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Healthy gingerbread loaf

I have never made a gingerbread loaf before but that bottle of organic molasses looked too sexy not to buy. I’ve been eyeing it for a year now. I always stayed away from molasses thinking they are unhealthy being a byproduct of sugar manufacturing. Ha, not the case, particularly with unsulphured organic molasses. It is a healthful sweetener containing a handful of nutrients and minerals.

I have put together a page with Clean Eating ingredients I Buy where I list products I use on a regular basis. While I find savoury dishes quite simple to “clean up”, when it comes to baking you really have to rediscover a new world of ingredients as white sugar and flour do not cut it anymore. It might give you a good idea what products are considered wholesome and what to look for when shopping.

Healthy gingerbread loaf

Gingerbread is entirely new concept to me although as a kid I remember little dark cookies with round white tops imported from Germany or Poland. They were very close to gingerbread or maybe that was it?!

Healthy gingerbread loaf

Last week I whipped up my first gingerbread loaf. I could see the sugars shining on top along with a crack Betty Crocker would envy. I’m sure she never baked without white sugar either…

First time, I used maple syrup as a sweetener and everyone loved the loaf! I was just too lazy to blend the dates. This week I experimented sweetening the bread with dates, which requires a bit more work and cleaning but deep down we all know fructose is healthier than even lightly processed maple syrup.

Healthy gingerbread loaf

I should also mention this bread contains zero oil, instead is moistened with unsweetened applesauce (from my garden, wohoo). I am not against healthy oils like cold pressed coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or even grass fed organic butter, not at all! But using applesauce seemed so natural in a gingerbread plus I have a freezer full of about 70 cups of it.

The other part that always mesmerized me about the Holidays baking is the icing. White, drippy, glossy…simply sexy! Of course we all know it’s made with powdered sugar which is a big no-no in clean eating for MANY reasons.

Healthy gingerbread loaf

So, believe it or not you can make freaking the best icing with full fat coconut milk! I first learnt it from Miryam, tried with my Berry Coffee Cake and so many of you wrote me back saying it was amazing. Someone has mentioned the icing soaked right in, so I got down to experimenting and here are my two cents.

DO NOT shake the coconut milk can. Scoop the cream on top (Trader Joe’s coconut cream, Native Forest, Blue Monkey and most imported brands have that) and add a tbsp or two of any milk or water to make it easier to drizzle. Some brands of milk, like Thai Kitchen, need to be placed in the fridge overnight to have that cream accumulate on top. You can do that or place the bowl with prepared “icing” in the fridge for 15 minutes to thicken before drizzling.

Happy Holidays and no deprivation please but rather moderation of wholesome desserts! Also check out 7 Secrets of Healthy Holiday Indulgence.

Healthy gingerbread loaf

Clean Eating Gingerbread Loaf

Clean Eating Gingerbread Loaf

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 9" x 5" non-stick loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk eggs and add remaining Wet Ingredients. If using dates, blend them with applesauce in a powerful blender until smooth, then add remaining Wet Ingredients and give a few more pulses to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together Dry Ingredients, add Wet Ingredients and gently stir until combined. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes if using dates or 50 minutes for maple syrup or honey version. Ovens vary so check with a toothpick inserted in the centre of the bread. Bread is ready when it comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk Icing ingredients. DO NOT shake the coconut milk can. Scoop the cream on top (Trader Joe's coconut cream, Native Forest, Blue Monkey and most imported brands have that) and add a tbsp or two of any milk or water to make it easier to drizzle. Some brands of milk, like Thai Kitchen, need to be placed in the fridge overnight to have that cream accumulate on top. You can do that or place the bowl with prepared "icing" in the fridge for 15 minutes to thicken before drizzling. Drizzle on top of cooled down loaf, cut into 10 slices and enjoy.
  5. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

*I can't recommend using dried ground ginger because I think it is really a totally different taste. You can buy a small piece of ginger root, and freeze what you don't use. You can use the root right out of the freezer - don't need to defrost. If you have a microplane (grater that is really a hardware store rasp), you don't even need to peel the root before you use it.

http://ifoodreal.com/clean-eating-gingerbread-loaf-recipe/

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 10

Amount Per Serving = 1 slice:
Calories: 235.6
Total Fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 37.2 mg
Sodium: 232.2 mg
Total Carbs: 47.6 g
Sugars: 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
Protein: 5.8 g
WW Points+: 6

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.

22 Comments

    • Patty

      Great recipe, I’m making this for Christmas. I’m a little confused. This recipe calls for
      1 and a fourth cups of applesauce, but if you substitute for the honey or syrup you use dates and even more applesauce? Since I drink organic milk, would milk and the dates be a better choice?

      Reply
      • Olena

        Hi Patty. Leaving all other ingredients AS IS you can use EITHER 1/3 cup maple syrup/honey OR 5 pitted Medjool dates blended with 1/4 cup any milk/applesauce. This option is for those who want to avoid added sugar and the idea is to mix dates with liquid without effecting the batter’s consistency. Did you understand?:)

        Reply
  1. Rada

    Hi Olena! Great recipe, which I am going to try this Christmas, as it is never complete without gingerbread of any kind.
    In the ingredients list you mention cloves – do you mean ground or whole? (Sorry for the silly question).
    Also, here in the UK the coconut cream is available for sale in supermarkets. Would you recommend using that for the icing or still go with coconut milk?
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Rada. It’s silly me – I forgot to say ground. Yes, buy coconut cream! I can rarely find it in Canada but have seen it in the US. Very convenient! Let me know how you like it.:)

      Reply
    • Olena

      Yeah, you guys had a few tasty treats. I also remember those moon shaped fruit jellies coated in chocolate. My mom used to buy them and I’m pretty sure I used to see them for sale here in small markets in Vancouver. Not any more though…Weren’t they called smth like “galetka” or smth…LOL

      Awe, that’s so great to hear!!! Let me know which ones you try.:)

      Reply
  2. Krista

    So I made this one today too. That’s FIVE of your recipes I’ve made in 4 days! I think I baked it a little too long. Should’ve checked it with 10 minutes to go but I got sidetracked :/. I also had the problem with the icing being way too thin and kind of absorbing into the bread. I refridgerated it for 20 minutes before so, ??. Anyway, all that being said, it was still really really good!! I’m really loving your blog :).

    Reply
    • Olena

      Haha, wow. You guys eat a lot, just like us.:) Coconut milk is tricky depending on a brand. What brand you used? I used full fat Thai Kitchen and it was fine. Next time place your milk in the fridge overnight and collect the cream on top. It should work. Did you read my notes on coconut milk?

      Reply
  3. Olivia

    Hi Olena, was just wondering what can be used to replace the applesauce, and in what quantities? I was thinking along the lines of either almond milk or coconut oil, what are your thoughts? 🙂

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Olivia. Why would you want to do that?:) Another fruit puree would work 1:1 ratio. For anything else, I can’t advise because it has to be tested. Obviously cant’ replace 1:1 ratio oil or milk. My gut feeling is you would have to reduce liquids if you use oil and milk but no idea by how much.

      Reply
  4. Bonnie

    Hi Olena. I made your gingerbread loaf but tripled the recipe to make some mini loaves as gifts. They taste great but have very lumpy uneven tops so wondering if I over- mixed them in an effort to thoroughly combine the dry ingredients. Thanks for a great blog to enjoy healthy baking!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Bonnie. Because it’s a no oil recipe I had small bumps on the top too. I didn’t mind them because it’s a bread and they got covered with icing anyways.

      Reply
  5. Kit

    Olena, I see this recipe is from a year ago almost. Now that you’ve eliminated nearly all sweeteners from your diet, do think organic molasses has enough good things in it to use for special occasions? Because this gingerbread loaf looks so good I can hardly stand it! Like you, I am trying super hard to put only ‘good stuff’ into my body and those other sugars just drag me down, set me up to crave more, and give me a feeling of overall grumpiness that everyone notices but me 🙂

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Kit. Yes, I’m using molasses, honey, maple syrup and even cane sugar for special occasions. I believe in moderation because it is OK. I find if I eat a dessert or baked goods once a month, for example, I enjoy it and do no have a crazy sugar cravings. Where as if I eat everything I bake for my kids that is when I have a problem even with honey and maple syrup. I think it is important to have a good relationship with food, healthy food that said.:) For the Holidays I am planning to buy Italian pastries and cake because I love them, my mom is coming over and I haven’t had them for years. But on a daily basis I definitely do not eat desserts.

      Reply
  6. Julie

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Do you think it could be made into muffins instead of a bread loaf? I’m trying to make a variety of clean eating muffins to give out to my kids teachers for the holidays. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Julie. Theoretically yes but I haven’t tried. I know usually it works however once I tried making banana bread muffin recipe in a loaf tin and that didn’t work well. So I can’t guarantee 100%.

      Reply

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