Try Leaving These No-Bake Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Balls For Santa This Year
Nothing says holiday fun like a good ol’ fashion cookie exchange. But this time of year gets busy. Who really has time to bake? And if you’re a health-conscious person, you don’t want to bring your friends something bloated with refined sugars and artificial colors.
Worry not! We present the winter cookie recipe of your dreams: No-Bake Vegan Gingerbread Balls. In just 15 minutes, you can whip up delicious, sophisticated vegan gingerbread cookies made with healthier ingredients.
No-Bake Gingerbread Balls
- 7 pitted dates
- ¼ cup crystallized ginger
- ½ cup pecans
- ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut divided use
- 1 Tbsp. all-natural almond butter
- 1 Tbsp. molasses
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
In the bowl of a food processor, combine dates, ginger, pecans, and ¼ cup coconut until coarse crumbs form.
Add almond butter, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon and pulse until well mixed.
Using clean hands, roll into tablespoon-sized balls; roll in remaining ½ cup coconut.
Place in refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes or more before serving. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.
How to Make Healthier Gingerbread Treats
Traditional gingerbread recipes often call for processed carbohydrates like white flour and refined sugars (including white sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrup), none of which are rich in nutrients.
In this lower sugar, higher nutrient version, we use the ever versatile date as the base of the cookie. The dates not only sweeten your sweets with their complex, rich natural flavor, they also give these gingerbread cookie balls a fantastic chewy texture. And what a great substitute, as dates have demonstrated antioxidant propitiates in many studies and offer up antioxidant properties and some potassium.
To maintain the traditional flavor of gingerbread cookies, this recipe includes some molasses, but just 1 tablespoon. That keeps sugar content to just 9 grams, making for the perfect guilt-free indulgence.
Is Gingerbread Vegan?
In its most basic form, “gingerbread” refers to any treat that combines ginger with a sweetener, like honey or molasses. So if you combine ginger and molasses, that’s some vegan gingerbread for ya!
However, it becomes un-vegan when you start making gingerbread baked goods with ingredients like butter and eggs. But luckily for all our plant-based folks out there, you can make some smart substitutions to keep a gingerbread recipe free of animal products.
In this vegan gingerbread balls recipe, we substituted the customary eggs and butter with dates and almond butter. The dates work as a great binding ingredient because they’re so sticky. The almond butter helps with that, too: it’s combination of sweet dryness and creamy texture make for an excellent add-in for excellent vegan dessert.
Spice it right
Gingerbread is a delicious dessert at anytime, but it especially shines during the winter holidays. That’s mostly thanks to it’s use of warm wintery spices! This recipe packs a punch with cinnamon, and both crystallized and ground ginger.
Cinnamon sets the base for a dessert with the perfect holiday flavor. Combined with strong taste of crystallized ginger and another dash of ground ginger, these gingerbread balls have a spicy kick that’s complimented by the sweetness of the molasses.
So give these bite sized balls a whirl at your next holiday party. Or for breakfast on Christmas morning. Or pretty much anytime. With treats that taste so good and are so easy to make, there’s no wrong time to enjoy them!
Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative