This recipe is adapted from: https://www.raisingsugarfreekids.com/sugar-sweetener-free-birthday-cake/ by the author of "Raising Sugar Free Kids". It was shared with us by one of our 30-day no refined sugar challenge participants! This year, celebrate the holidays without refined sugar.
- 2 1/2 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 4 medjool dates (pitted & pureed)
- 1/4 cup (60g) plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup (110ml) unsweetened almond milk or dairy milk
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (210g) whole wheat flour (or your favourite gluten-free flour blend)
- 1 cup (115g) ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Holiday gingerbread spice blend: 1/4 tsp each of ground dried cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Mix the bananas, pureed dates, yogurt, milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl until as smooth and combined as possible.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the other ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until just combined and there are no more visible flecks of flour.
Spoon the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. If you are making gingerbread cupcakes, fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- Looking for a refined-sugar-free alternative to traditional icing? Try unsweetened whipped cream, smooth ricotta, unsweetened smooth cottage cheese, Mascarpone cheese, or plain Greek or Icelandic style yogurt. Chef's Tip: To thicken your "icing", strain out excess whey or water using a cheesecloth-lined colander.
Add festive flare to your holiday gingerbread loaf with fresh black or red currants, rasberries, mint, gooseberries, fresh figs, pomegranate arils, or chopped nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans work well). For a more traditional holiday flavour, top your iced loaf with sugar free "candied" orange peel (recipe below).
- The peel of 5 oranges (washed before peeling)
- 2 cups water
- The pulp/meat of 5 oranges (pureed in a blender until smooth)
- Cut orange peel into 1/4 inch slices. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat two more times. This helps remove the bitterness from the peel. Place the orange peel in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- Combine 2 cups of water and the puréed pulp of the oranges. Bring to a boil, add the cold orange peel, bring back up to a boil and reduce to a simmer that barely breaks the surface with bubbles. Allow to simmer uncovered for an hour.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and let it sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning, drain the peel (but don't rinse) in a colander or a fine mesh strainer shaking as much water off as possible. Set the peel on a wire rack and allow to dry for 24 – 48 hours. If you are tight on time and would like to speed up the drying process spread the peel on a baking sheet, and stick it on the oven on the lowest setting. Bake, tossing every 5 minutes until the orange peel pieces are dry to the touch.
- Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.