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.

Holiday Flavored Smoothies

With the holidays just around the corner, incorporating some sweet seasonal deliciousness into your green smoothie is a great way to stay on track and taste the holidays in the healthiest way. Try these pumpkin pie, chocolate peppermint, and gingerbread smoothie recipes this season!

SONY DSC

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

  • 1 cup spinach or romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower rice (optional, adds creaminess and extra nutrients)
  • 1 scoop vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or chai, protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 dates
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Blend all ingredients, top with granola or shredded coconut, and be thankful for this healthy version of pie in a cup!

peppermint

Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie:

  • 1 cup spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder or 1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower rice (optional, adds creaminess and extra nutrients)
  • 6 fresh mint leaves (if you have them)
  • 1 drop peppermint extract
  • 1 date
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk/water

Blend all and sip with a smile! Much healthier than peppermint bark or Thin Mint cookies, but that same minty flavor to kick the craving!

gingerbreadcookies

Gingerbread Smoothie:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla, gingerbread, or chai flavored protein powder
  • 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower rice (optional, adds creaminess and extra nutrients)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and/or clove
  • 2 dates
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk

One Healthy Breakdown: Eat (or drink) your way through the holidays with healthy smoothies!