I love gingersnaps. They're one of my favorite kind of cookies, and it makes me sad that they're often relegated to a Christmas cookie. Why limit such a delicious cookie to only one time a year?
Ginger is a root with numerous health benefits. It's has antioxidant effects, can help decrease nausea, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. All the more reason not to limit one of the most delicious ways to eat ginger to only one time a year.
This recipe uses both ground and fresh ginger, which give the cookies an extra spicy, gingery kick.
I was running low on butter when I made these, so I swapped it for Greek yogurt which has a closer consistency to softened butter than oil. I also used white whole wheat flour, but whatever flour you have at home will work.
Fresh Ginger Cookies
Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar (for rolling)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk yogurt and sugar together, then add molasses and mix well. Add water and fresh ginger, sift in dry ingredients. Mix well.
Stick dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to make it easier to handle.
Scoop tablespoon size scoops of dough, roll into balls and roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press down slightly to flatten.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the middle of the cookie can’t be dented with your finger when you press on it. Cool on wire rack or enjoy immediately.
Tell me if this sounds familiar - you’re going about your day when all of a sudden a thought comes to you - “X (cookie/donut/pastry/sweet coffee drink) would be really good right now.”
Then, as soon as that thought’s finished, your Willpower steps in - “No! You can’t have that.”
How does the rest of your day go after that?
If you’re like a lot of my clients, you spend a lot of time and energy after that moment trying to satisfy that craving with foods you’re “allowed” to have. In the end, are you ever really satisfied?
Or maybe you finally do give into that craving. Just this one time, you tell yourself, and then you eat way more than you planned on, or even wanted to.
The problem with restriction is it's based on willpower, and willpower doesn't work. Willpower is basically just saying no, and human nature is to react to hearing no by automatically wanting whatever it is we can’t have.
One of the first steps to healing your relationship with food is recognizing that your appetite (and your body) is not your enemy. You do not need to vigilantly control or punish yourself for cravings, thoughts, or eating.
You don’t need to earn food. Food is not good or bad, and it’s not so serious that eating one cookie is a life or death choice. Part of living a healthy life is having those joyful moments with food.
Getting out of that diet mindset of guilt and restriction is hard, and it takes a good amount of courage to go against the grain of society. But when you shed the diet mindset and focus on self acceptance and happiness your life will be so much more fulfilling and joyful.
I have a complicated relationship with bananas. I love them, but as soon as they lose that last bit of green I want nothing to do with them. This often results in the last few in the bunch being destined to hang sadly in the kitchen until they get overripe and become usable again.
I tried this recipe with the latest leftovers last week. The addition of oatmeal to the classic banana bread makes the bread more filling and less crumbly. I don't think I'll ever go back to my old banana bread ways.
The use of buttermilk helps to keep the bread from getting too heavy, which can definitely happen with whole wheat grains like the oats and flour I used. I never have buttermilk on hand so, in case you're in the same boat as me, I gave you a quick cheat to save you a trip to the grocery store. Vinegar also works in place of lemon juice.
Banana Oat Bread
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bananas, very ripe
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 cup milk and 1/3 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas until no chunks remain. Mix in honey until well mixed. Add buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and oil and mix until eggs are well mixed in.
Add wet ingredients to dry and ingredients and stir until just mixed.
Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool in the loaf pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then pop the bread out of the pan and cool the rest of the way directly on the wire rack.
Taryn is a Los Angeles based Registered Dietitian who's passionate about helping you be your healthiest you.