip CookiesAdding the yummy sweetened cranberries was Bill’s idea and a good one.  One thing I love about oatmeal cookies is you can change them up depending on your mood or what you have on hand.  You can use any variety of nut you like as well as fruit or a bit of spice.  Apples in place of the chocolate for example, along with a bit of cinnamon instead of the orange zest is really good.

And, these could easily be made gluten free by using gluten-free rolled oats and gluten-free oat flour.  The oat flour also comes in a pack of 4 for better value.

Heart Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies


Bill Peterson Photos by: Bill Peterson Galleries facebook icon

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