Ah, the holiday season. A time where festivities bring fun and joy and plenty of indulging. I personally embrace the traditional holiday treats and enjoy them in moderation but I also like making some more mindful goodies for (and with) the family.
I generally like to cut down on sugars in recipes and make up for it in other ways. In this case, I used more iron rich molasses and left behind some of the sugar traditional recipes call for. I paired these gingerbread men with a lovely cream cheese icing combined with pure maple syrup as opposed to a royal icing that calls for icing sugar.
Another lovely and natural way we added some sweetness was using a fruit as a garnish. I let my daughter use pomegranates for physical, textural, and nutritional benefits. Also included in our sprinkle garnish party were crushed pistachios, hemp hearts, shaved almonds, and unsweetened shredded coconut. Using all natural superfoods to create a lovely treat at this time of year creates such a positive experience for our littles. They learn that even though these ingredients aren’t unfamiliar, they can still be remarkable. Exciting associations form while using these everyday foods in traditional ways for special occasions.
Gingerbread Cookies with Superfood Sprinkles
*Makes about 40 cookies
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1.5 cups brown rice flour
- 1 ½ Tsp. baking powder
- ¾ Tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ Tsp. cloves
- ¼ Tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. softened butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup molasses
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 4 oz. plain cream cheese
- 4 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. milk of choice
- 1 Tsp. vanilla extract
- Crushed pistachios
- Pomegranate seeds
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Hemp Hearts
- Shaved almonds
- Other ideas include: chia seeds, dried cranberries or raisins, other nuts and seeds, goji berries, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, etc.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and molasses with an electric mixer.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use the electric mixer to thoroughly combine the batter.
- Split the dough into two discs and wrap with plastic and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. I left mine on the countertop all afternoon. If not making the same day, keep in the refrigerator but return to room temperature before rolling out and cooking.
- Lightly flour your surface and rolling pin and roll the dough out into ¼ inch sections. Use a cookie cutter of your choice to shape the dough.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 7-8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let cool completely before icing and decorating.
- For the cream cheese icing, use an electric mixer to thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Ice the cooled cookies and have fun with your superfood sprinkles.
Meet Chantal Urbina
I am currently a retired Registered Massage Therapist on maternity leave with my first child. I am a certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and aim to create delicious but powerful meals that serve our bodies with the love and respect they deserve. Introducing solids to my daughter, Eliana, has further inspired me to create recipes with holistic foods. Motherhood has blessed me with the highest motivation to live the healthiest and happiest life that I can. Summers are when I shine my brightest as I live for adventures out in the sun. I live in Winnipeg with my daughter, husband and two cats.