A healthier, great tasting gingerbread recipe
Ok so we’ve been a bit liberal with the truth here – this healthy gingerbread recipe isn’t healthy in the same way as for instance a plate of kale – but it’s certainly healthier than a lot of recipes as well as shop bought gingerbread!
We make gingerbread every year at home and we seem to alter the recipe slightly each time. But of all the recipes we’ve tried, this is the one we’re going to come back to year after year. No more fiddling around with ingredients to make a ‘better’ version – this one just works, and we’re sticking with it.
We use lower-gluten spelt flour in the recipe, and we’ve opted for coconut sugar as one of the three sweeteners but you could also use xylitol instead if you don’t have an issue with high FODMAP foods. Coconut sugar is now readily available in most supermarkets and has come down considerably in price – so we keep a bag of it in the cupboard to use as a brown sugar substitute. The other sweeteners are maple syrup and blackstrap molasses which we love for it’s rich mineral and vitamin content as well as depth of colour and flavour. We used liquid blackstrap molasses which you can buy in supermarkets and health shops – but you could also use molasses sugar instead.
You could use coconut oil instead of butter in the recipe but butter keeps the cost down. Saturated fat is no longer the demon that it once was, and in fact butter and ghee (or clarified butter – click here for recipe) are amongst our top cooking oils along with olive oil and coconut oil.
Since discovering that on a personal basis, genetically I have an issue converting the plant form of Vitamin A (beta-carotene) into the Vitamin A my body needs, I now am much more liberal with my use of butter than I was before (the Vitamin A in butter needs no conversion). Organic butter also has a better fatty acid profile than non-organic – being higher in the Essential Omega 3 fats.
The recipe is easy to make, the dough doesn’t break up – and more importantly the kids and I have loads of fun decorating the shapes together. Enjoy!
- 300 grams spelt flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 50 grams butter organic
- 1 egg beaten
- 50 grams coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses liquid or sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
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- Over a low heat gently melt the butter, coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses and maple syrup together. Stir frequently to dissolve the sugar and when melted turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and pour the melted ingredients on top, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add the beaten egg and stir again until a dough begins to form.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a ball, wrap in parchment paper or cling film and cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven to 170°C
- Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll the dough out and use cookie cutters to make your gingerbread men - or other shapes. You will need to re-roll the dough several times to make the full amount.
- Place the gingerbread men on a greased baking tray, baking stone or tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then lift them onto a wire rack to cool further. Decorate and enjoy!
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