Tuesday 11 March 2014

Low-Sugar Vegan Gingerbread Recipe

Ebony was ill the other week, and we were stuck indoors for the best part of a week. After we had exhausted all the books, jigsaws and crafts, I thought we should do some baking. I have a big collection of vegan recipe books, but not many of them contain sugar-free recipes. Lots of vegan baked goods seem to contain terrifying quantities of sugar.

Ebony had sugary baked goods for the first time at her second birthday party when she had a slice of her birthday cake (made by the talented Becky’s Cake Boutique). Since then, she’s had sugar a few more times - ice-cream at a birthday party, and a pancake on pancake day, but it’s not something I want to become a regular part of her diet.

I looked through my recipe books, and decided to try altering a recipe I have used before. The following recipe is an adjusted version of the Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies recipe from the amazing Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (if you don’t already have it, you need to add this book to your collection).

The recipe uses molasses, which is a by-product of sugar refinement. Molasses is technically a sugar, though has a very low sugar content. It’s also rich in minerals including iron, so I decided not to substitute it from the recipe. Hence why this is a low-sugar, not sugar-free recipe.

(almost) Sugar-Free Vegan Gingerbread Recipe
⅓ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup of chopped dates
¼ cup of molasses
¼ cup soya milk
2 cups of plain flour
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
¾ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½  teaspoons of ground ginger

1. Mix together the oil and dates. Add the molasses and soya milk.
2. Sift in all of the dry ingredients, mixing as you go. Mix into a stiff dough. You may need to add a little extra soya milk or flour to get the consistency right.
3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for one hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
5. Line some baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
6. Roll the dough out and cut out your shapes. We used dinosaurs.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. You will have to keep an eye on them and make a judgement call on when they need to come out. Leave to cool for five minutes, then place on a wire rack and allow to cook completely.

The biscuits had a great crunch to them, and Ebony seemed to really enjoy them. She took one to give to her best friend (who has a lot of allergies), and I’m pleased to say the ate every last crumb. So, if you’re looking for a vegan-friendly healthy alternative to cookies, try these.

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