What do get when you combine creamy cashew butter, tiny pearls of puffed quinoa and heady, exotic cardamom? The most delicious two-bite biscuit this side of a bakery. Sweetened with date syrup – and containing no grains whatsoever – if you have a food processor you can be eating these in less than 20 minutes. No chilling, no tricky cutting out, no decorating.
Bake. Eat. Repeat.
But before we get to the recipe I just want to mention the upcoming awareness and fundraising campaign by The British Heart Foundation – DECHOX.
If you live in the UK you will have hardly failed to see the powerful “advert” aired by British Heart Foundation (the “heart disease is heartless” one) between your favourite shows about the heartache of early death by heart disease. The one with the father and son at the school has me welling up every time**. And I am not the least bit of an old softie. Old, yes. But not a softie.
For over 50 years BHF have been pioneering research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Their work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need their help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure.
This March do consider joining the DECHOX campaign and “fight for every heartbeat”. It couldn’t be easier. Or actually, maybe it could! You see, the DECHOX campaign is asking chocolate lovers to help raise need funds by giving up what may be their favourite thing in the world, never mind favourite food. Just for March, mind.
Last year the theme was “Baking Bad” (see what they did there?). This year’s light-hearted take is, “Chocolate Orange Is The New Black” (with apologies to Netflix).
To help kick-off the campaign I am
tempting helping you by offering this utterly divine, but completely chocolate-free, biscuit to help fill that sweet snack gap. And apparently many of us may need such help – 78% of us think about chocolate at least once a day. Does that sounds low to you?
Do you think you could rise to the challenge and get sponsored to give up chocolate? Would healthy, sweet treats help?
Regardless of whether you sign up to give up, do give these tender, nutty and fragrant biscuits a go. And, if you dip one in chocolate, I promise I won’t tell.
**UPDATE: 4 February 2016 > I’m very happy to say that, with only my second article, I am now a featured blogger on Huffington Post (UK). Here’s a screenshot of front page side panel, with my posts appearing in the Lifestyle section. I will start doing bespoke blog posts soon, mainly on in-the-news food issues and food politics. If you wish to get notification of my Huff Post posts, click ‘become a fan’ next to my name on any of my articles. Here’s a link to my Huffington Post bio page with ways of getting in touch. If you like something, don’t like something, or have a question or comment, let me know. It looks like you have to be signed up on Facebook to leave a comment though.
Now that I’ve finished tooting my own horn, here’s the recipe!
Cardamom & Quinoa Crunch Cookies
These easy, no-fuss cookies are based on my Coffee Cashew biscuits from last summer. Use any nut butter you like for these and, if you can’t easily get the quinoa puffs (here’s how to make your own quinoa puffs but I use Biofair brand), just leave them out. My favourite nut butters are cashew and my sunflower seed butter. I make them up in my Froothie power blender – so much cheaper than buying little pots of it. If you don’t want to make your own, Meridien make 1 kg tubs of some of their nut butters, available at good health food stores, and perhaps places like Costco. Enjoy xx
250g (1 cup) cashew butter or other nut or seed butter (here’s my adaptable recipe for sunflower seed butter)
2 tbsp date syrup OR best maple syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground (green-podded) cardamom
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp almond or other milk
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp puffed quinoa – optional
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan)/180C/350F. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
2. Place everything but the quinoa into a blender or food processor and blitz just until smooth. If you go too far the butter starts turning into oil! Believe me, I’ve done it – yuck. Use a large, thin-edged spoon to fold 2 tablespoons of quinoa puffs into the mix. Or use a fork.
3. Roll the dough into 12-13 balls, flatten slightly in your hand, then press into the remaining quinoa puffs. Place the biscuits onto the lined tray.
4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then leave to cool on a counter-top. The cookies won’t brown, but when you leave them to cool they crisp up like shortbread. Cool completely before keeping under lock and key in a airtight and carefully hidden container.
**Here is the heart-rending “heart disease is heartless advert” I referred to in the post. This is why the work of the British Heart Foundation is so vital.