"We celebrate the holidays with something sweet and beautifully decorated, but do absolutely nothing to nourish. Can't we do both?" - Alle Weil
We couldn't agree more. Check out these amazing holiday gingerbread cookies redefined by Alle Weil of Flora Ex Machina, with homemade Coconut Sugar icing and Terrasoul Superfoods colorings and toppings.
I get excited by the chances to remake and upgrade these confections we have come to accept as conventional. Truly, there is no need to give into the red food-dye, the refined sugar and the white floured sweets out there. The holidays should be a celebration of all the things we do and believe in, in every way possible. These super gingerbread cookies are no exception. While maintaining the classic flavor, smell, and texture of the classic, I’ve enhanced these cookies, and in the process made them:
Chemical and dye-free
And superfood full!
They are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, fragrant, and festive. Redefine your expectations – often the result is even better than planned, and happily accepted, if not cherished.
Makes approximately 1 dozen gingerbread cookies, or 2 dozen small, or 1 gingerbread house with plenty of icing to decorate.
3 cups extra fine almond flour (if you can’t find simply blend in a coffee mill or high-speed blender)
½ cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
¼ cup Lucuma powder
1 tablespoon Chaga or Reishi Powder
1 tablespoon Ginger Powder
1 tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cloves, ground
½ teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
½ teaspoon Himalayan Salt
½ cup unsulphured molasses
¼ cup Coconut Oil softened at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons plant-based milk, as needed
2 cups powdered Coconut Sugar
1 tablespoon filtered water
Up to 1 tablespoon lemon juice (depending on consistency desired)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
NATURAL FOOD COLORING
Add 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon of each to divided icing until the desired color is reached.
RED - Beet juice
GOLD - Turmeric powder
GREEN- Spirulina, Chlorella or liquid chlorophyll
Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the softened coconut oil and molasses, and either with an electric mixer, mixing bowl with paddle attachment, or good old fashioned hands, mix the dough well until uniform and evenly moistened. If the dough is too dry add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until dough is soft enough and holds together without sticking to your hands.
Shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or better yet overnight.
Once chilled, separate dough into equal portions. Keep one wrapped and chilled while you work with the first batch. Dust tapioca or arrowroot starch or roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Carefully and evenly roll your dough until approximately ¼-⅛ inch thick. (I tend to like my gingerbread a little thicker ¼)
Using cookie cutters or a skilled free hand, cut shapes and transfer cookies to a parchment lined cookie tray using a spatula. Repeat steps until you have used up your dough. You can return the dough to the fridge to firm if you feel it is beginning to crack.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to completely cool before decorating.
To make “powdered” coconut sugar. Simply blend regular coconut sugar crystals with a high-speed blender or coffee mill until fine and powdered. I used Terrasoul coconut sugar, which is already extremely fine but blended it down even further to create the perfect powdered texture.
In a separate bowl, add the sugar, water and vanilla extract together and mix well. Depending on your desired consistency, add up to 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. An electric mixer works well for the frosting.
Once blended, separate your icing into different bowls for different colors. Mix in superfood extracts until you’ve reached your desired color, keeping in mind that the colors will take on the flavor of ingredient added. I think they all enhanced the flavor of the cookies, especially the turmeric. Even the spirulina was a nice touch to balance out the sweetness.
Add icing to piping bags or plastic bags. Cut the tip quite small for fine detail work, or decorating tips can be used, even with plastic bags. Be sure to insert the decorating tips before you add your icing!
Get creative, and top with all the superfoods your heart desires. Enjoy guilt free!
Some discoveries I made: Goji Berries make great buttons for gingerbread men. Bee pollen looks like misty strung lights on a Christmas tree in a dimly lit room. Cacao Nibs look almost purple against the golden turmeric-enhanced icing. Spirulina actually can taste good!
Alle Weil is a Holistic Nutritionist, founder of Flora ex Machina and creator of the adaptogenic spread, Royal Ghee. Alle has worked for leaders in the wellness and culinary industries for over 15 years as a nutritionist, writer, educator, and culinary developer before creating her own wellness company, where she offers her products and nutritionally-based services. Her own debilitating symptoms led her to find accessible solutions to growing modern-day health issues. Alle’s unique integrative approach to health and nutrition deeply individualizes health and infuses ancient modalities with modern science and intuitive healing for a truly sustainable practice. She believes there is no one way to eat and that the path to balancing health is as unique as the individual. Alle specializes in uncovering hidden food allergies and correcting digestive issues, women’s health and hormonal imbalances, and mood-related issues.