Gingerbread Dead

I am getting waaayyyy too excited about Halloween. So much so that I’ve gotten my months mixed up and posted September’s Recipe Redux theme here instead of October’s. Nice one Ali. Second time lucky! This month’s theme is (appropriately) Spooky Spices, makes sense I guess..

 

“As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians,The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Dietitians Regan Jones (ofReganMillerJones, Inc.), Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly (both of Teaspoon Communications) founded the group on the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious. As the Latin term “redux” means to revisit or reinvent, we are reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach. We aim to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.”

 

This recipe is loosely based on one from Theresa Cutter @ The Healthy Chef (awesome blogger and nutritionist by the way), except these are not gluten free because i’m not gluten intolerant, hooray!

 

halloween

 

Wholemeal flour increases the fibre content, olive oil instead of butter means heart-healthy fats instead of saturated fats, and the addition of date paste means that the added sugar content is significantly reduced. In the spirit of Halloween, I had to decorate these little guys with icing, so that is the not-so-healthy part, but they are just as nice (if not more) without the icing too!

I actually forgot how much I liked gingerbread men. I think this recipe will be a keeper.

I made a half batch because this was a bit of a trial run for the Halloween party we are having next week, so this recipe will make 5 cookies, double it for 10, etc.


 

FullSizeRender

GingerDead Men 

100g wholemeal plain flour

50g hazelnut or almond meal

1 tsp ground ginger and cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 egg white

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS treacle

4-6 dried dates (soaked in boiling water until soft)

Preheat oven to 180C

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl

In a food processor, combine your wet ingredients and dates and blend until a smooth paste forms

Add the liquid mixture to the dry and combine until a soft dough forms (I needed to add about 2 TBS of warm water to bring my dough together)

Roll in a ball, cover in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about half an hour, or until you get sick of waiting

Dust bench with flour and roll the dough out flat, about 1 cm thick

Use a cookie cutter, or improvise like me and make a stencil (because clearly I have nothing better to do on a Friday :/)

stencil

Carefully peel cookies off bench (a spatula helps) and place on baking paper lined tray

Bake for 15 mins and allow to cool completely


If, like me, you are also hosting the ultimate Halloween party, then here is how to do the icing side of things…

 

In a small bowl, combine

3 TBS icing sugar,

1/2 TBS lemon juice,

1/2 tsp vanilla essence,

1 tsp black food dye

and mix until smooth

Spread the icing over the gingerbread men and allow to dry

(and here is the part where i cheat and use the pre-made icing in a tube to draw the skeleton bones

–> which i actually really regret because it tastes horrible and chalky)


Happy Halloween everyone!

Click the link below for more great recipes from The Recipe Redux.

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Crazy in the Coconut!

I woke up in a really good mood today.

I don’t know why but I find that the less sugar I eat the better I wake up in the morning. It’s just such a hard decision between choosing to wake up refreshed or eating sugar laden treats before bed :/ No, no..it’s not really a hard decision..I just have a well informed nutritionist angel on one shoulder and a care-free foodie devil on the other!

Anyway, this morning I was particularly chirpy, and I had two left over egg whites sitting in the fridge, so I naturally wondered what I could do with them. There would be an infinite number of healthy choices..such as throwing them into my green smoothie…or adding them to my omelette…but alas, I chose the coconut macaron option. I mean what normal person can resist coconut? I love alllll things coconutty!

You may have noticed that coconut oil has been blessed a superfood as of late. Coconut oil is a plant-based saturated fat that has been shown to raise ‘good’ cholesterol levels. I’m slightly cynical on the superfood notion..after all it still is a saturated fat and saturated fats in large amounts are never that healthy for you and are obviously very energy dense. For example, I don’t think it’s powers are so miraculous that we should be eating four teaspoons of it each day, as suggested by a well known health and wellness newspaper lift out this morning…. Keep it mind that this is an additional 160 calories being consumed that can unknowingly up your total energy intake for the day.

I think coconut oil is a great oil to use as a replacement if you are changing from something refined and overly processed, and I think it is a fantastic substitute for butter in vegan baking. I just don’t think we need to go overboard with it! You can also check out what the good old Dieticians Association of Australia has to say on the matter here.

So with that in mind, here is my fool proof absolutely delicious recipe for coconut macarons..that you should only make occasionally when you happen to have a couple of left over egg whites in the fridge 😉

 

2 egg whites

2 cups desiccated coconut

1/2 cup sugar – (I actually used a little less than half a cup and it was plenty)

1/2 tsp coconut essence

1 tbs almond meal

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. (I am adamant that you have to do this by hand so you can get at least a little bit of exercise in!! It should only take 10 minutes)

Add in the sugar tablespoon at a time and keep beating until nice n’ shiny

Fold in coconut, almond meal and coconut essence

Use a tablespoon to make little mounds and drop them onto a tray lined with baking paper

Makes 8. Or one really big macaron if you’re super keen (no don’t do that I’m kidding :/)

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Try and leave them be so that they can cool down, and then go (coco) nuts!

 

 

Coconut Macarons