A Ginger Cookie You Can Really Really LOVE
All of us have some smells, flavors, sounds, etc… that pour holiday memories and warm feelings into out soul. Gingerbread is one of mine. My mom’s gingerbread wasn’t the most incredible I’ve ever tasty – kind of spicy. But the cookie dough was out of this world. And the smell of gingerbread and a warm house in a very very cold town is the kind of smell that is as much Christmas to me as candy canes and sparkly lights.
How Come Gingerbread is on the Naughty List for Kidney Disease?
The problem with gingerbread for people with kidney disease is just one ingredient – molasses. Molasses is why gingerbread ends up on a lot of “naughty” lists this time of year. One (1) tablespoon of blackstrap molasses has 450 mg of sodium per NCCDB. Just one tablespoon has more potassium then almost 2 oranges. Dark molasses and light molasses have less – around 300 mg each per tablespoon. For either it is a significant amount of potassium.
More Kidney Friendly Substitutes for Molasses
The quintessential smell and flavor of ginger cookies doesn’t necessarily come from molasses. The spices are the key, especially the ginger (obviously). I love substituting out low potassium honey for all things molasses. You could also use dark corn syrup or for an interesting flavor fusion try maple syrup instead. All are low in phosphorus, but the potassium content varies widely. If you MUST have molasses, then opt for something other than blackstrap.
1 Tbsp Serving Size
|Potassium (mg)||Phosphorus (mg)|
Molasses, Dark or Light
|308 mg||6.5 mg|
Corn Syrup, dark
|Maple Syrup||42 mg||
Soft Ginger Cookie Recipe – Chewy Bite on Outside, Soft on Inside, Lower Potassium Too!
I used this Soft Ginger Cookie recipe from Davita since I had heard rave reviews about it. When I did a cookie comparison last week for the gingerbread house we were making, I was surprised to see that this kidney-friendly cookie, on a cookie-for-cookie comparison, was a bit higher then a traditional gingerbread cookie. This isn’t listed in the chart below, but caloric content for one 2.5″ gingerbread cookie was 67 mg, while one soft ginger cookie was 142 mg. That means either the soft ginger cookies from Davita were twice as big (making them fairly comparable to a traditional gingerbread cookie) or just more calorically dense. I’m not sure, but for me it meant I could try pulling out the molasses and see if I still got a decent cookie. Sodium could be cut back with less baking soda as well. I didn’t fiddle with that part of the recipe. Next time I will see if we can cut back the sodium some.
|Cookies (per NCCDB)||Phosphorus||Potassium||Sodium|
|Traditional Gingerbread Cookies (2 cookies)||26 mg||129 mg||55 mg|
|Davita Soft Ginger Cookie (2 Cookies)||32 mg||140 mg||118 mg|
|KidneyGrub Soft Ginger Cookies (2 cookies)||30 mg||47 mg||117 mg|
Perfect Low Potassium Ginger Cookie Even Without Molasses
I swapped out the molasses for honey and still feel like I came away with a home-run cookie. Soft on the inside and just a perfect on the outside. I happened to have gold sugar on hand from the gingerbread/cookie house and rolled my cookies in that instead of traditional sugar. Magic! The gold sugar took a regular gingersnap to a true Christmas level.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose white flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup butter
- 1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup honey
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 1 cup sugar.
- Add egg whites and honey; beat well.
- Stir flour mixture into egg mixture.
- Shape dough into 1-1/2" balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough for each.
- Roll balls in the remaining sugar to coat.
- Place balls about 2-1/2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown and still puffed. (Do not over bake.)
- Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.