Healthy Wholemeal Spelt Gingerbread Men
I’m not much of a baker. The process intimidates me, so I stick to really simple recipes or just do raw desserts instead. But its Christmas time and I have always loved the taste of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. The best one I ever had was freshly made in a little shop in Prague, Czech Republic. The whole shop was dedicated to gingerbread biscuits, cakes, cookies and other gingerbread type desserts. It was quite an obscure little shop, it looked like a temporary shop that closed down for half the year. There were so many options it was difficult to know what to choose. We settled for a giant traditional star shaped gingerbread cookie and it was amazing. So different to the packaged store bought ones I was used to. I wish I had a photo of the little shop to share, or just even the cookie but we didn’t think of it at the time. I have shared a few photos from our short visit to Prague in the hope that it can create the feel of the place.
When we got back to Australia I stumbled across a gingerbread man maker machine for $10. It looks like a sandwich press with gingerbread men shapes cut into it. I realise that kids love making gingerbread cookies so it goes to reason that they are not actually all that hard to make but for some reason they still really intimidate me. This gingerbread machine gave me a bit of courage to try it out for myself, so I went searching for a healthy version of gingerbread cookies that don’t use refined flour or refined sugar. After looking through a few recipes I settled on this one from “Wholehearted Eats.” Here is the link to the original recipe. On the odd occasion when I do bake, I love using spelt flour, so this recipe was perfect. I was also pretty excited to use molasses in a recipe. I think molasses is such a great healthy sweetener full of iron and calcium but it is rarely utilised due to its stronger flavour. If you want to know more about why I love molasses, you can read about it here. I adapted the recipe slightly and of course skipped on the baking part and used my machine instead. I will admit I did burn a few in the first batch I made, but I got the hang of it in the end and they were perfect. Not quite the same as the ones in Prague but honestly the closest I have found yet, and much healthier too.
I am even worse at icing then at baking so I just used unhealthy store bought writing icing, but you can use any suitable home made icing you wish. Wholehearted eats also shared a recipe for a healthy icing that I wish I had tried! But I just didn’t trust my icing skills enough. Hope you enjoy this healthier, plant-based version of a Christmas classic.
|Healthy Wholemeal Spelt Gingerbread Men (Vegan)|| |
- 2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 chia egg (or 1 normal egg if not vegan)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 6 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 TBSP almond butter
- 2 TBSP ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- 4 TBSP Mollases
- Icing to decorate
- Make chia egg by combining 1 TBSP ground chia with 3 TBSP water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes until a gel forms.
- Combine chia egg with coconut oil, almond butter and molasses and mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients except coconut sugar. Mix well and then add coconut sugar and mix again.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry until a dough forms. You can use a hand mixer to make it easier.
- Roll the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to ½ cm thickness.
- Place in the fridge for about an hour to set.
- Cut out shapes in dough with cookie cutter, re roll left over dough and make more cookies. You can use any cookie shape you like.
- I used my gingerbread man machine but you can bake in a pre heated oven for 6-8 min at 175 C.
- Decorate with icing of choice once gingerbread men have cooled.
- You can freeze left over dough for 4-6 weeks and re use if you want another batch. You can freeze it for much longer actually, but it does start to smell a bit like freezer after a while.