Healthy dessert options can be few and far between this holiday season, but there are always options! What I think of when someone mentions the word “healthy” in front of “dessert” is something made with Jell-O that everyone is sure to avoid, or maybe a dessert without any flavor. But have no fear, because this is a small, light dessert that can be enjoyed throughout the day and goes deliciously with a cup of coffee.
Biscotti are a delicious cookies that hail from Italy. The word “biscotti” means “twice baked/cooked,” because they are cut when hot, and then returned to the oven to dry out. I know what you are thinking, “how can a biscotti be a healthy dessert that can benefit your eyes?” The cookie itself does not have that much sugar, and they traditionally contain lots of toasted nuts and dry fruit that hold a lot of nutrients that can be specifically geared towards benefiting your ocular health.
Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which is incredibly beneficial for your eyes. Nuts with good levels of vitamin E are almonds, walnuts and pecans. These nuts are also full of other nutrients like omega-3s, zinc and niacin, which have been also linked to the decreased probability of macular degeneration, cataracts and loss of vision.
Biscotti are a lot healthier than your pecan pie, and biscotti are beautiful cookies that can be wrapped up in small bags and given as a gift or at a cookie exchange. They are easy to prepare and would be a great opportunity to have your children or other loved ones help and spend time together in the kitchen.
Eye Healthy Holiday Biscotti
- 11 oz. all-purpose flour
- 7.5 oz. sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ cup dried cherries, diced
- ½ cup dried apricots, diced
- ½ cup toasted almonds
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- Sift together your dry ingredients. Then slowly add eggs and vanilla to a mixer bowl with paddle attachment, speed on medium.
- When dough forms together, slowly add nuts and dried apricots.
- Once all combined remove from bowl.
- Knead with hands on a slightly floured board and form into three small oval-like disks/logs.
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and cook in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then cut into thin, long cookies. Add back to oven to dry for about 5 to 10 more minutes.
*These biscotti once cooled may be dipped or drizzled in chocolate for that finished effect to make them extra special.