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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Gingerbread snack cake

Catch that Gingerbread Man!

Somewhere packed between holiday shopping, stringing of lights and putting up the tree is a marathon day of cookie baking and candy making. A platter of goodies just wouldn't be the same without the famous gingerbread man. While this little guy may try to run away from being eaten, he's too tasty to escape and sadly is succumbed to getting his head bitten off.

Gingerbread can be cookies or other baked goods, such as cake, bread or biscuits. They're most commonly flavored with ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves and are often the only reason a jar of molasses sits in the cabinet. This dark, sticky, sweet syrup made from sugar cane or sugar beet juice pairs nicely with these spices and is rarely found missing in gingerbread.

Like most baked goods, gingerbread can be high in calories and sugar. While molasses has slightly more calories and more grams of carbohydrate than sugar, it's also sweeter and therefore, less can be used. In addition, molasses has some nutrients including iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese. Using half molasses and half artificial sweetener can lower the calories and carbohydrates while still producing a quality cake or cookie. In addition, whole wheat pastry flour can be used and is superior than all-purpose flour because it provides more nutrients and yet yields a lighter, less dense product than whole wheat flour. It usually can be found in the baking aisle or the health food section of a large supermarket. Enjoy your holiday baking but don't forget the gingerbread!

Gingerbread Snack Cake (Printable PDF)

1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup granulated sucralose

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup molasses

1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8x8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sucralose, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, molasses and egg. Add wet ingredients to dry flour mixture and stir well. Pour into baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 170 calories, 6 grams fat, 85 milligrams sodium, 27 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein

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