Gingerbread Loaf

By: Julia Huston

Serves: 12 slices of bread

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

There is something about the taste of warm gingerbread that is extremely comforting, but I’ve always disliked the fuss of making a gingerbread house and then never actually getting to eat it… so why not make a loaf? This gingerbread loaf is delicious with coffee, tea, or just by itself. Ginger is one of the healthiest spices on the planet; some of its many benefits include treating indigestion, reducing menstrual pain, and lowering cholesterol levels (Healthline, 2020). Cinnamon is another great spice; studies have proven that cinnamon can alleviate inflammation and lower blood sugar levels (Singletary 2019). Remember to treat yourself this holiday season; you don’t have to fear “dessert” foods just because they’re sweet. It’s all about enjoying in moderation. Here are five tips taken from the Alliance of Integrative Medicine on how to avoid overindulging during the holidays:

  1. Stay hydrated with water.
  2. Eat a snack before holiday parties.
  3. Stick to your regular routine as much as possible.
  4. Practice mindful eating.
  5. Be conscious of alcohol intake.

So make yourself this yummy loaf, snuggle up on the couch, and turn on ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas. You deserve it! 

Loaf Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (substitute gluten-free flour if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dark molasses 
  • ¾ cup hot water (microwave for 1 minute)
  • 1 stick unsalted room temperature butter
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Icing Ingredients (Optional):
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with butter or pam.
  2. Using a whisk, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the molasses and hot water together.
  3. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and egg, and beat until combined (about another minute)
  4. On low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three separate parts, and after each addition add ⅓ of the hot water/molasses mixture. Stop mixing once everything is incorporated. The batter will be liquidy. 
  5. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Test the loaf with a toothpick (or fork) to make sure it is cooked all the way through. When you dip the toothpick in, if it comes out clean, it’s ready!
  6. Allow the loaf to completely cool before removing from the pan. Flip it upside down and give it a few good pats. 
  7. To make the icing, whisk the powdered sugar together with the milk and vanilla extract, and drizzle over the loaf. This is totally optional; it’s also delicious just on its own or with a little bit of butter. 
  8. Store in the refrigerator tightly wrapped.

Reference List:

Alliance of Integrative Medicine. “Five Ways to Avoid Overindulging During the Holidays.” My Healing Partner, https://myhealingpartner.com/five-ways-avoid-overindulging-holidays/

Leech, Joe. “11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger.” Healthline, 7 Oct. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger#_noHeaderPrefixedContent.

Singletary, Keith PhD Cinnamon, Nutrition Today: 1/2 2019 – Volume 54 – Issue 1 – p 42-52 doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000319

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