Dried cranberries are one of the best sources of a phytochemical known as a tannin, an important contributor to heart health and a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to aging prevention, among many other things.
Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, selenium, zinc, protein, iron, copper, vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. Oats help to reduce bad cholesterol, lower heart-disease risk and have cancer-fighting properties.
Walnuts are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin E. Although high in fat, walnuts are mostly omega-3 fatty acids, which are the essential fats that lower bad cholesterol.
Whole-wheat flour is a great substitute for white (refined) flour, as it provides a good source of fiber, protein, calcium and iron.
Almond meal is made from raw almonds, which have been linked ro reducing the risk of heart disease.
—Nutritional information provided by Ilana Katz, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., (770) 458-2127, www.onforlife.com
Cranberry Walnut Hikers
1 stick butter, softened
2 tbsp shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup almond meal
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp milk
6 oz dried and sweetened cranberries
1 cup white-chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat just until combined. Set aside. Sift together flours and baking soda. Then, mix with almond meal and oatmeal.
Add milk to butter mixture and then slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Add nuts, cranberries and white chocolate and mix by hand until combined. Drop heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.
—Recipe by Robin Rockman of Little Bird Baking Company, (312) 399-4847