Holiday baking seems to go hand in hand with Christmas tree shopping, non-stop holiday music, and fireside chats with loved ones as you close out the year. We love all the sentiment that this time of year brings, and especially love those in the healthy living community who can capture all those warm fuzzies in a health supporting way!
Enter Gabrielle from Beyond the Bite. Gabby caught our eye with her creations on Instagram. We then met Gabby while passing through New York on the Paleo View Book Tour where we absolutely devoured her pumpkin pie. Gabby’s story was truly inspirational to us. She is using the autoimmune protocol to control and heal from the extensive damage she received from Lyme Disease. We love hearing stories of healing like hers!
Recently, she left us smitten when she shared a teaser for her trial run with a new gingerbread man recipe that happened to be AIP friendly! We begged her to head on over to our site and to share her discovery, and she agreed! Enjoy!
You do not necessarily have to be a fan of eating gingerbread, to love the look of cute gingerbread men cookies!
Ever since my brothers and I were little, my mother had a way of going “against the grain”, in that she always made our food from scratch. While people typically purchased pre-made gingerbread houses at the grocery store, my mother always put an effort into making homemade cut-outs herself. Peers may have pointed fingers, teased and made fun of us, but personally, I was proud of our homemade gingerbread.
Now, years later, I realize even more how fortunate my brothers and I were for my mother’s true interest and care for her children’s well-being, even down to the quality of treats we consumed. Though it has been years since I have eaten gingerbread, let alone sugar, I knew that others would enjoy having an allergen-free version to make for their families!
The key to replicating the original Christmas treat is molasses, a sweetener with a bold and distinct taste that lends itself perfectly to these semi-sweet cookies. Unlike a soft, gooey, chocolate chip cookie, gingerbread has a slight cakey texture, of which I sought to duplicate without making it too dry.
By utilizing the favored, Paleo-friendly flour known as water chestnut flour, these little men are not only tasty, but equally durable, and easy to roll out and cut into desired shapes. If short on time, simply rolling the dough into evenly-sized balls and flattening with the palm of your hand yields a similar cookie. However, who can resist the opportunity to form cookie dough into cute, Christmas-themed characters? All in all, this recipe is almost identical to the original, spiced cut-out cookie, without all the sugar, grains, eggs, and dairy.
Making these gingerbread men will fill your entire home with Christmas cheer!
- 2 oz green plantain, peeled
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp molasses
- 2 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or powder if AIP)
- 7 Tbsp lard
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup water chestnut flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 tsp lard
- 1 Tbsp maple sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or powder if AIP)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor, puree the plantain, molasses, dates, vanilla, and lard until the plantain and dates have been chopped up well.
- In a small mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
- Add about one- third of the flour mixture to the food processor and let run until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Once no plantain or date chunks are left, add remaining flour mixture, letting the food processor run until a workable dough has formed.
- If the dough is too sticky to handle, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Once chilled, dust a clean working space with tapioca flour and press down with fingers into a circle.
- Next, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick, cut dough into desired shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maple sugar if desired.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven and allow to cool a couple of minutes before transferring on to a wire rack to completely cool.
- To the food processor, add coconut butter, lard, vanilla, and maple sugar; process until the coconut butter breaks down and the mixture becomes soft.
- Transfer the mixture into a small plastic bag, tie the end of the bag in a knot, and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- Once the icing has thickened, massage with hands to ensure no lumps have formed.
- Snip one end of the bag to create a tip and decorate cookies once completely cooled. *If cookies are still warm, the icing will melt.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://paleoparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_4810-Edit.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Through the years of dealing with late stage, neurological Lyme disease, I have found a true passion for food, the human body, and science. Though I realized the importance of good food prior to my body deteriorating, it was not until I became very ill that the connection was completely clear. Unlike an acute infection, Chronic Lyme Disease manifests through bacterial spirochetes being left untreated for many months and (or) years. In the meantime, any system in the body is left unprotected, and thus susceptible to the damaging effects of the Lyme bacteria. Therefore, patients with Chronic Lyme are not simply battling “Lyme,” but rather the dozens of complications that follow. Because doctors who truly believe in this disease are limited, I found (and still do) both food and health research of my own extremely beneficial. Though years have passed and my struggle and journey with Chronic Lyme Disease remains very real, long, and seemingly never ending, I know that complete healing is possible. Through my blog, I hope to spread both awareness and hope to the debilitating disease that Chronic Lyme is, all while helping people realize that real, healing food, is truly good food. Connect with Gabriella: Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter[/author_info] [/author]