One Healthy Gingerbread Recipe

All I have been wanting to eat lately is food that tastes like Christmas…anyone else?! Spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and foods like citrus fruits, pomegranates, and cranberries are lighting up my life. Homemade gingerbread, however, is brand new to me…until now!

Growing up, we always had gingerbread in the house this time of year, but I don’t even know what was in it. After looking at several gingerbread recipes online, I decided to create my own version with more spices and less sugar. Just one taste of this healthy homemade gingerbread and I know it will be a new holiday tradition. I love it THAT much and you will too!

The best part is that this gingerbread contains no granular sugar, just honey, maple syrup, and molasses. (To be honest, I don’t even think I own sugar. There’s just no need for it when there are delicious natural substitutions out there.)

It’s also dairy free and can be made gluten-free as well! Let’s get started, shall we?!

One Healthy Gingerbread Recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2  cups healthy flour of choice (I used spelt)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Toppings:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • canned full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, then mix together. You don’t need a fancy mixer, a regular old fork will do. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and fill the pan with batter, leaving a few inches at the top (this stuff rises!) Bake for 45-50 minutes.

To make the frosting, skim the top half of the coconut milk from the can (be sure not to shake it as to only get the thick paste on top). Add in honey, (or maple syrup if you prefer) vanilla extract, and whip it together. This will make a thicker frosting. If you prefer a thinner frosting to drizzle on the bread instead, you can water it down with the thinner coconut milk from the can (or a little bit of water) use 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you get the right consistency.

Once the bread is cool, frost and top with pomegranate seeds, which are equally nutritious, delicious, and festive. Feel free to get creative and try different toppings, like chopped nuts, red and green sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or cinnamon. Make one loaf to have at home and others as gifts. The perfect Christmas breakfast or healthy dessert this time of year!

One Healthy Breakdown: Happy holidays and happy baking!

*Caroline O’Neill is a year round Hamptons resident and health and wellness lifestyle blogger of Bloom & Spark with a passion for nutrition, yoga, food, spirituality and personal development.

Apple Coconut Crisp

We’re officially kicking off apple season (hooray!) with a treat that’s super delicious and nutritious; apple coconut crisp! Putting a spin (and a dose of healthy fat) on the old favorite with just three simple, healthy ingredients; apples, cinnamon, and coconut. Yes, it’s totally okay to enjoy a serving or two regularly for breakfast, snack, or a healthful dessert!IMG_2659Makes one large serving or two smaller portions:

  • cover a small cookie sheet or pan with wax paper
  • chop two apples and place cubes on cookie sheet
  • sprinkle apples generously with cinnamon
  • bake at 400 degrees for ~10/15 minutes until apples begin to brownIMG_2656
  • sprinkle apples with shredded (unsweetened) coconut and continue to bake another few minutes until coconut browns
  • serve warm or cool

Yum! It’s great as is, but feel free to mix it up. For a satisfying breakfast, add granola, oats, or some nuts. For a creamier dessert, add whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, honey, plain Greek yogurt, (pictured) or even some vanilla ice cream if you’re going all out.

FullSizeRender(40)One Healthy Breakdown: who says healthy eating doesn’t taste amazing??

World Peace Cookies

Cookies Fresh Out of the OvenWhat could be better than a cookie recipe entitled “World Peace?” A chocolate cookie recipe titled “World Peace,” that’s what! These cookies are sweet enough for any holiday occasion without going overboard on sugar…the perfectly peaceful combination you can feel good indulging in!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar of choice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or ¾ cup bittersweet mini chocolate chips

1. Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

2. Working with a stand or handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.

3. Turn off mixer. Pour in dry ingredients and pulse mixer at low speed for a few seconds, about five times. Mix for about 30 seconds more, just until all flour is incorporated. Add chocolate pieces or chips and mix only to incorporate. (Dough should be worked as little as possible for best texture.)

4. Turn dough our onto a work surface, gather together and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, shape dough into logs and 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours (or up to three days).

5. To bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

6. Using a sharp, thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½ inch thick. Arrange on the baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them.

7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes (they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s as they should be). Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let rest until only just warm, then carefully remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in airtight cookie tin.

One Healthy Breakdown: these cookies are sure to create some peace and quiet in your house this holiday season, enjoy!

Recipe submitted by Emily Herrick, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours