Ginger Cookies Healthy Enough to Enjoy During Pregnancy
Tara Mataraza Desmond and I have a couple of things in common – twins! But beyond that we also share a love of cooking and baking. She set her sites on creating a cookbook to nourish mothers and babies during pregnancy. Ginger has long been known to soothe an upset stomach and it can be put to good use to ease morning sickness. These Ginger Cookies also feature whole wheat and rye flour and healthy coconut oil and use unrefined sugar. The combo of ground and fresh ginger gives them a kick. Tara has also shared with us her BCPB (Banana Cocoa Peanut Butter) Whoopie Pies. Pregnant or not, these recipes are healthy treats; both are from her book Full Belly.
Reprinted with permission from Full Belly: Good Eats for a Healthy Pregnancy © 2014 Tara Mataraza Desmond, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
During my first pregnancy, a friend gifted me a big bag of her perfect gingersnap cookies for snacking on a coast-to-coast flight en route to our “babymoon” getaway. She baked hers in little rounds the size of quarters, and their sweet crunchiness redolent of ginger’s warm spiciness tasted so good on my tongue. I took my cue from her recipe but experimented with a mixture of whole grain flours that complement the flavors and textures of classic snaps. Instead of butter, melted coconut oil lends its mellow aroma and signature flavor to these cookies with a crisp exterior and soft interior. A combination of ground and freshly grated ginger offers its soothing properties to the treat.
- ¹⁄2 cup/67 g all-purpose flour
- ¹⁄3 cup/46 g whole wheat pastry flour
- ¹⁄4 cup/28 g rye flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¹⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1¹⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ¹⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- ¹⁄3 cup/84 g coconut oil, melted if solid and cooled slightly
- ¹⁄4 cup/59 ml molasses (not blackstrap)
- ¹⁄3 cup/71 g turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas 5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, rye flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon.
- In a large, spouted measuring cup, beat the egg into the oil, molasses, sugar, and fresh ginger.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold everything together with a large rub-ber spatula into a dough that seems closer in nature to a batter. Make sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients hiding throughout the dough or at the bottom of the bowl.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or until it is cold and firm. Scoop out heaping teaspoons and roll the dough into balls. Set the balls on the parchment-lined pans, about 2 inches/5 cm apart, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how soft or crisp you like your cookie. At 10 minutes, the cookies will have a crisp exterior and a soft interior once they cool. After 15 minutes’ bake time and cooling completely, they will be crisp throughout. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 2 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Alternatively, bake some of the cookies and freeze some of the dough to bake later. This comes in handy if you’re having an especially queasy day and you’ve found ginger to be an antidote. After you roll the dough into balls, place them on a baking sheet (or any surface that will house the cookie dough balls in a single layer and fit in your freezer) and set it in the freezer until the dough is very firm, at least 30 minutes. Transfer the frozen dough balls to an airtight container or a resealable plas-tic freezer bag. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To bake the frozen dough, set the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches/5 cm apart and bake in a 350°F/175°C/Gas 4 oven for about 15 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
BELLY BONUS: Ginger lends an aromatic and pungent flavor to the cookies and can provide some relief from first-trimester nausea.
NUTRITION PER SERVING (1 COOKIE) Calories 49 | Total fat 3 g (Saturated 2 g, Poly 0 g, Omega-3 0.00 g, DHA 0.00 g, EPA 0.00 g, Mono 0 g) | Cholesterol 5 mg | Protein 1 g | Sodium 53 mg | Carbohydrates 6 g | Fiber 0 g | Sugars 3 g | Vitamin A 2 mcg | Vitamin B6 0 mg | Vitamin B12 0 mcg | Vitamin C 0 mg | Vitamin D 1 IU | Choline 5 mg | Folate 4 mcg | Calcium 6 mg | Iron 0 mg