For me, gingerbread is a big part of Christmas. I can remember making huge batches of gingerbread men with my mum at this time of year, which always so much fun! Since I like to eat so much gingerbread, I’ve come up with a recipe that’s a bit lighter, but still full of that warming spicy goodness.
Let’s face it, when we think about Christmas we hardly consider it to be the healthiest time of the year. Rather than obsessing over the calories and indulgences, I like to try to strike that balance that always works well for me. I love to bake and just by upgrading some of the ingredients I can make my festive bakes a little healthier and nourishing. With these healthy gingerbread cookies, I’ve swapped out some of the traditional ingredients to make them more wholesome, without compromising on flavour.
- 350g wholemeal plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 3 tsp ground ginger (or to taste)
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 150g coconut sugar
- 120g of unsweetened apple sauce or puree
- 1 egg
- 5 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 tbsp dark molasses
- Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and baking soda in a large bowl and stir together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, apple sauce, egg and molasses and pour into the dry ingredients.
- Stir together, until the mixture begins to clump, forming a dough. Bring the dough together and wrap in cling film. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge before rolling out.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Roll out the cookie dough (approximately 0.5cm thickness) on a lightly floured surface and cut out the cookie shapes. Place the cookies on to the baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Allow to cool on a baking rack before decorating.
- If you are unsure on the dough's texture, it will not hurt to mix in more flour. I have tried these cookies with the extra flour and it just results in more dough (no complaints there!) and a more crisp cookie.
These cookies contain no butter or refined sugar; instead, I’ve used coconut oil and coconut sugar, so lots of healthy fats and less likelihood of blood sugar spikes. Also, I’ve used plain wholemeal flour for the extra fibre and whole grain goodness. Since it’s Christmas, I decorated my cookies with some icing and sprinkles, but they are just as good plain or dipped in chocolate.
If you’re still not feeling festive enough then I think that these decorated gingerbread cookies will give you a massive boost of Christmas cheer. Obviously, adding the extra icing and decorations does increase the sugar content, but I think a bit of what you fancy does you the world of good. Plus, the actual cookie is pretty wholesome anyway, it’s all about the 80/20 rule, right?