By Lauren Glucina • Human Wellness November, 2012
Photo by Lauren Glucina ASCENSION KITCHEN
These are vegan, grain free Christmas gingerbread cookies. They are made with freshly grated ginger and a bunch of spices, and have a good dollop of one of my favourite sweeteners, organic blackstrap molasses.
Blackstrap Molasses doesn’t seem to get as much love as other sweeteners, but he’s definitely a favourite of mine. Thick and syrupy, it is made from processing sugar cane or beets until it has thickened and crystalised. Although it is not raw, I like it because it is a far less processed version of sugar, and actually has many health benefits. Namely, it is a very rich source of iron, important for healthy and happy red blood cells. A two teaspoon serving will give you about 13% of your daily requirement for iron.* It also contains vitamin B6 and has a high mineral profile thanks to it being minimally processed – it contains calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium and zinc. Potassium is actually extremely beneficial for heart health, while zinc is supportive for men’s health. Blackstrap molasses also has a low GI which means it won’t send your blood sugar levels crazy. Look for organic and unsulfured blackstrap molasses when you go to purchase (sulphur is added to ripen green sugar cane up in order to speed up the process for harvest – it is a harsh chemical and best avoided).
SERVES: Makes 24+
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes + Sitting time
COOKING TIME: 6 – 8 Hours or Until Dry
DIETARY CONSIDERATION: Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free
1 tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger
½ cup Coconut Flour (blend desiccated coconut till extra fine)
2 tbsp Flax Meal (to help bind)
3 tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
2 tbsp 100% Pure Maple Syrup
½ tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Cardamom
Pinch of Nutmeg
2½ cups fine, White Almond Meal
Roughly chop your dates, then add everything but the almond meal to a food processor and blitz till a paste forms – it might be a bit sticky – that’s ok. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the almond meal. Kneed the almond meal into the paste until a nice dough forms. If it is still a little sticky to work with, pop it in the fridge for an hour or two. Roll dough out onto a dehydrator teflex sheet ½ cm thick. Cut little shapes out. Press in some goji berries down the centre if you used a gingerbread man cutter. Dehydrate at 115˚F till dry. Yes you can put these in the oven on low.
*If your dates are dry, soften by letting them sit in warm water for 15 minutes. Make sure you drain them well before use.