Grinch-free Christmas gingerbread

24th December 2020 | Eativity editors

Christmas is a season of indulgence, which can be awesome fun at the time, but can also lead to an almighty sugar crash, which can really put a dampener on that festive spirit. Leading dietitian Susie Burrell shares her tips to cut back on sugar this holiday season, along with an easy recipe for low-sugar gingerbread.

“Relaxing our eating habits during the festive season is expected,” Burrell says. “But consuming foods with high levels of sugar can leave you feeling more like a Christmas Grinch. Especially when you have to deal with mood swings, weight gain, skin issues, headaches and energy burnout from a short-lived sugar rush

“In addition to helping reduce headaches and mood swings, baking sweet snacks and desserts that are low in sugar is key to achieving a sustainable release of energy. Pairing natural sugars with a protein-rich base like Mayver’s 100 percent natural peanut butter will also help to keep you fuller for longer and slow down the festive snacking.”

Christmas gingerbread and other treats
Go nuts on Christmas treats: protein can help reduce the sugar crash.

On the road

Do you have a long drive ahead of you this Christmas? It’s just as important to be mindful of the potential nutrition minefield of road trip snacking.

“Instead of buying chocolates, chips and sugary drinks at your fuel stops, make sure to pack nutritious, protein-rich snacks to eat at regular rest stops,” Burrell says. “When driving long distances, it helps to pre-plan and pack nutritious snacks that transport well and aren’t sensitive to temperature. Especially with our intense Australian heat.”

If you’re travelling a long distance with kids this Christmas, this recipe for low-sugar gingerbread doubles as an excellent boredom buster pre-road trip. Once cooked, it gives the kids something to look forward to eating, knowing they’ve had a hand in making it.

Grinch-free Christmas gingerbread

Grinch-free Christmas gingerbread

Recipe by Susie Burrell

Makes 15-25

You’ll need:

4 tbsp butter
⅓ cup Mayver’s Skin On Peanut Butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp bicarb soda
2 cups plain flour, sifted


1. Place butter and peanut butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and pulse until well combined.

2. Stir in spices and flours. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line three baking trays with baking paper.

4. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out dough on a large sheet of baking paper until it’s 4-5mm thick. Cut out gingerbread men with your desired cutter and place onto lined baking trays. Repeat with remaining mixture.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Tip: if you’re looking for an alternative to brown sugar, try honey or rice malt syrup.

Mayver’s products are available at Woolworths, Coles and independent retailers Australia-wide. For more information or recipe inspiration, head to

LATEST VIDEO Towri Sheep Cheeses: local QLD artisan produce ewe'll love