I was supposed to be in San Francisco for the weekend, our final show of the holiday. Sadly, the dog got sick which meant I had to stay home, since we didn’t feel comfortable boarding her. Hubby had to go to the event without me, so that equated to some unplanned time off this weekend. I actually didn’t know what to do with myself, we have been going non-stop for the past month and a half or so. I seriously actually made a list Friday night of what I wanted to do to relax. That’s how tightly wound I was.
Saturday morning I got up bright and early headed to a yoga class to start my unwinding and relaxing. I really cannot think of a more perfect way to kick off a weekend of no plans. By Saturday afternoon I found myself getting a relaxing pedicure with Meg and after that I curled up on the couch with my furry baby, watching Christmas movies and I decide I should whip up a quick seasonal cocktail. Gingerbread felt appropriate given that we are just a couple days away from my favorite day of the year.
This cocktail is spicy and has a strong molasses flavor, it tastes just like a traditional gingerbread cookie. If you want it sweeter add a bit more maple syrup or honey, or use a smidge less molasses. The fresh ginger is optional, but I personally love the little bits of it floating in the cocktail, such a great taste. Read the rest of this entry »
It has been a very busy few weeks for us, we have had shows every weekend, we have been trying to get our Christmas shopping done as early as possible since we have to ship ALL of our gifts this year. On top of all of this I have had a lot of work to do and I just can’t seem to get it all done. It’s been madness. I am looking forward to Christmas eve when I think all of this craziness will be over and I can truly just enjoy the holidays. My favorite time of year.
We had a bunch of friends over last night for a little Christmas cocktail party thing. Nothing fancy, just some mulled wine, spiked egg nog, a hot cocoa bar and lots of snacks and treats! Sooo much food, as always! Mark ran to the store and bought a big tray of various gluten-filled Christmas cookies for everyone else, but I wanted to make a fun holiday-inspired cookie that both me and my friend Debbie (who is new to eating gluten-free) could enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »
Gingerbread is one of my absolute favorite holiday flavors. It’s right up there with dark chocolate and mint anything and of course, nog-flavored goodies. I don’t always have the patience to make a full batch of gluten-free cookies, especially not the kind you have to roll and cut out, then decorate. These no-bake cookie balls are an amazing way to enjoy the unique flavor of gingerbread cookies without the work and the guilt! I love a sweet treat that not only satisfies your cravings, but doesn’t leave you feeling bad about what you just ate. Plus, between the protein from the nuts and the iron from the molasses, one could even argue these cookies are extra good for you! Read the rest of this entry »
With the lack of time to play in the kitchen right now, I am certainly feeling the loss of certain seasonal flavors and tastes that are quintessential holiday treats for me. So, I have been getting creative when the time allows and enjoying the flavors of the season, however I can.
I had dreams of creating grain-free gingerbread cookies this year, but there just hasn’t been the time to experiment and play, so instead I created a simple and super tasty gingerbread smoothie to celebrate all of those same flavors, but without all of the mixing, cutting out and baking! It turned out great. The aroma from this simple treat alone is enough to satisfy that holiday hankering for those cute little cut out dudes.
Plus, you get to really enjoy some health benefits with this smoothie. Blackstrap molasses is just one type of molasses, the dark liquid byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. Blackstrap is my molasses as choice because of the variety of great nutritional benefits that comes with it. Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup, which are stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates, or artificial sweeteners like saccharine or aspartame, which not only provide no useful nutrients but have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals, blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index. Plus, because of its high iron content, many use blackstrap molasses to holistically overcome anemia. Blackstrap molasses is also a great source for calcium and magnesium. Potassium is another mineral abundant in blackstrap molasses, and the list goes on and on.
If you find the bittersweet flavor from the molasses to be a bit pungent, (which can often times happen to those who have taste buds conditioned for years by sugar and artificial sweeteners) or find it lacking as a sweetener, add a bit of additional sweetener of your choice, maple syrup, honey, etc. I personally felt like it didn’t need to be any sweeter. It was just perfect.
I also couldn’t help but think about how delicious this smoothie would be with a shot of some spiced rum or a good bourbon. Is it bad that’s where my mind goes right now?
If you are looking for a couple other creative gingerbread recipes, check out my recipes for Gingerbread Granola (gluten-free + vegan) and Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins with Dried Cranberries (gluten-free + vegan).
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon flax-seed meal (or ground chia seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (grated fresh ginger would be extra nice)
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- dash of all spice
- 1 small handful of ice
*additional sweetener, if needed
Add all of the ingredients to the blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour into your glass, top with a little freshly grated nutmeg (or regular ol ground nutmeg will work too). Serve immediately.