Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf – I love making this Healthy Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf during the fall. It is perfect for a Halloween treat-and-great, for Thanksgiving and perfectly versatile. You can serve this recipe for Gingerbread Loaf warmed up with a little coconut butter for breakfast, for a quick snack or a decadent dessert.
Load up this Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf with Vegetables!
I actually first got the idea for this recipe from Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, Deceptively Delicious.
I think Jessica Seinfeld’s idea to add fruit and vegetable purees to all sorts of recipes is brilliant. Actually, bestselling author Missy Chase Lapine did this first in her book Sneaky Chef. I have Missy’s book too and I absolutely love it just as much as Jessica’s.
Over the years I have discovered that I can make my recipes even more nutritious by using superfoods. I tend to reach for flaxseeds, hemp seeds, nut milks, vegetable purees and more. Once you start experimenting, it really is amazing how many super healthy foods you can manage to add to your recipes.
One Thing to Keep in Mind…
But, here’s the deal. Just because you sprinkle some flaxseeds into your cake batter or mix half a cup of carrot puree in a meatloaf that serves 8 does not necessarily mean your recipe is then truly, intrinsically healthy. This is the same problem people have when trying to figure out whether or not a packaged food is healthy or not. The thing is, the majority of the ingredients used in a recipe (or packaged food) need to be healthful in order for the food to be considered healthy.
My goal when creating a recipe is to use as many health-promoting, nutrient-dense ingredients as I possibly can without sacrificing taste. Of course this is often easier said than done…especially when making desserts.
But this recipe for Gingerbread Loaf turned out absolutely delicious and I even give you some tips to make it a decadent dessert.
How Can You Make a Healthy Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf?
As with all recipes here at Clean Cuisine, we have created easy swaps that will make your recipes healthier and cleaner. You certainly don’t have to read through all of these swaps. However, a little education as to why we do what we do is helpful for you to understand why these swaps are so important.
#1: Reduce the Sugar by Using Coconut Sugar
The most obvious thing to do is to reduce the sugar. Your average gingerbread calls for a most unhealthy 2 cups of sugar. I managed to reduce the sugar to only 1/2 cup coconut sugar, and 1/4 cup molasses. Coconut sugar is an unrefined sugar that still contains all of its vitamins and minerals. Plus I added molasses, which at least contains trace minerals like iron, zinc, chromium and copper.
But not to worry, I promise my healthy recipe for Gingerbread Loaf still tastes sweet as pie! In fact, I bet you could even reduce the sugar by another 1/4 cup and not notice the difference.
As a side note, there’s an interesting “sweet point” phenomenon I’ve experienced when making desserts… you actually only taste the sweetness up to a certain point. After you reach the critical “sweet point” adding more sugar doesn’t necessarily make the dessert taste much sweeter.
2. Be sure to use whole grain, gluten-free flour.
Your conventional recipe for gingerbread loaf calls for all-purpose flour. Which is highly processed, fiber-less and enriched with synthetic nutrients. But, why use any nutrient-poor and refined all-purpose flour at all? You can still get an amazing tasting cake by using 100% whole grain gluten flour!
Try King Arthur’s Measure-for-Measure Whole Grain Gluten Free Flour. It is the most nutritious one I have seen on the market and also has fiber, which many all-purpose gluten free flours are lacking.
3. Add freshly grated ginger
In Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine, ginger is known as the “universal remedy”. Fresh ginger has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is also rich in antioxidants. Plus, fresh ginger also adds a richness you just can’t get from bottled ground ginger.
4. Swap Refined Oil for Coconut Oil
Low-quality refined oil is one of the most harmful foods that can be consumed. Unfortunately, it lurks everywhere, and are the most popular cooking oils. Try Nutiva’s Organic and Unrefined Coconut Oil for cooking and baking.
5. Add in Hidden Fruits or Vegetables
To this recipe, I used 1 cup of pumpkin puree, but free free to be creative. You could also add in 1 cup of butternut squash or carrot puree instead. It’s not any healthier, just less work on my part.
6. Swap the Dairy for Nut Milk
I swapped the heavy cream or cow’s milk for organic nut milk. I did this because I’m not a fan of milk. Coconut milk or homemade almond milk contains important plant-based phytochemicals not found in any animal foods, including milk. And, the nut-based milk makes the recipe for gingerbread loaf ultra moist.
7. Add in Superfoods
I also added 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds to give my gingerbread loaf a healthy omega-3, fiber and phytochemical kick!
Turn This Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf into Dessert
To make this delicious and hearty recipe for Gingerbread Loaf into a decadent dessert requires just a few more steps. It’s truly the perfect fall dessert.
#1: Make a Batch of our Homemade Caramel Sauce
Most caramel recipes are filled with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, milk, artificial colors, and much more that we simply don’t want in our bodies. Our delicious Caramel Sauce Recipe is incredibly easy to make from home, and requires only two ingredients!
#2: Saute a Fresh Chopped Apple
Just turn on your stovetop to medium heat and in a small skillet, add about 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil. Add the apples and saute for about 3-5 minutes until softened. Add a little flavor by drizzling 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
#3: Make These Easy Candied Pecans
I always make a double batch because while chopping them up for dessert, I am definitely snacking on these delicious candied pecans recipe.
To serve this recipe for Gingerbread Loaf for dessert, just drizzle with the homemade caramel sauce, top with the sauteed apples and chopped candied pecans. Enjoy!
Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf
Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf is healthy and delicious. Made with pureed pumpkin, naturally sweetened and a boost of Omega-3’s.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 organic, pastured egg
- 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup nut milk*
- 1/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat or line with unbleached parchment paper a 9×5 inch loaf pan, a 9×9 or a 9×13 baking pan with extra virgin coconut oil. A loaf pan is great for gingerbread while a 9×9 or 9×13 will spread out the gingerbread dough to make gingerbread cake.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, flaxseeds, baking soda, fresh ginger, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt; set aside.
- To a high speed blender, add the sugar, coconut oil and egg; process until smooth and creamy. Add the pumpkin puree, nut milk, coconut oil, molasses and vanilla extract and process again until ingredients are well blended.
- Add wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack in the center of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pan before turning the cake out onto a rack to cool completely.
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P.S. This recipe was also featured on MindBodyGreen!