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.

Sweet Potato Protein Muffins

These sweet potato muffins were an insta hit! Packed with protein, fiber, and sweet flavor, you can’t go wrong whipping up a batch of these babies for an easy breakfast or snack! Dont’ be afraid to substitute the sweet potatoes for pumpkin as well!

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Sweet Potato Protein Muffins:

Makes 6 regular sized muffins. Note that I used 1 can of organic sweet potato puree; however, you could use 1-2 baked sweet potatoes – equal to about 1.5 cups of sweet potato if you prefer.

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1 can sweet potato puree or the equivalent of 1.5 cups of baked sweet potato (as long as you have a good blender, you can leave skin on – it’s the healthiest part!)
  • 1/2 cup raw rolled oats
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon / or a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk

Instructions:
blend or mix the above (I used Vitamix)
lightly coat muffin tin with coconut oil and pour mixture into pan, filling muffin just over halfway
bake muffins at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Once muffins golden on top, check with a fork or knife to make sure that muffin is cooked through. Let cool and remove from tins. Enjoy and refrigerate leftovers.

One Healthy Breakdown: September tastes oh so sweet!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Holla to my fellow carrot cake lovers out there! Offering a healthy twist on the heavenly dessert we all know and love. Not only delicious, this one’s also super nutritious and good warm or cold!

FullSizeRender_1Carrot Cake Oatmeal: (makes one serving)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or coconut butter
  • Optional: 1 tsp shredded coconut, 1 tsp raisins, or 1 tsp nut butter of choice
  • For post-workout/added protein: add 1 egg while cooking

IMG_3474Cook oats on stovetop in coconut/almond milk, adding vanilla, cinnamon, and pie spice and stir. Follow by adding grated carrots, maple syrup, walnuts, and coconut oil/butter and continue to stir. Once mixture is thick, turn off heat and transfer to bowl. Top with shredded coconut, nut butter, and/or raisins and enjoy warm. Thank me later…

FullSizeRenderOne Healthy Breakdown: Carrot cake oatmeal makes breakfast the perfect time to have your cake and it too…with a healthy dose of veggies that is!

 

French Toast for One

French toast, anyone? Sometimes, we all need a breakfast packed with sweet comfort. This is not your average brunch-order french toast, no matter how you slice it.

22This french toast for one is made of super healthy ingredients to fuel your day. The perfect combination of whole-grains for energy, protein for satiety, and deliciousness to boot. Plus, it doesn’t take an hour to prep or bake, because you don’t even need an oven! Here’s how:

Ingredients: (makes one serving, double for two or if you’re having a larger meal – like a bigger brunch in place of both breakfast and lunch)

  • 1 slice of Ezekiel bread (or another whole-grain bread, I prefer Food for Life’s cinnamon raisin)
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup berries or 1/2 sliced banana (optional)
  • pure maple syrup, grass-fed butter, and/or nut butter to top (all optional)

IMG_3321Instructions:

Toast bread in toaster. While bread is toasting, whip eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon until consistent. Once bread is toasted, dip in egg mixture to coat and move to a pan on stove. Pour remaining mixture over pan. Flip bread after a minute and cook through as desired. Plate, top accordingly, (try berries, banana slices, grass-fed butter, pure maple syrup, coconut butter, honey, or nut butter of choice) and enjoy thoroughly!

One Healthy Breakdown: A hearty, healthy, and heavenly breakfast in minutes!

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??

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Remember when snow days used to be fun? The best snow day memories arguably boil down to one thing: hot chocolate. Well, move over Swiss Miss, because hot chocolate is now delicious AND nutritious. No joke, this one’s full of essential minerals and a trip down snowy memory lane.image(33) Healthy hot chocolate:

Mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1/2 cup warm almond milk, (or milk of choice) 2 teaspoons cacao powder, (raw, organic is best) 1 tablespoon ground coffee, (optional for caffeine boost or mocha flavor) a drop of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon stevia (or honey, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice.) Top with frothed milk and cinnamon or dark chocolate chips if you’re going all out. Stir, sip, and smile!

One Healthy Breakdown: you’re welcome.

Apple Pie A La Smoothie

There’s nothin’ like warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop…right?! If you’re an apple pie fan, you’ll love this one – great for any time of the day (yes, even breakfast!) and makes a perfect post-workout refuel! Warm up while you cool down, feed your body, and wake up your senses with this sweet smoothie recipe!

MP900384682In a blender, combine the following:

  • 1 large (or 2 small) apples
  • 1 handful romaine lettuce or spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop high-quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • ice cubes if desired

One Healthy Breakdown: it doesn’t look like a pie, feel like a pie, or compare nutritionally (thankfully!) but it sure is tasty…and healthy!

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Who else has fallen deep into a love affair with pumpkin season and all it encompasses? I love it all, from the lattes to the scented candles. Pumpkin is an energy-packed vegetable low in fat, sugar, and calories, but high in flavor, nutrients, and warmth. If you’ve already mastered the pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, and, of course, pumpkin pie, I happily bring you the prettiest in pumpkin creations: the Pumpkin Pie Parfait.

photo 3Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I love Farmer’s Markets’ organic canned pumpkin puree)
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granola
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon pecans & walnuts (or nuts of choice)

Instructions:

In two separate bowls, mix the following:

  1. pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and honey or maple syrup
  2. yogurt and vanilla

In a bowl, cup, or glass of choice, layer the following:

  1. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  2. a large spoonful yogurt mixture
  3. sprinkle granola or healthy cereal
  4. 1/2 of the shredded coconut
  5. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  6. a large spoonful yogurt mixture
  7. remaining shredded coconut
  8. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  9. top with nuts

Stick a spoon in it and enjoy!

sitting on the fenceOne Healthy Breakdown: pumpkin spice and everything nice…what’s not to love?!

Candace’s Paleo Energy Bites

When I saw the recipe for these energy bites on Facebook, I knew one thing: had to have ’em. Thanks to Candace for sharing her recipe, we can all have Paleo energy bites any time we want! Enjoy these tasty little bites of nothin but superfoods and superfuel!10494815_10202279531089980_7917817642464921192_nCandace’s Paleo Energy Bites:

  • 1 cup nuts of choice (I use a mix)
  • 1 1/2 cup any unsweetened dried fruit (figs, cherries, dates, apricots, etc. or a mixture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine ingredients in food processor until uniform. Wrap whole mixture in Saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so. Remove and roll into balls or “smush” into a pan to make bars. Best stored in the fridge.

One Healthy Breakdown: thanks Candace, for these powerful Paleo bites!

One Healthy Detox Drink

Just in case you overindulged this weekend or you’re looking for an easy homemade cleansing cocktail, here’s a detoxifying mix that also revs metabolism, clears skin, and aids digestion. Best for first thing in the morning or before bed and safe to drink daily. You may not find this ‘cocktail’ all that tasty, but it definitely packs a powerful punch!

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Just stir the following together and sip away:

  • 1 full glass of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • juice of 1/4 fresh-squeezed lemon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 dash of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of cayenne pepper

One Healthy Breakdown: cheers to ‘reset’ in a glass!