– vegan – gluten free – grain free – refined sugar free –
These gingerbread cookies are as healthy as it gets for the holidays! Made with wholesome, delicious ingredients without the molasses and refined sugar. perfectly soft and fluffy on the inside, nicely crisped on the outside, these cookies are finished with a blend of seasonings that give them their warm, seasonal gingerbread flavor. Make these with your own choice of shapes and decorations.
You will also need:
A baking sheet
Wax (parchment) paper – optional but recommended
A rolling pin
Cookie cutters of choice
To make these gingerbread cookies, you will need:
- Almond flour: a healthy, gluten-free alternative to grain-based flours. It is void of refined carbs and lower calories. Therefore, it is also a great alternative for those trying to lose weight.
- Coconut flour: like almond flour, coconut flour is a healthy, gluten-free alternative to grain-based flours and can contribute to weight loss when substituted for white flour. Whereas almond flour is high-fat, coconut flour is high-carb. A 1/4 cup of coconut flour has 10 grams of fiber, 6 grams of net carbs, 4 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein.
- Almond butter: has similar calorie and fat contents compared to peanut butter. 2 tbsp of almond butter has 6.6 grams of protein, 50% of your daily recommended vitamin E intake, 37% of your manganese, 32% of your copper, 28% of your magnesium, 23% of your phosphorous, 27% of your vitamin B2, 13% of your zinc and 11% of your calcium. I recommend choosing a natural almond butter that only contains almonds and maybe salt. Substitutions: you can use peanut butter or any nut butter, but it will change the flavor slightly.
- Ground flax (flax meal): the combination of flax and water is a good plant-based substitute for egg in baking. Flax seed is one of the best sources of omega-3. Just 2 tablespoons of flax meal has 1.8 grams of omega-3 (& even better, 2.4 grams in just 1 tablespoon of whole flax seeds).
- Pure maple syrup: although high in sugar, is loaded with 24 antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect against chronic diseases, brain inflammation, intestinal inflammation, and nerve inflammation. Therefore, pure maple syrup is a great natural sweetener when used in moderation. Fake maple syrup is made with high fructose corn syrup and provides zero health benefits. Substitutions: agave nectar or date syrup.
- Avocado oil: a good source of healthy fats, with both omega-3 and omega-6. Like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil is anti-inflammatory due to the large presence of oleic acid. Avocado oil has been shown to increase HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol) and lower LDL levels (the “bad” cholesterol). Furthermore, pairing with vegetables will help to better absorb the nutrients from the vegetables. Substitutions: coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
- Pure vanilla extract: I recommend choosing a higher quality vanilla extract, as cheap vanilla extract often has artificial flavors and caramel coloring that disrupts digestive health. Stay away from extract that has propylene glycol, which is essentially just antifreeze. Pure vanilla extract is actually a great antioxidant and can reduce inflammation.
- Baking powder
- Cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt + pepper: these spices have great anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Adding spices to your meals is a simple way to prevent the risk of heart disease and lower blood sugar levels. Substitutions: gingerbread spice.