Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DIY: Healthy Gingerbread House

Gingerbread – Graham crackers are commonly used in place of gingerbread as a healthier and easier option. Look for crackers without high fructose corn syrup and minumal ingredients or if you are feeling adventurous, make your own using this recipe!

•3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
•3/4 cup white flour
•2 Tbsp sucanant or brown sugar
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/8 tsp ginger
•2 tsp cinnamon
•1/8 tsp nutmeg
•1/2 tsp baking soda
•3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•Flax egg: 1/2 Tbsp ground flax + 1 Tbsp warm water
•3 1/2 Tbsp almond milk
•2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
•3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses

Preheat the oven to 350*F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl mix together flax egg and set aside for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredient. In a small bowl, whisk together last 5 ingredients (stir flax egg again before adding). Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon. You will need to use your hands to knead the dough when stirring becomes too difficult.

Form dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough with a rolling run into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Use cookie cutters or a knife to shape the crackers into desired shapes. Place crackers on baking sheet 1 inch apart and pierce each cracker with a fork several times. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (like turbinado) if desired. Bake for 15 minutes rotating the pan halfway through. Allow crackers to cook for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Icing – Most icing recipes call for shortening, butter and tons of sugar. Use this recipe to limit your fat and sugar intake this year!

•1/2 cup Earth Balance butter stick, softened
•1 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
•1 tsp pure vanilla extract
•1 Tbsp blend spices of your choice (I love cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for Christmas)
•1 Tbsp almond milk as needed (to thin out icing to desired consistency)

Whip Earth Balance with a mixer until smooth. Add half of the sugar and blend well. Add in the vanilla, spices, and almond milk (if needed). Mix well. Add in the remaining sugar and blend for several minutes. You can even use food coloring to make the icing festive colors!

Toppings – Typical gingerbread houses are loaded with unhealthy sugary candy. Opt for healthier options like these!

•Nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds (even chocolate covered ones will do!)
•Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
•Dried fruit: raisins, banana chips, gogi berries, fruit leathers
•Pretzels and whole grain cereal

Reposted with gratitude from: http://www.eatchicchicago.com/

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