12 Treats of Christmas: Week 2

Treat 3- Gingerbread Men

Treat 4- Jaffa Protein Balls

Now we can’t have a Christmas without gingerbread cookies, especially in the shape of little men. This is a healthy Christmas recipe I’ve made the past couple of Christmas’ in multiple batches as they’ve been quite popular and make cute gifts wrapped up in cellophane and put in little Christmas gift bags.

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These biscuits are low in gluten as the recipes use spelt flour but can be made gluten free using buckwheat flour and for those who are extra sensitive to gluten, then I recommend gluten free oats to sub with the oats. The gingerbread men can also unite easily be made dairy free/vegan friendly by using coconut oil instead of butter and rice malt syrup instead of the honey, although I find the Manuka honey does add a special taste to these biscuits, that is just right.

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I left the mixture to stand for a bit too long and found it became a bit crumbly, making it slightly harder to cut out the gingerbread men shape. Pays to not get distracted so easily. I also couldn’t help myself but eat the mixture as I went along. It just tasted so good, just like your traditional gingerbread men. As an option, to decorate the men, use melted white chocolate or coconut butter for eyes and buttons.

 MAKES 16

Ingredients:

  • 200g organic rolled oats
  • 200g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 80g coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch star anise
  • 160g butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tbs Manuka honey
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbsoda
  • 60ml water

Recipe:

1 Preheat your oven to 150°C
fan forced. Combine oats, flour, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and star anise into a bowl.
2 In a small saucepan, melt the butter and Manuka honey together. Combine bicarb soda and water in
a bowl, then add it to the honey and butter in the pot. The mix should foam a little, then remove from heat. 3 Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well to form
a dough. Rest for 30 minutes.

4 Roll dough out thinly between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut into gingerbread men with a cutter or alternatively you can just enjoy them as classic round cookies.
5 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Remove and cool.

*Recipe tested from The Healthy Chef Website*

If you live in Australia you’ve probably noticed all the Christmas foods appearing in the stores the past couple of months, including the Terry’s chocolate oranges in the shape of a sliced up orange. I’ve put together my own take on this Aussie Christmas treat, I’m not sure if this is something that is a tradition else where in the world.

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The mixture for these Jaffa protein balls came together very nicely and was very smooth, similar to a truffle ball. They tasted great with the Orange juice added and the zest on the outside to add a bit of bite into the chocolates goodness. The protein is optional but I think it’s a good idea to sneak in a little extra to balance out all the treats eaten at this time of year. As usual I couldn’t help myself but eat part of the mixture as I was rolling the. Into balls, it was just too good and that’s usually a good sign that these protein balls would turn out a treat.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ cup natural / vanilla / chocolate protein powder (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • zest and juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch Himalayan sea salt

 

METHOD:

  1. Place dates in a food processor, and blend to a thick paste (adding a little water if necessary).
  2. Add almond meal, protein (if using), salt, vanilla and cacao powder and blend again until combined.
  3. Add in whole almonds, zest and juice of the orange (reserving a tablespoon of zest for rolling).
  4. Process until the mixture is coarsely ground and starts to come together.
  5. Take a tablespoon of mixture in your hands and gently roll with your palms.
  6. Place remaining zest in a shallow plate and quickly roll the balls in it. place in the freezer to set.

*Recipe tested from The Fit Foodie Blog*

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