If you follow me on Instagram, then you know two things: I love the holidays and I love cooking. Mix them both together and what do you get? A very Joyful Katie! Baking is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. While I love to cook and bake all of the time, there is something magical about flipping on a Christmas CD and dancing around the kitchen while making peppermint cookies and fudge. Joy in the little things!
The holiday season is, however, a place where it becomes easy to derail off of the healthy eating track and right into the land of Sweets and Inflammation. My body sees sugar and gluten-free grains coming and gears up for an inflammation superstorm. (Inflammation superstorms are guaranteed joy suckers!)
One of my father’s (and my own) favorite holiday cookies are old-fashioned molasses cookies. In the past I have made delicious gluten-free, lowered sugar versions which were enjoyable. This year, though, I endeavored to make them healthier, if even by a tidbit, using what we had in our cupboard at the time: garbanzo bean flour, garbanzo beans, blackstrap molasses, and sucanat.
The result was pure deliciousness!
These old-fashioned-style molasses cookies melt in your mouth and are rich in deep flavor. They are not too sweet, gluten-free, and at least a little “guilt-free,” too, given the substitutions there were made. I love to eat one or two alongside a mug of tea, hot cocoa, or coffee – although they are scrumptious just on their own.
In the past I have used garbanzo bean flour in place of gluten-free all-purpose flour in muffins, so I was familiar with it. I was first introduced to the concept of using either garbanzo beans or their flour in recipes due to tasting a friend’s rendition of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Deep Dish Cookie Pie; ever since I have loved experimenting with them in my baked goods. Both the beans and their flour add fiber and protein to this molasses cookie recipe. While this does not make these cookies as healthy as a summer squash by any means, it does makes them a healthier alternative to traditional molasses cookies.
I use organic, unsulphured blackstrap molasses in all of my recipes because it packs the most vitamin and nutrient punch, as well as not being as sweet as regular molasses. I adore its robust flavor!
In place of brown sugar, I used organic sucanat which, for me, is less aggravating to my system than refined, processed white sugar. Sucanat’s flavor makes it an excellent replacement for brown sugar. My other favorite replacement for brown sugar is organic date sugar. You can easily directly substitute date sugar in this recipe if you do not want to use sucanat.
Let me know in the comments if you try it and what you thought!
What are some of your favorite holiday treats?