Browsing Category

Treats & Snacks

Events, Treats & Snacks, x For Freezer x

Kickass 5-Ingredient Cookies

I’m greedy and desperate enough to have alchemised my favourite junk food snack into a nutritional fox trot.

So here it is … an unreasonably tasty cookie that has been shamelessly flirting with me everyday for the past 3 months.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Check out this recipe – no hydrogenated fat, white sugar, artificial shite or additives. Just pure, unadulterated goodness with added omega 3 and calcium from some swanky chia.

The best part?

It doesn’t taste “pure” my friends. These cookies are not just for geezers (me) who fetishise loose leaf tea. It’s full on nasty. I’m not interested in sacrificing my taste buds just to put something healthy in my mouth. No thanks. Misery ain’t no ingredient in my pantry.

 

susan jane peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

 

These are a version of the American Peanut Butter Cookies I have in my second cookbook. #plug . Adding chocolate chips, extra baking powder and chia seed turn them into a very different sonata. Think opera.

Scientists, look away while I mutilate your language: one teaspoon of baking powder will produce a rounder, firmer cookie (see above). Pretty groovy. But then! Two teaspoons of baking powder will significantly inflate the cookies in the oven, making them flatter and significantly chewier once settled (see picture below). It’s science, innit?!

Have a good summer y’all! Let me know how you get along with this recipe – just tag them in your Instagram account and I’ll hunt you down.

 

Makes 20

3/4 cup good quality peanut butter (200g)
3/4 cup coconut sugar or rapadura sugar (100g)
1-2 teaspoons baking powder (see note above)
2 tablespoons milled chia seed
1 egg
Handful of dark chocolate chunks

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Blend all the ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork and tenacity. Roll into little ping pong-sized balls, and flatten with the back of a fork or your palm. Not too skinny though – you’re looking for uniformity so each cookie bakes at a similar rate. You can cook one tray, and freeze the remaining dough no problem.

Cook in your preheated oven for 10–12 minutes, before they turn brown or crisp. Don’t panic if they appear soft – you’re on the right track, as they harden and deflate once cooled.

Resist the temptation to wolf them hot from the oven. I’m still nursing my sore tongue.

 

peanut butter cookies

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Peaches & Rhubarb with buckwheat cream

This is good enough to straddle. Sweet, succulent spoonfuls of rhubarb happily collapsing from the heat of the oven, and cavorting with a sticky orange and star anise nectar.

We serve it with buckwheat cream which probably sounds like a wank too far, so just swap it out for cold clouds of Greek yoghurt. Criminally tasty.

There are not enough days in the year that I can fill with rhubarb. It’s one of the only fruits on Irish soil that remains seasonal – most fruits are imported all year round which significantly detracts from their excitement. But not rhubarb. It’s a May to August orgy, so get your fill.

We make a kickass cordial to go with gin for lazy summer evenings. We’ve found two exceptional new gins on the Irish market, both hand crafted with local botanicals: Bertha’s Revenge from Co. Cork, and Shortcross from Northern Ireland. I’ve convinced my liver that the botanicals are likely medicinal in nature. And so long as I sip it in the sun, I’ll be getting a healthy dose of vitamin D3 as well. Right? Score.

 

buckwheat cream with ginger and lemon

 

Rhubarb cordial goes so well with sparkling water and freshly grated ginger too. Roughly chop a kilo of fresh pink rhubarb and simmer with 300ml of water for 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve to catch the rhubarb juice, and refrigerate the cooked flesh from the sieve as we won’t need it for the cordial. Add 200g of coconut sugar or rapadura sugar to the collected juice and boil for 10 minutes until syrupy. (White sugar gives the purest rhubarb flavour, if the earthiness from rapadura ain’t your fancy). Add a squeeze of citrus to lift the cordial while it’s cooling down. Once chilled, this rhubarb cordial can be stored for up to 4 weeks provided nobody knows about it. (Or your stash of gin).

 

Peaches & rhubarb with buckwheat cream

Serves 6

 

For the buckwheat cream:

1 cup whole buckwheat groats

100ml preferred milk (I used oat’s milk)

1 vanilla pod, seeds only

1 tablespoon maple syrup or 1/2 banana

Pinch of sea salt

Squeeze of lemon

Up to 1 teaspoon, freshly grated ginger (optional)

 

The fruit:

4 sticks of rhubarb, chopped

3 peaches, sliced

4 tablespoons good honey or maple

Juice of 2 medium oranges

2 star anise, snapped (optional)

 

Start by soaking your buckwheat in hot water overnight. Soaked grouts can sometimes turn into something that a sneezing bulldog might produce. Don’t worry – you’re on the right track.

In the morning, drain and spin in a blender with the remaining ‘cream’ ingredients. Blitz until sumptuously creamy and not grainy. Taste, and decide if it needs a smidge more lemon or salt. Once you’re happy with your tasting session, chill in the fridge until required.

For the fruit, fire up the oven to 170C, gas mark 4.

In an oven dish, tumble the rhubarb and peaches with your choice of sweetness, orange juice and snapped pieces of star anise. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes until delicate and tender.

Serve hot with a clad of buckwheat cream and a good cuppa.

 

rhubarb susan jane

 

Breakfast, Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Paleo Flapjacks

Nuts are superheroes, with an arsenal of fancy ninja moves.

Some of the largest health studies in history – the Adventist Study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study, and the Physicians’ Health Study – have consistently shown that snacking on raw nuts can lead to a 50% reduction in heart disease.

Research from the British Medical Journal goes further, identifying nuts as one of seven foods that can help reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 75%. You’ll be relieved to hear that dark chocolate and red wine qualify too. You’re welcome.

But don’t get too giddy my friend. You need to recruit the unprocessed, unsalted variety to make a difference to your ticker. Anything else is cheating.

Those flavoured packets in pubs? Bye-bye. We know that unsalted raw nuts contain special-agent unsaturated fats that help raise your protective cholesterol (HDL) while lowering that menacing cholesterol (LDL). Another special-agent fat, omega-3, may also help prevent blood clots much the same way as aspirin does. You’ll find omega 3s dancing in walnuts.

Many nuts are rich in arginine. Scientists, look away while I mutilate your language. Arginine is an amino acid necessary to make a molecule called nitric oxide that relaxes constricted blood vessels and eases blood flow. Think of it as the Bach of the blood. This might indeed help explain why nuts are applauded for their role in protecting arterial walls, making the walls more pliable and less susceptible to damage. Good news for health insurers.

 

 

paleo flapjacks

 

Paleo Flapjacks

1 cup walnuts
1 cup unsalted cashews
Generous pinch of sea salt
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup any nut butter you fancy
1/4 good honey (preferably local and raw)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

 

Pulse the nuts (almonds don’t work here) along with a good pinch of sea salt, the desiccated coconut and your honey in a food processor. A blender will turn it into baby food, which is not today’s vibe.

Add any nut butter you fancy (peanut, cashew, hazelnut or almond), a grating of fresh nutmeg and a whisper of vanilla. Pulse until it clumps together. Don’t be tempted to help the mixture along with water. You’ll regret it! I added a few goji berries for colour too, but they’re not essential.

Scrape and press the flapjack dough into a regular 8×8 brownie square tin. Set in the fridge, and lift out of its tin once firm. Cut into small squares and store in the fridge or freezer. Exactly like flapjacks (until you mizzle melted chocolate all over them of course).

Great with a tall glass of milk.

 

 

Will I see you next week at Avoca Kilmac, between Dublin and Wicklow?? I’ll be signing books from 11:30am on Saturday 28th May 2016, and baking treats for you and your loved ones. Free admission. 

Cover image EV softcopy