Quinoa cookies

August 2, 2018

Quinoa is actually a seed not a grain but that doesn't matter - it is a highly nutritious food with double the protein of rice and barley, plus calcium, manganese, magnesium, B vitamins and fibre. I've never used quinoa in sweet recipes before so I tried quinoa cookies 2 ways.
It's no.17 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Makes 24 small cookies
1 c flour (I used spelt)
1/2 c desiccated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites at room temperature (make some custard or lemon curd with the yolks!)
1/3 c coconut or rapadura sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1 cup cooked quinoa

50g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a small bowl with the coconut.

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy. Slowly fold in the flour mixture, then add the coconut oil and quinoa.

Drop teaspoons of mixture onto the baking trays and shape into rounds.

Bake 10-12 min until browned around the edges.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

When completely cool you can spread the bottoms of the cookies with melted chocolate, or drizzle chocolate on top, whatever you prefer. The cookies are very light and cake-like. I think small bite-size cookies work best with this texture.



July 24, 2018

Palmiers are super easy with store-bought puff pastry sheets. Get the better quality butter pastry - you'll taste the difference. I made a savoury version with parmesan and sweet with brown and caster sugars. This is a bonus 'P' recipe in my list of alphabetical bakes!

2 sheets puff pastry (made with butter)
1 c grated parmesan
1/2 c brown or coconut sugar
caster sugar to sprinkle

Defrost the puff pastry but keep it on the plastic sheet it comes on. Sprinkle liberally with grated parmesan cheese. ...
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Pear pound cake

July 7, 2018

This is an impressive way to present pears in a cake, thanks to Carine Claudepierre from her book Clean Bakery (Bateman, 2016). Carine was inspired by a cake she saw in a French bakery, hence the amount of butter and eggs that give the cake a buttery richness but it is free of gluten and sugar. It's no. 16 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Poached pears:
1 1/2 litres water
a whole nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod
1 star anise
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 pears

2 cups ground al...
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Orange cake

July 1, 2018

A tangy, moist cake for no. 15 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

2 oranges or tangelos
1 1/2 c pitted dates, soaked in water while the oranges cook
6 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 15 tbsp water
1 c ground almonds
1/2 c fine polenta
1 tsp baking powder

3/4 c cashews, soaked overnight or for 30 min in boiling water
3 tbsp brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp melted coconut oil

Put oranges in a small saucepan, cove...

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Nut brittle

June 27, 2018

Buckwheat groats and puffed rice add more goodness to this healthy nut brittle. If nuts aren't your thing you can replace them with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This is no. 14 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

1/2 c buckwheat groats
1/2 c puffed rice
1/2 c almonds, slivered or roughly chopped (you can use any nuts you like)
1/4 c cashews
pinch sea salt
4 tsp coconut oil
1/2 c maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Warm ...

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Mocha cake

June 21, 2018

I do like a mochaccino every now and then, likewise a coffee-flavoured cake, with coffee of course! The coffee flavour didn't come out too strongly in this recipe from Gee Charman's Guilt-Free Baking (Nourish Books, 2015) so it's suitable for kids too. For an adult version I'd add more coffee and maybe some ground coffee too. It's a bonus bake in my A to Z of bakes!

You can use a 20cm round cake tin or 30cm x 20cm brownie tin and cut the cake into squares.

100g butter
1/2 c coconut su...

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Minty bites

June 19, 2018

These are rather like after dinner mints, but you won't feel guilty having one, two, or more... It's no. 13 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

Makes 36

3 x 12 mini muffin tins
1 c desiccated coconut
1 c cashews
2 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, warmed

chocolate coating:
1 c cacao butter
3-4 tbsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1 c cacao powder
pinch salt

Blitz the coconut and cashews in a food processor until crumbly. Add the peppermint, honey and coconut oil and mix until fu...

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Graham crackers

June 19, 2018

Fran Costigan makes a mean oat cinnamon graham cracker, as they call them in the US - very similar to these digestives, which is what we call them in NZ, Australia and the UK. For me, the key is the thinner the better, and coconut sugar adds a lovely caramely crunchiness.

To make ginger snaps, just swap out the cinnamon for ground ginger.

Makes around 30 biscuits

1 1/2 c oat flour, toasted in a 175C oven for 10 min
1/4 c ground coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp se...

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Lunchbox slice

June 16, 2018

This is another great recipe from Wholefood Simply to which I zhujed up with a chocolate marble topping to increase the appeal to a 6 year old. You can swap out seeds for nuts or tahini for another nut butter. I have not met anyone yet who did not like this slice! This is no.12 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

1 c desiccated coconut
1/3 c sunflower seeds
1/3 c pumpkin seeds
1/3 c sesame seeds
pinch of salt
1/2 c brown rice syrup or honey
1/2 c tahini
1/3 c dark chocolate drops if desired or add som...

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Key lime pie

June 15, 2018

This super healthy cheesecake uses an oat crust and tofu-based filling. I found the oat graham cracker recipe from Fran Costigan and it makes a delicious cinnamony crunchy pie crust and the vegan pie filling is from The Gentle Chef. It's no. 11 of 26 alphabetical bakes!

1 1/2 c oat flour, toasted (I ground organic jumbo oats in a coffee grinder)
6 tbsp coconut sugar, finely ground
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 c neutral oil
2 tbsp maple syrup or brown rice s...

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Frances Chan loves to bake. She's also a freelance editor and has written a couple of children's books. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.

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