Gingerbread People Recipe and Curbing my Sweet tooth

Hi everyone! I’m really excited that there is so much interest in the 5 by the 5th Virtual Race series!

I’m looking into (optional) medals for those of you who are interested, and have a few more prizes to add to the list.  My friend Maria also suggested a hashtag so we can follow each other’s progress.  Let’s use #5bythe5th on Twitter and Instagram when sharing about the races and progress.  Can’t wait to kick it off January 1st, and run with some of you in person!

It’s time for another What I ate Wednesday, with holiday recipes this month! I’m also linking up with Brittany at A Healthy Slice of Life for Munchkin Meals.


I’m not sure that cookies are the kind of healthy that Jenn had in mind, but this is our favorite gingerbread dough recipe that I tweaked a few years ago.  It has no white flour or sugar, but I kept some butter as I believe it’s more natural and healthier (in moderation) than the margarine alternatives.  So while it does not constitute a healthy meal, it’s a cookie you can feel pretty good about.  (Sorry, gluten and dairy free friends, I didn’t experiment but I imagine rice flour and coconut oil would be decent substitutes).

Gingerbread People Cookies (print recipe)

  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 banana, mashed (or 2 additional Tbsp butter)
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/3 c. molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Icing and candy of choice for decorating

Blend the butter, banana, honey and molasses in a large bowl.  Beat in the egg, vanilla and lemon peel.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, until well combined.  Divide dough into two balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out each ball to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.  Place on greased baking sheets and continue to roll out scraps until all the dough is used.  Bake for 7-9 minutes at 350.  Cool completely and decorate.


We used a simple icing- 1/2 c. confectioners sugar with a tsp of milk.  I spooned it into a ziploc bag, and trimmed one corner for a quick icing bag.  For toppings, we used sprinkles, dried mixed berries and raisins, and (junk food splurge) holiday jellybelly beans.  That was one mess that was totally worth it!


Here’s what else we ate yesterday:

[Breakfast: Oats with berries, mila, flaxseed and cinnamon for everyone; Lunch: Salad with beets, shredded carrot, cauliflower and egg with hummus and salsa for me and a Black Raspberry-yogurt smoothie; Hummus-carrot roll up for L with peas and unsweetened applesauce; Snack: Gingerbread cookie and a few toppings for each of us: Dinner: Polenta pizza with peppers and mushrooms, orange and another cookie for me as a late-night snack]

I haven’t talked about the nutrition school lately, but I am happily soaking it all up.  The last week, we spent a lot of time talking about the healing power of love, purpose of intentions and the psychology of positive thinking, as well as nutrition info, counseling techniques and business coaching.

Here’s one practical tip I’m going to put into practice for the holidays in terms of limiting our sweet tooth:

Try filling up with naturally sweet vegetables early in the day so your body will feel like it’s sweet quota is met and will crave less sugar.  Obvious vegetables include sweet potatoes, beets, winter squashes, corn and carrots.  Less obvious is the fact that red radishes, daikon, green cabbage and burdock have a similar effect on the body by maintaining blood sugar levels and reducing sweet cravings.  I’m going to give it a try!

Do you have trouble controlling your sweet tooth? What is your favorite holiday cookie?

40 thoughts on “Gingerbread People Recipe and Curbing my Sweet tooth

  1. I just love the memories of baking and icing cookies as a kid. Such a special time. When I was a kid I didn’t care for them, but now I think it’s the nostalgia – Russian Tea Cakes. They were mom’s favorite and I think it was b/c they were her mom’s favorite.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Sick not "Sick" WeekendMy Profile

  2. You always eat so healthy! I need you to plan out my meals for me, haha. I actually do pretty good. I am just a bad snacker and it isn’t even on bad stuff. I just always have to snack. Drives me crazy!!!!! I love gingerbread too, might have to try those cookies out this weekend if I have time.

    Love the medal idea too! 🙂
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Race recap: Jingle Bell RunMy Profile

  3. I really love the sounds of that gingerbread recipe. My daughter would love to make cookies, so I’m going to commit to doing it with this recipe!

    I also love the idea of filling up on sweeter vegetables early on in the day. I make a lot of smoothies w/ vegetables and beets is one of my favorite ingredients.
    misszippy recently posted..What did work at CIMMy Profile

  4. You are SO crafty!! Love all the pictures too. 🙂 I have a huge sweet tooth and this week I’m not running so I don’t even want to think about how many extra calories I’ve consumed! I went to a cookie exchange Sunday night and brought home way too many goodies. We’ve been snacking on them ever since.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will add it to my holiday collection!
    Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..Quanity vs. Quality: Trying to PR with Multiple MarathonsMy Profile

  5. Those cookies look DELISH!!!!!!! I want to try them immediately. Adding that recipe to my Christmas party list for sure 🙂

  6. Those gingerbread cookies look Yummy!! I need to find a good gluten and dairy free recipe , maybe I’ll try your suggestion 🙂 excited for the race series especially cause it gets me to race without having to go anywhere since that usually is my reason for not racing.
    Kris recently posted..My First "Real" Spin ClassMy Profile

  7. We made cookies over the weekend for the first time with the kids. We moved fast and made a huge mess but it was fun! I think they liked the cookie cutters better than anything.

    I try to throw some veggies in my oatmeal like carrots, zucchini/squash, sweet potatoes, etc. I think it does help curb my sweet tooth a bit.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..A Few Of My Favorite ThingsMy Profile

  8. Baking holiday cookies is a big tradition in our house and I can’t wait to do it this year. The boys get super involved with it all and they love it. These look great and we’ll have to try them. L looks like she was a great helper! That’s a great idea to fill up with sweet veggies earlier in the day. I will definitely try that. I have a hard time with sweets around the holidays. It’s like instinct or something.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Bikram Yoga for SurfersMy Profile

  9. I love making gingerbread cut-outs! I like to use cinnamon drops for the eyes because I like the taste combination.

    Interesting idea on the sweet tooth strategy. I know that if have sugar early in the day (like a cookie with my coffee for breakfast!) that only makes my sweet tooth worse, but maybe sweet veggies would have the opposite effect. Would fruit be similar to veggies?
    Coco recently posted..Easy Holiday Card Garland CraftMy Profile

  10. what a great idea for curbing the sweet tooth! and cute gingerbread peeps!!

    also, i have a question about the jan 1 resolution run – perhaps i missed it, but is it just a run on January 1? or is it a special distance? i wasn’t totally sure what i’m supposed to do. i love the idea of the virtual race series – and i want to participate. i just want to make sure i do it right 😉
    runner26 recently posted..Why We RunMy Profile

  11. Filling up on sweet veggies sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the reminder! I will try it. Your cookies look fantastic and so much fun! I would try them with Earth Balance margarine and some light spelt flour. It’s just great to get the kiddos in the kitchen, no matter what you make, right? 🙂
    Joann @ Woman in Real Life recently posted..What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

  12. Well it isn’t the holidays without gingerbread men, AND ginger’s an anti-inflammatory so it’s all good in my book! Those are some healthy lunches, impressive! I’m working on my sweet craving too. Hard to do it this time of year but I figure if I can do it now, the rest of the year will be easy!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Writing for WashingtonianMy Profile

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  15. Yay for a hashtag!! 🙂 I’m getting excited about the series! I wish I could’ve tried these gingerbread cookies for the cookie exchange at work but I didn’t even get a chance to participate. There was no way I could’ve baked cookies with the house the way it was! Pinning for later use though. =)
    Maria @ Lil Mys Ninja recently posted..Meal Planning {12/9 – 12/15}My Profile

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  18. Making these now with grandchildren. Working well so far as they are in the cutting out stage. Thanks for sharing this.

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