Gingerbread: what are they made of, useful properties and contraindications
Gingerbread is a flour products of confectionery production, baking which uses a special dough. Outwardly, they look most often in the form of a plate, slightly convex in the middle. The shape can be rectangular, oval or round. A layer of sugar glaze is applied to the surface of each gingerbread. In some cases, you can find drawings or inscriptions on them.
- What is the difference between gingerbread and cookies
- Composition and Calories
- How to use gingerbread
- General Benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- For Pregnancy
- For breastfeeding
- For children
- When losing weight
- Useful properties of gingerbread
- Gingerbread in medicine
- For diabetes
- For pancreatitis
- For gastritis
- With gout
- Harm and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- How to cook gingerbread: Recipes
- Is it possible to eat gingerbread during Lent?
- Interesting Facts
The history of this delicacy is already several thousand years old, because the first mentions of it date back to several centuries before our era. So, back in the era of ancient Egypt, honey cakes were popular, which were to the taste of people, and also had ritual value, being a product of an offering to the gods. In Russia, this delicacy was in demand even before the baptism of pagan tribes. Then the gingerbread was made with different images. On them you could find drawings of flowers, plants, animals, some mythical characters.
What is the difference between gingerbread and cookies
Gingerbread and cookies are varieties of confectionery flour products, which differ in the degree of nourishment, size, composition of the dough, etc.
Cookies are presented as a small confectionery product made from dough. Various grains can be added to this dough. The treat can be in the form of a circle, square, star, etc. In some cases, cookies are made with a filling in the form of raisins, chocolate, condensed milk or cream. Also the filling can be placed between the two products.
Gingerbread, on the other hand, is a flour product, for the baking of which a special dough is used. To improve its taste, honey, nuts, raisins, and jam can be added to it. Most often, such a product is presented in the form of an oval, round or rectangular pastry, slightly convex in the middle.
Historically, gingerbread has been a symbol of the holiday since its ingredients were not cheap and everyday.
Gingerbread is distinguished from cookies by the presence of spices, a higher concentration of sugar and water and less fat.
Also added to gingerbread dough are spices in the form of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, ginger, honey and leavening agent.
Composition and calories
- Modern gingerbread contains rye flour, natural honey, egg yolk, milk and water.
- The presence of various additives and spices, which have been mentioned above, is not excluded.
- Additionally there may be nutmeg, anise, allspice, lemon peel and vanilla.
- Another popular ingredient of such a treat is burnt sugar and molasses, thanks to which the confectionery acquires a special taste.
- When making gingerbread, such additives as jam, nuts, dried fruits, jam, etc. can be used as a filling.
The caloric value of such a product, bought in the store, usually ranges from 300 to 350 kcal per 100 grams.
What are the benefits of gingerbread
The properties of such a treat depend on its composition. In order not to harm your health, it is recommended to prepare such a delicacy with your own hands at home, choosing only natural ingredients.
Honey spice cakes in small quantities are useful for both adults and children. After all, as we know, bee honey has many benefits for the human body. Such a component ensures the production of endorphin, which elevates the mood. In addition, natural honey activates the protective functions of the body, that is, it increases immunity. In addition, it contains high levels of ascorbic acid, tocopherol and B vitamins. It should also be noted that such a component has a bactericidal effect.
As is known, in the classic recipe of the Russian gingerbread is used rye flour. Compared with wheat flour, it has a greater benefit. This ingredient provides purification of the intestines and helps to normalize the activity of the digestive tract.
Often fruit and berry fillings are added to the gingerbread. They help to strengthen the blood vessels, stimulate the processes of hematopoiesis and maintain the normal functioning of the musculoskeletal system.
Another component that is often found in gingerbread is raisins. This component is characterized by the content of various vitamins and mineral compounds. So, here you will find magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorus and potassium. This dried fruit with regular consumption benefits the kidneys, the nervous system and the intestines. Due to the high level of iron in combination with B vitamins, these fruits are effective for the prevention of anemia.
Honey and berry fillings included in gingerbread are rich in various vitamins, such as A and C. These substances provide an increase in immunity, the maintenance of normal metabolism. In addition, they activate the brain and strengthen the NS. It should be noted that even after baking, a significant portion of the useful substances is retained in the products and gets into the human body.
Another important advantage of such a delicacy is that moderate consumption slows down the aging process, improves digestion, reduces the risk of such an ailment as sclerosis.
It is known that it is the male half of humanity who most often suffers from cardiovascular diseases. For this reason, it is recommended to introduce gingerbread to the diet of men. This is due to the fact that the fiber of the flour used here normalizes the digestion of food, reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood. Minerals and vitamins from the same honey component and berry juice provide strengthening of blood vessels and activate hematopoiesis.
As for the gingerbread, it has the same benefits as garlic. Thus, ginger can help to relieve nervous tension, activate the brain, remove toxins and impurities, and reduce the risk of blood clots.
When making gingerbread, such spice as cinnamon is used. It has been used for several thousand years as a healing agent. It is known that even in ancient China it was used for liver and kidney pathologies, skin problems. In addition, it helps to destroy fungus and parasites, strengthen the cardiovascular system and normalize cholesterol levels.
Since gingerbread is a flour product, you should take into account that you can gain weight by eating it. For this reason, it is undesirable to eat them, but there is no ban on them either. The main thing is to eat them in moderation.
Store biscuits can be dangerous, because very often they are made with the cheapest trans fat. In this case, the baby from such tasty things will go only bad, and a certain amount of them will be deposited around the waist of the pregnant woman. Therefore, it is recommended to bake gingerbread at home by yourself.
Some expectant mothers are recommended to eat gingerbread. This is due to the fact that ginger helps to cope with the symptoms of toxicosis. In its pure form and when added to tea, it has a not very pleasant taste, and in gingerbread it is not so pronounced.
It's no secret that breastfeeding moms often want to eat something sweet, but not all treats are allowed during lactation. The high sugar content of these foods can have a negative impact on the course of this period and the baby's well-being. Often the baby may develop an allergic reaction, increasing colic. Therefore, you should choose sweets with caution, and eat them only in small amounts.
Natural gingerbread contains rye flour, burnt sugar, honey, milk and egg yolks. As additional ingredients can be used frosting, chocolate, jam and nuts. All these ingredients have a high caloric content and can increase the likelihood of allergies, which can have a negative impact both on the young mother and on the well-being of the baby.
Such a treat is considered dangerous when the natural ingredients are replaced with synthetic ones. Today, most manufacturers use in their production various dyes, fragrances and other products that are contraindicated during breastfeeding.
It is worth noting that natural gingerbread is a source of carbohydrates. Thus, one flour product can contain up to 80 percent of carbohydrates. Therefore, it is a nourishing treat that energizes and invigorates, helps to relieve fatigue and lift your spirits. Everyone knows that sweets have a positive effect on mental activity and nerve cells, improve brain function and memory. Therefore, a nursing woman should eat gingerbread in small quantities.
Begin to introduce such a product in your diet can be from 3-4 months from the time of the baby's birth. At first, it is recommended to eat no more than 1/2 of the gingerbread and observe the reaction of the infant. If there is no allergic reaction, you can eat such a dessert from time to time.
It should also be remembered that gingerbread should not be eaten on an empty stomach, as well as in the afternoon. Before buying, you should carefully study the composition. It should contain only natural ingredients, without any dyes or other chemical additives.
At the same time, you should give preference to the classic gingerbread without the use of icing. This will reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes and allergies. In addition, they contain fewer calories.
To protect yourself and your child, it is recommended to prepare such a treat at home. Only in this case, you can be sure of the shelf life and composition of the delicacy. This will allow you to combine in the recipe such ingredients, to which the baby will not be allergic.
According to the classic recipe it is customary to glaze the gingerbread. This protects the product from rapid stale. As already mentioned, they contain a lot of carbohydrates. This suggests that they are a source of energy for the child's muscles. However, you need to remember that the excess sugar in them can have a negative effect on dental enamel.
It is also important to consider that such sweets often contain honey, cocoa, ginger, etc. And, as you know, all these components are capable of provoking an allergic reaction.
When losing weight
Unfortunately, gingerbread is not a dietary product. Therefore, you should not consume them in large quantities, in particular those who seek to get rid of excess weight. We must remember that such sweetness should not be used instead of a full meal, especially replacing breakfast or dinner in the presence of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Gingerbread can increase the appetite. This is because they contain easily digestible carbohydrates, which provide a rapid increase in blood glucose levels. And high sugar levels in the body turn into fatty deposits.
Useful properties of gingerbread
Few people know that gingerbread is a valuable source of various vitamins and minerals. It is enough to eat one such product to get a charge of good mood and a portion of useful substances for the human body. In addition, it contains protein, vitamins B12, PP, a number of minerals.
Ginger is an antioxidant of natural origin. It can protect the body from various bacteria, viruses. Consequently, a sweet with ginger will help to strengthen the protective functions.
In addition to protein, it contains fats and carbohydrates that energize you for the whole day. It should also be noted that ginger provides protection for the intestines from inflammatory processes. So, ginger treat will help to cope with nausea, as well as with menstrual pain.
It is known that the caloric value of such a treat with ginger is about 350 kcal per 100 g. However, this figure applies only to the classic recipe of gingerbread with the use of ginger root and natural honey. In this case, the product will help not only to cure diseases of cold and viral origin, but also to speed up the metabolic process in the body, improve immunity.
However, you should also take into account the possible harm that can be caused by ginger delicacy. First of all, this concerns the high caloric content of the product. That is why such sweetness should be consumed in moderation, otherwise it will affect the increase in body weight.
It should also be noted that the danger can be represented by spoiled products and gingerbread, which have been stored incorrectly. Store them in an airtight package, protected from moisture and penetration of foreign odors. The shelf life is not more than 6 months.
Gingerbread, which are sold in stores, is not recommended to buy. It is best in this case to prepare them yourself. After all, unscrupulous manufacturers use molasses instead of honey or add to the product sugar syrup with an aromatic component.
Gingerbread in medicine
Once upon a time, gingerbread was a truly useful product. Today, due to mass production and cheapening, it has become a complex of useless and sometimes even dangerous components. It is not worth waiting for the benefits of such a delicacy. Today the store-bought gingerbread is not a valuable sweet, but a product that can cause serious harm to the human body. In order for such a treat to turn out delicious and useful, you need to prepare it with your own hands.
In case of diabetes mellitus
By its nature, such a flour product as gingerbread has a sweet taste. As already mentioned, it is capable of rapidly increasing the amount of glucose. Therefore, such products can lead to an increase in blood sugar. Therefore, these sweets should be excluded from the diet of people suffering from diabetes.
In their usual form, gingerbread is contraindicated for diabetics. However, now in stores you can find a delicacy specially designed for this category of patients. In this case, sweeteners are used instead of the usual sugar, which do not affect the indicators of insulin in the blood. But in any case, you should initially consult your doctor.
Important: The glycemic index of gingerbread is 65 units.
Harm from gingerbread can also appear in relation to the pancreas. Because the treat is high in carbohydrates, it forces the gland to work more actively. As a consequence, the load on the organ increases. This also affects the need for the pancreas to synthesize more insulin. For this reason, in the presence of chronic and even more acute pancreatitis, it is not recommended to eat gingerbread in large quantities.
If we take into account that gingerbread is a separate type of confectionery products associated with biscuits, it is contraindicated to eat them in the presence of gastritis, because they are a confectionery product. As you know, with such a pathology, confectionery is prohibited. A great danger in such a case is the use of any toppings. After all, the treats are already a load for the stomach, and the use of any additives will only aggravate the situation.
Today, among the great variety of gingerbread products, you can find flour products that are approved for use in case of inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach. However, it should be taken into account that any baked goods are made with a large number of aromas, flavors and preservatives. Therefore it's better not to buy it.
If you can not give up sweets, you can make gingerbread at home, without the use of dangerous components. But even in this case, it is recommended to include the obtained treat in food no more than 2 times a week. At the same time, you should wash down the pastry with low-fat sour-milk products or weak tea.
In the presence of gouty arthritis and other joint diseases, it is important to follow a diet to limit the number of calories, to balance your diet. This is necessary in order to eliminate the problem of excess weight and prevent its occurrence. As you know, extra weight puts extra strain on the inflamed joints, which can lead to a worsening of the disease. Therefore, it is important to abandon such a sweet or reduce its consumption to a minimum.
Harm and contraindications
If we talk about gingerbread, prepared using natural components, they have only one negative feature, namely, a significant degree of caloric content. This property is useful for children and people who are engaged in sports. However, if we talk about adult sweet eaters who lead a more measured life, it should be noted that the high level of easily digestible carbohydrates and the excessive use of such a delicacy can harm the figure. These carbohydrates can be quickly absorbed into the blood and deposited as fat cells.
As for store-bought gingerbread, they are more dangerous than homemade delicacies. Most manufacturers try to reduce the cost of their production, as a result of which molasses or sugar syrup with a flavoring substance is used instead of honey, which can be harmful to the body.
Sugar with icing in the composition of such a product also has a negative impact on health, namely on the state of dental enamel.
Once again, it should be noted that the classic version of gingerbread is contraindicated for people with sugar disease. Despite the fact that there are now on sale a lot of sweets designed specifically for this group of patients, it is still recommended to consult with a specialist first.
The greatest harm to human health is caused not by natural ingredients in the composition of Russian flour products, but by various chemical inclusions. In this case, cocoa powder substitutes should be noted. They are used for economic purposes, but instead of the beneficial cocoa beans, which have a beneficial effect on the human body, this substance can cause serious harm.
Natural honey and vanilla substitutes are also dangerous. Vanilla flavoring is not able to bring any benefit to the body. Instead of honey, some manufacturers use synthetic menthol, which is a relative of methane. This component is contraindicated especially for children.
It is impossible today to find safe dyes and emulsifiers, which are also often used in the production of modern gingerbread.
When buying, you should pay attention only to such products, in the composition of which harmless constituents are indicated or their amount is reduced to a minimum.
How to choose and store
Most often, when choosing gingerbread, people palpate them and, if they are soft, buy them. Although few people know that they come in two varieties: custard and raw. Each of these types has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the raw products get stale quickly, so if you buy the products for future use, it is better to give preference to custard spice cakes, because they are stored longer.
To get a quality product, you should also pay attention to the type of flour. In this case you can use both high and 1st or 2nd grade raw materials. The lower the grade of flour, the healthier the treat.
Glazing protects the products from evaporation of moisture, so the glazed delicacy is stored longer. However, the unglazed version is characterized by a lower caloric content. Therefore, you will have to decide what is more important in a particular case.
As for shelf life, gingerbread without preservatives can be stored for up to 2 months. If a longer period is indicated on the label, therefore, the product contains various preservatives, which most likely will not even be indicated on the label.
The edges of the gingerbread should be smooth. Sloppy edges indicate poor quality raw material or a violation of the technological process.
Storage times and conditions depend on the type of gingerbread. First, universal tips for storing all types of gingerbread should be considered. First of all, you must remember that the place of storage must be protected from direct sunlight. A sealed container should also be used. The temperature in the room should not exceed 20 degrees, and the humidity should be within 75%. The treat should be kept away from products with a pungent and specific smell.
Depending on the method of production, the observance of storage measures, most varieties of such flour products are suitable for consumption for 3-6 weeks. Regarding the gingerbread, it can be noted that, unlike conventional products, their shelf life is 3 months.
If you need to know how long you can keep the finished painted gingerbread, you should take into account that most often in their manufacture honey is used, which is a fairly high-quality natural preservative. If all the requirements of the recipe were followed when obtaining the dough, taking into account the peculiarities of storage, the product can remain suitable for consumption for 6 months.
How to cook gingerbread: recipes
To prepare diet gingerbread at home, you will need 300 ml of sour milk or sour cream, 700 g of wheat flour, 0.5 tsp of baking soda, 500 g of sugar and a pinch of salt.
Start the process of making by combining the sour milk product with baking soda, 250 g of sugar and salt. Add flour to the same mixture. From the resulting dough, roll long rolls, and then cut them into pieces. Then place the gingerbread cakes on a baking tray with parchment paper at a small distance from each other. After that, send the blanks to the oven heated to 200 degrees.
The remaining amount of sugar is used to make syrup. In this case, pour 250 grams of granulated sugar into the water, then boil the mixture for 20 minutes with constant stirring. This sugar syrup is used to process the finished spice cakes.
To get cottage cheese gingerbread, you will need a glass of grated cottage cheese, the same amount of sour cream, 100 ml of vegetable oil, 0.8 kg of wheat flour, 2 chicken eggs, 2 bags of baking powder, 150 g of sugar and the same amount of powdered sugar.
First, you need to mix the sour cream and cottage cheese so that a homogeneous mass is formed. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. After that, add the yolks, baking powder, sugar and butter to the cottage cheese mixture. Gradually add flour to make a dough. Then cover the dough and leave it for 40 minutes.
Next, roll out the dough into a thick layer. Now, using a cup, glass or shot glass, make circles in the dough. The resulting blanks put on a baking tray with baking paper, then send it to the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. In the meantime, whip the whites, combine them with powdered sugar and mix. Finished spice cakes pour the glaze while they are hot. You can make such a treat and without icing. In this case, it will turn out not so caloric and heavy to digest.
You can also make chocolate spice cakes. You will need 170g of dark chocolate, 200g of flour, 70g of butter, 2 eggs, 0.5cl of baking powder, 100g of sugar and 150g of powdered sugar.
First, you need to chop the chocolate, combine it with the butter and put it on a low heat. Heat the mass, stirring regularly until homogeneous. In this case, do not bring it to a boil. Then beat the eggs and sugar and gradually pour the resulting mixture into a bowl with chocolate and butter. Next, combine the flour and baking powder, and then add it all again to the chocolate mass and mix well.
The resulting dough should be in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. At the end of the specified time, divide the dough into equal parts and make balls of it. Such workpieces should be rolled in powdered sugar and put on a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake the gingerbread for 10 minutes at 180 degrees.
You can also use the recipe for making gingerbread without using honey. In this case, you will need 2.5 cups of wheat flour, 0.5 teaspoon of powdered ginger, the same amount of nutmeg, 100 grams of butter, 2 egg yolks, 1/2 cup water, 250 grams of sugar, a pinch of salt and baking soda.
Pour the specified amount of sugar in boiling water and cook over low heat until the sweetener is completely dissolved. After the sugar syrup has cooled, add the butter to it and mix the mass thoroughly. Then combine the flour and salt and baking soda, mix, mix with the sugar and egg mixture, add here the nutmeg, ginger powder and yolks. After mixing, wrap the dough in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
After 3 hours, roll the dough into a layer and cut out gingerbread cakes of various shapes. Now place the pieces on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at the same temperature.
Can one eat gingerbread during Lent?
During Lent, it is supposed to refuse food of animal origin. As for gingerbread, it is not recommended to eat them in the Lenten days. This is due to the fact that, more often than not, the composition of such a treat contains ingredients that are forbidden during this period. These include eggs, fermented dairy products such as milk, cream, and kefir.
However, it is possible to prepare Lenten sweets. For example, you can find many recipes on the Internet, which do not require the use of fatty ingredients. Such a product can already be eaten in Lent.
Also, you should study the label of the product in the store, if it does not specify components of animal nature, you can safely buy and eat.
- The first gingerbread, which appeared in Russia, was called honey bread. The recipe was brought about in the ninth century. This delicacy consisted of rye flour, honey and berry juice. And the product of beekeeping in this case accounted for almost 50% of all components. Later in such sweetness began to add various additional ingredients.
- The most common variety is the printed gingerbread. It was made with the help of a gingerbread board. Masters such a board was carved from hard wood. It was about 5 cm thick. Then the form was dried under natural conditions in the shade for up to 20 years, depending on the type of wood. After that, an artist-carver carved images on such a board in the mirror image.
- In the period from the XVII to the XIX century, the most popular folk craft in Russia was the production of gingerbread. Especially popular in this business were such cities as Tula, Tver, Moscow, Arkhangelsk. Recipes for the preparation of such sweets were kept in strict secrecy and passed from generation to generation.
- Masters of gingerbread making, to maintain the secrecy of their recipe, never used weights for weighing the components of the dough. All ingredients were weighed with pebbles and small pieces of iron. These pieces were also kept under lock and key in a secluded place. After the end of World War I, it turned out that most of the recipes were taken to the grave with their authors who died in the battles. Only thanks to a man who in his youth worked for a famous gingerbread maker and tricked him into discovering the exact recipe, production of such a delicacy resumed.
- Tula gingerbread is the most widespread printed delicacy, known since the 17th century.
- Vyazemskiy fellow appeared almost at the same time as the Tula one. This flour product is a custard gingerbread. Its size was so small that it didn't even have the full name of the city on it. Therefore, the products had only the first three letters - "Vyaz". Despite this, this kind was more expensive than its Russian counterpart. In the 19th century, there were 8 gingerbread factories in the city, after the October Revolution, production ceased. As a result, the recipe for gingerbread was irrevocably lost.
- Also popular is Gorodets gingerbread. Since the XIX century, 15 factories operated in Gorodets. Gingerbread created by these establishments, compared to Vyazemsky, had a greater weight and impressive size. Images of birds and animals, steamers and trains, inscriptions of manufacturing plants, wishes were carved on such products. This variety survived the revolution and wars and is still produced to this day by large enterprises in the city.
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