Today I got the biggest surprise at work. My colleague “Marmiet” came into the office with a grin I knew meant something great was going to happen. Lo and behold she opens a bag and takes out a bean sprouter, then not one but three bags of beans for me to play around with! 😀 😀 I am convinced the universe is listening in to my growing list of “must-haves”, since Man-thing and I were crowing about needing to sprout our own after he bought me some delicious sprouted goodies for our weekend away. He even enjoyed them so much that I was not alone in my munching. Wow! When Marmiet says thank you, she really goes all out! I am beyond psyched to start our own little sprouting corner, since I slowly want to shift gears and start making as many things as possible by ourselves – pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, herbs…the list goes on!
I’ve been seeing lovely, big, crisp-edged but soft-middled cookies everywhere that are just taunting the living sin out of me, because they’re either not vegan or are so saturated in refined sugar that the appeal is lost once I read the packaging. I have resolved, however, to make more “normal” cookies this time round, with actual sweetness, but also to try keep them healthy and to incorporate good quality ingredients. Added to that agenda I also scored big time on some super cheap macadamia nut butter (which is usually triple the price!). I figure that transforming the nut butter into actual stuff will reduce the amount available for me to eat right out of the jar with a spoon, which is just asking for trouble. These are a real treat to have in your tea-time snack box or after work with some hot liquid. Put on the kettle, you’ll be eating a long while! 😀
I decided on two types of cookies, because I wanted a big delicious ginger one, and then also a more naturally sweetened version – the banana nut. I also decided to go wild with my buckwheat flour, since it’s such an interesting texture and taste and would be a big more dense than all the fluffy and puffy flours one normally uses. If I was going to eat a cookie, it better send clear signals to my stomach that I wasn’t just swallowing air. Oh no.
Buckwheat goji-ginger cookies (modified and based on these by Natural Noshing)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup soy milk (you can use less if your cookie batter start to get too mushy – I find buckwheat a bit hard to work with if one doesn’t use a bit of excess moisture)
- 1 tsp apple vinegar cider
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/2 cup macadamia nut butter (can sub for peanut, almond, or anything else)
- 1 tsp caramel essence/1 vanilla pod, seeded and pod discarded
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 TBSP flaxseed powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp each of ginger, cinnamon
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- pinch salt
- 2 TBSP dried goji berries
- 2 TBSP crystallized ginger pieces (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180C and spray your baking sheet (I own an awesome oven liner now!)
- Mix together your dry ingredients (minus the goji berries and ginger pieces) in one big bowl.
- In a small bowl, heat your nut butter for 15 seconds or so, then stir in your wet ingredients, starting with your agave syrup.
- Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, using a spoon to scrape the excess nomness from the sides of your little heating bowl.
- Stir until combined, then dash in your goji and ginger pieces and quickly stir for a last time.
- Using a heaped tablespoon, scoop out your portions onto a baking tray and flatten slightly with the back of your spoon (I find that wetting it a bit with water makes it less sticky).
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let it rest on the baking sheet once removed for a few minutes before shifting it about to another spot/cooling tray so that it can “set” somewhat.
Buckwheat banana-nut (modified and based on these by Cakes n Bakes)
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium) OR 1/3 cup applesauce + 1 TBSP flaxseed powder
- 1/3 cup macadamia nut butter (you can sub this for any other nut butter)
- 2 TBSP agave syrup
- 1 tsp caramel essence/flavour/vanilla
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- big splashes of ginger & cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, lightly crushed with a mortar & pestle (optional)
- Preheat to 180C and prepare a baking sheet.
- Thoroughly mash the banana on a little plate.
- Add all wet ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.
- Spoon heaped tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
So ridiculously easy! My favourite is the goji-ginger, whilst Man-thing prefers the banana-nut. Both aren’t hellishly sweet but they have a lovely texture (the goji-ginger is a bit more dense, the banana-nut rather more puffy). Both are delicious! If you have a sweet tooth add 1/4 cup sugar to each recipe or increase the agave to 1/3 cup in the goji-ginger and up to 1/4 cup agave in the banana-nut.
Whilst I was busy baking (seriously, hours gone!) I decided to make some portobello steaks. I saw these in the shops the other day whilst I was supposed to be looking for presents for other people and couldn’t resist! Man-thing insists these steaks were spiced to perfection, which is raving for him. Either way, yum! Just a quick snap of the dinner but oh it was worth it after burning a finger and then melting my kitchen mitten to the oven rack (no idea how that happened).
I mixed a quick slather of 1 TBSP ginger-chili jam, 1 TBSP tomato sauce and 1 TBSP lite soy sauce and painted that onto the steaks as they were baking for 15 minutes a side at 180C. I also made a topping of blitzed pumpkin, zucchini and green beans with lots of lentils and spices, lightly fried in some teryiaki sauce for good measure. Delish!
Also, we’re rather glad to be home. Holiday is grand and all that, but I suspect I would perish without internet, and there’s a certain little meow who missed us terribly. ❤ We also missed the little rascal ourselves, because it really isn’t the same without some furball dashing up and down the stairs at a speed, or making pleading sounds by his bowl, or tormenting the neighbour cats with his runt-cat complex.