Holiday Festivities and Food Here I Come!

By Bianca Tamburello, Dietetics Student, Sargent College


The sweet scent of gingerbread swirling around Karen Jacob’s Sargent Choice Test Kitchen last week put me in the Holiday spirit. Returning to my dorm from the test kitchen, I joyfully worked on my homework as I listened to the “Christmas Song” station on Pandora radio.

Gingerbread instantly brings me to thoughts of tree decorating and caroling, and Sargent Choice has provided a wonderful, healthy dessert recipe for your Christmas cookie plate. Paired with Sargent Choice’s applesauce, your contribution to the Christmas dessert line will not only stand apart, but will be first choice for those who are looking for a healthier dessert option this year.  To make this dessert SC, we traded white flour for whole-wheat and cut back on the butter and sugar. Another bonus? Pairing the sweet gingerbread with applesauce is a discrete way of adding some fruit to your dessert!

This applesauce recipe must be the easiest SC recipe of all time! We simply cut up the apples into ½-inch cubes and threw them into a pot along with sugar and lemon juice. We covered the pot with a secure lid and cooked them on low heat. Periodically stirring the apples, in merely 10 minutes we made our very own homemade applesauce! At the test kitchen, we decided not to peel the apples and look what we found: naturally PINK applesauce!


For the gingerbread, we preheated the oven to 325 degrees and buttered and floured a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. The recipe suggests sifting the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Without a sifter in sight, we simply combined the ingredients together. The delicious end product led us to believe that failing to sift the flour is not detrimental to the gingerbread.

We used an electric hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then beat in the molasses and fresh ground ginger. Grinding the ginger from the actual ginger root as needed instead of using powdered ginger is necessary for full flavor; I find that the freshly ground ginger gives the gingerbread a stronger punch of flavor!


Alternating between the dry ingredients and the baking soda water, we added the mixtures to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed. For best results, we continuously scraped down the mixing bowl as needed. Lastly, we mixed in the eggs and spread the mixture onto a baking pan.  The batter will be very thin, but don’t worry! It will fluff up in the oven. In fact, it rose so much that we compared it to a soufflé.


Within the first 3 minutes of baking, the scent of gingerbread danced its way out of the oven and teased us as we anxiously awaited our bread to bake. Finally, after about 30 minutes, our gingerbread loaf arrived! The applesauce and gingerbread on their own are delectable, but together they truly are a “match made in heaven.” The cinnamon and fresh ginger in the gingerbread played with the fairly tart applesauce, creating the perfect holiday season dessert!


Gingerbread with Applesauce

(24 servings)


3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cups boiling water
½ cup unsalted butter
1-cup sugar
1-cup molasses
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 eggs

Apple Sauce
8 apples, peeled, cut into ½-inch dice
½ cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Butter and flour a 9 X 13-inch baking pan.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt into a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and ginger, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixture set to a low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the baking soda water, about one third of each at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Mix in raw eggs thoroughly, continuing to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The batter should be fairly thin.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan. Cut into desired shape. Serve warm with the warm applesauce!

For the applesauce: Put the apples, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium-sized pot. Cover and cook over low heat until the apples are tender-usually 10 to 15 minutes will do it!

Nutrition Notes

Serving= 1 square served with ½ cup applesauce

Calories 190
Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 36 g
Fiber 2 g



Nadav posted on November 26, 2011 at 3:34 am

Although they are a big high in calories (190 per square), this gingerbread looks amazing, and I would definitely like to try it.


Personal Trainer Dave posted on November 29, 2011 at 2:12 am

Besides the sugar, all the ingredients look good.

I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten 6 apples a day but from experience I can tell you they are HIGH in fiber! Plus the wheat…

My girlfriend loves to experiment her healthy recipes on me – and this sounds good for the holidays.

How did it come out?

Sargent Choice Nutrition Center posted on November 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm

They came out great! We’d love to hear how yours come out if you try them!

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