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Today is National Gingerbread House Day. This celebration recognizes a Christmas tradition for many, creating a house out of gingerbread. An Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, brought gingerbread to Europe around 992 AD. Gingerbread, cut into shapes, sold in Christmas markets and shops during the holidays.
It was the Brothers Grimm who introduced the gingerbread house though. In the classic and somewhat dark fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, the witch in the story lives in a house made of gingerbread. After the publication of Hansel and Gretel, inspired German bakers created and sold ornamental gingerbread houses. The holiday tradition came to America by way of German immigrants.
I love spicy, fragrant gingerbread. My grandson Dayan and I made gingerbread last Christmas for gifts, which prompted me to adapt a recipe. The result is a vegan and gluten free gingerbread that is delicious, with all the feels of the tradition version.
Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe
Whether you make a house, a man, bars or cutout cookies with your gingerbread, this easy recipe supplies the perfect foundation for creating. The key ingredient in gingerbread is…ginger! This warm spice creates the subtle, distinctive flavor. Ginger also offers a host of health benefits. It relieves indigestion and nausea, contains anti-inflammatory properties, cuts the risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol levels.
Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread
- 3/4 cup olive oil spread or 1 1/2 sticks plant based butter
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T water. Set for 5 min)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large bowl whisk together olive oil spread, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in flax egg. Add salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda.
- Using a wooden spoon add flour, half a cup at a time. If baking as bars, don’t allow dough to form into a ball. Chill mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Press dough into baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and edges are slightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 12 - 16 servings.
- Or for cookies, add enough flour so that dough forms into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Then roll dough out, between two sheets of parchment paper, to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and bake 8 – 10 minutes. Cool completely. Makes approximately 30 cookies.
Enjoying Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread
The whole house smells wonderful as gingerbread bakes! And the flavor is amazing. You can add icing to the bars or cookies or cut out shapes and assemble a house with icing and a variety of candies.
My favorite way to savor the deliciousness of fresh gingerbread is with a cup of hot peppermint tea. Truly, this is bliss.
Enjoy vegan and gluten free gingerbread during the holidays…and beyond. And if you make a gingerbread house, send me a photo. I’d love to see your creation.
Check out these fun gingerbread house kits:
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