So Sunflower’s childminder gave me a week’s notice – she was going to be doing Gingerbread Man decorating with the kids she looks after before the local play school Christmas Party – and what could she use for Sunflower…..
Hmmmm……. Thoughts of Smarties and Skittles and 100’s & 1000’s and silver sugar balls entered my head followed by the thoughts of “how am I going to help Sunflower with this one in a much healthier way”??????Google….. not much….. forums…. not much more…. this was going to be down to my own brain!…..
And with the motivation of not letting Sunflower down, I put my thinking cap on, used some information from the great web and got to work. This is what I was rewarded with…. a fresh cuppa and the most delicious colourful gingerbread man I’ve ever eaten – decorated by my 22 month old!
I adapted the recipe from Deliciously Organic. My version is…
100g ground almonds (2 cups)
50g Coconut Flour (5 tbsp)
50g coconut sugar (1/4 cup)
2 generous pinches sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp found ginger
10 freshly ground allspice berries
75g Coconut Oil (10 tbsp) – not melted
2 tbsp Blackstrap Molasses (1/4 cup)
2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
- Combine ground almond, coconut flour, coconut sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, allspice and ginger in a food processor.
- Add coconut oil and pulse until the oil is cut through the mixture.
- Add molasses and eggs and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
- Chill the dough for at least 1/2 hour to help the coconut oil remain solid
- Roll your dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof or wax paper (I find this is much easier to manage removing the dough from the surface as well as cleaning up!) until it is 1/2cm (1/4″) thick
- If your dough is a little too sticky, knead in some more coconut flour until you get a nice workable dough)
- Cut the dough into cookies, using a gingerbread man cookie cutter or other Christmas themed cookie shapes
- Place cut-out cookies on a baking sheet baking tray
lined with greaseproof paper.
- Bake for about 11 minutes – watching carefully that the edges of the cookies don’t overbrown
- Cook on the baking tray and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week
A note on coconut sugar and Molasses….
After discovering that Sunflower’s intolerance is more toward disaccharides (most carbs) this week, I will be tweaking this recipe later this week to replace both the molasses and coconut sugar. I decided to try this recipe as blackstrap molasses is a healthier option than refined sugar and adds colour to gingerbread.
- Glycemic load is lower than sugar and it is considered a safe sweetener for diabetics,
- Rich in iron
- High in calcium and magnesium
- Additional mineral content – containing manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent selenium, an important antioxidant.
And coconut sugar contains iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits. It also contains a fiber called Inulin, which may slow glucose absorption and explain why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar.
However, both molasses and coconut sugars are complex sugars and therefore Sunflower cannot eat them without getting a really bloated tummy….back to the drawing board tomorrow! I have the ideas already – just need to try them out! Will post the improvements, which will make these cookies even more friendly! Imagine that?!