Gingerbread with Orange Icing

You’ve gotta love gingerbread.

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Especially gingerbread so yummy you pretty much can’t get enough. And in fact, you shouldn’t have to, because the gingerbread in question is actually healthy.

That’s right. Healthy. Bread. Healthy, guilt free, whole wheat… it’s all the same with this bread. Not to mention the decadent twist included…

When I was brainstorming ideas for my next recipe, I decided on making a Christmas-classic. Gingerbread! But instead of just any gingerbread, I knew I definitely wanted to kick it up a notch. So, what goes good with ginger? Well, for one… Orange! I know it may sound like an unlikely combo, but the sweetness of the orange balanced out by the spiciness of the ginger is completely decadent. And most definitely recipe-worthy.

So next came the question of consistency. Did I want this bread to be hearty, light and airy, or even dense like any good banana bread? I decided to go with a lighter version of hearty. All the classic hearty flavors, but not so heavy that you can’t handle more than one slice.

Because gingerbread is definitely a winter food meant to be consumed by the fire with family and friends. Meaning, it shouldn’t make you guilty if you happen to reach for a second slice.

This bread is definitely a new family favorite. I think it’s safe to say my mom is a huge fan, especially since she practically scarfed down two slices about an hour after I’d taken it from the oven. Plus, it’s delicious whether still warm and straight from the oven, or even the next day, covered in (healthy) icing. Meaning you can enjoy half at home, and bring the remaining half to a Christmas or holiday party!

So let’s talk about the icing. First of all, it doesn’t include any powdered sugar. Or sugar at all, for that matter! Cashews give it it’s creamy, icing consistency, as well as a very rich flavor. So, as you can tell, it’s the perfect guilt-free solution to icing of any kind! And switch out the OJ with almond milk, and take out the spices and you have yourself a perfect vanilla icing!

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Like I said, you’ve gotta love gingerbread. And with this version, a guilt-ridden thought won’t pass your mind this holiday!

Gingerbread with Orange-Ginger Icing

Gingerbread

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 3 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs molasses
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • stevia to taste
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

Orange-Ginger Icing

  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 1/4 c stevia
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine applesauce, eggs, coconut sugar, molasses, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Add flours and baking powder and stir until combined. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest and milk until smooth. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for 50-52 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool. Pulse cashews in a food processor for 30 seconds. Then, add ginger, orange zest, vanilla, and stevia. Process until combined (about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides every minute or so). Add orange juice and scrape down the sides. Process until smooth. Finally, smooth over gingerbread and top with additional orange zest and pecans, or cinnamon. Slice and enjoy!

Nutritional Information (from myfitnesspal.com)

Calories: 141

Fat: 9g

Carbs: 14g

Protein: 4g

(Yields 16 slices)

Nutrition information not including the icing is as follows: 119 calories, 7 g fat, 12 g carbs, and 3 g protein.

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