(vegan baking + other minor obsessions)
Despite my best efforts, my three-year-old daughter seems to be quickly turning into a very picky eater. These days most meals are met with an ‘I don’t like it’, plates are pushed away, and mealtime battles are not unusual.
And then, a few days ago she explained her food philosophy to me: ‘I like cereal, bread, pasta and pizza; but I don’t like anything else’. What’s a mum to do? Go undercover and put every nutrient-rich food in the house into a yummy sugar-free cookie, of course. The result is these: chewy wholegrain peanut butter cookies full of oats, quinoa, and hemp and sunflower seeds. As for Emma? After eating a good three cookies she proudly announced: ‘I don’t like them’. Well, I guess some things never change!
110g/3¾oz/¾ cup fine wholemeal flour (wholewheat pastry flour)
60g/2¼oz/⅔ cup oats
50g/1¾oz/½ cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
150g/5½oz/heaping ½ cup date paste
90g/3¼oz/⅓ cup peanut butter
80ml/2½fl oz/⅓ cup sunflower oil
30ml/2 tbsp soya milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
45g/1½oz/¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
40g/1½oz/¼ cup sultanas
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, quinoa flakes, baking powder and salt.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix by hand until combined.
3. Divide the dough into 20 balls and flatten them into 1cm/½in circles. You will get about 20 cookies.
4. Bake for about 8–10 minutes until the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown. If you have a fan-assisted oven, try baking them at 160°C/315°F for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack until completely cool.
Kitchen notes: These cookies have a tendency to be a bit on the dry side; it is a function of them being sugar-free and relatively low-fat, and so I didn’t want to change that. Watch oven times closely and if your oven is one of those fast-and-furious types, start checking them a couple minutes earlier than suggested.