Gingerbread Cookies

I am definitely not a Julia Childs or Martha Stewart in the kitchen, my husband Dave is the more talented one for sure. When i first arrived in Canada 12 years ago, my meals were very bland to say the least, i didn’t know how to cook without relying on jarred sauces or packaged food so i can say with confidence that i have definitely improved.

Now being a nutritionist, when i cook at home whether it’s making meals or snacks I will always look for a healthy option and this weekend was no different as it was time to make gingerbread cookies with the kids.

This is a tradition in our house but my previous efforts I have to admit, have been inedible. The cookies just get decorated and then thrown out, so this year i was determined to make this right and it must have worked as the boys, Dave and my extended family at Sunday dinner all loved them. Even Ben (my eight year old) told me that my baking has definitely got better this year – now that is a BIG compliment!  Here’s the recipe, hope you like them and have as much fun making them with your family as we did:

Mel’s Gingerbread Cookies

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3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp Epicure Gingerbread Spice

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extra

2/3 cup unsulphered molasses

 

  • Mix the flour, baking soda and gingerbread spice into a medium sized bowl.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and mix (using either a hand held or standing mixer) until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla and molasses and mix well.
  • Gradually add the flour until well combined and form into 2 dough balls. Wrap the balls in parchment paper and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly flour your surface, cut the dough balls into 2 or 4 and roll them out until 1/4 inch thick.
  • Using your favourite cookie cutter shapes, cut out the cookies and place on a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes (mine is a convection oven and 10 minutes was perfect).
  • Let cool, then decorate with icing and dried fruit, candy, chocolate chips (see recipe below for icing – this part is not very healthy but hey, it’s all about balance right?!)

Icing:

2 cups icing sugar

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp milk or milk alternative

  • Mix ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Place icing in a small ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole at one end and squeeze!

Recipe was adapted from weelicious.com

 

 

 

 

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

 I took the kids for an awesome walk Sunday morning to make the most of the beautiful Fall weather we are having. By the end the kids were hungry so we headed to Euphoria Smoothies on Broadway for some lunch, they had curried pumpkin soup on the menu so it gave me an idea.

I got home and headed into the kitchen for my meal prep time. I had a butternut squash that needed to be used so I made a curried butternut squash soup, it turned out awesome, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.

 Curried Butternut Squash Soup

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1 butternut squash

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

¼ cup coconut oil

1-2 cups chicken stock (I used bone broth*)

1 Tbsp curry powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 – 14 oz can of coconut milk (I like the Native Forest brand)

1 tablespoon pure, local maple syrup

½ tsp sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Cut the squash in half or quarters and remove the seeds.
  • Place ¼ cup coconut oil in a baking dish, coating the bottom and place the squash, cut side down in the dish, prick the skins with a sharp knife or fork
  • Wrap the 2 unpeeled garlic cloves in tin foil and add them to the dish, add the onions too.
  • Bake for 45 mins or an hour, until tender. Remove and let stand.
  • Scrape the baked squash, onions and garlic into a stock pot and add chicken stock, curry powder, cinnamon, coconut milk, maple syrup and salt and bring to a boil medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender or using an immersion, puree the soup until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed

 *Bone broth is made by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar when making homemade stock, this will draw nutrients such as minerals and collagen from the bones and provide more nutrition, immune supporting and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist at the Collective Health Clinic serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in weight loss, hormonal issues, detox, meal planning, nutritional consulting and family nutrition.