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.

The Freshest Shrimp Tacos

Inspired by fresh local produce at the farmer’s market, Deirdre created a light, colorful summer recipe for one of her very favorites: tacos! These shrimp tacos pack tons of flavor and freshness!

IMG_5708Ingredients: (makes 4 tacos)

  • 8 oz. shredded red or green cabbage (or mix)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, washed, peeled, and deveined
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange
  • 3 Limes
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 ears of corn, raw cut right off the cob
  • 2 heaping table spoons of Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • A handful of resh cilantro, chopped
  • Cayenne pepper, kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, and hot sauce to taste

For the cabbage corn slaw, combine the following in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Greek yogurt/sour cream
  • Diced jalapeño to taste
  • Few splashes of hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • A dash of cayenne, salt, and pepper
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Corn

Mix and set aside.

For the shrimp, combine:

  • Shrimp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A pinch of cayenne, salt, and pepper
  • Few dashes of hot sauce

Heat a non-stick pan on med-high. Add a splash of olive oil and sauté shrimp until opaque. Build your tacos on warm tortillas of your choice or top a bed of greens for a taco salad! Add avocado, chopped cilantro and hot sauce (optional.) Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: fresh enough for taco Tuesday or taco any day!

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?!

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!

photo(168)

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!

Warming Herbs and Spices

Well, the weather outside is (again) frightful. Until spring hits and we begin to defrost, there are things we can do to keep a little bit warmer. Here’s a list of herbs and spices to add to your next meal, soup, or even smoothie, to turn up that internal temperature. Plus, as if warmth isn’t reason enough, they all pack a powerful metabolism-boosting punch as well!

fire

  • Tumeric
  • Wasabi
  • Basil
  • Shallots
  • Carob
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Dill
  • Nutmeg
  • Star anise
  • Black peppercorns
  • Garlic
  • Miso
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginseng
  • Allspice
  • Coriander
  • Chile Peppers

One Healthy Breakdown: Turn the heat up and warm from the inside out

Colorful Veggie Frittata

photo(91)This veggie frittata was a huge hit here among my Labor Day house guests! Made with eggs, egg whites, lots of veggies, and a touch of cheese, it’s tasty, savory, and satisfying. Best of all, it only takes about 30 minutes! (Feel free to sub your favorite veggies.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg whites
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 5 whole white mushrooms
  • 1 bunch baby broccoli (cut in small pieces, discard stems)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 zucchini
  • A few tablespoons chopped scallions
  • spices to taste (basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons chevre cheese (optional, sub for favorite cheese or leave out)
  • Pan spray

In a pan, cook broccoli and mushrooms with half of scallions. Turn off heat and add arugula to flash sautee. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add spices and remaining scallions. Mix in veggies and cheese. Pour mixture in a greased oven-safe dish and cook for 20-30 minutes (test with a fork to ensure eggs are cooked through.) Let cool and serve!

One Healthy Breakdown: this better breakfast packs protein, fiber, and frittadeliciousness!