Cook Healthy, Cook Happy.
Last week I dipped my hands into the world of healthy vegetarian and vegan cooking. Quite literally, there is a lot of hand rolling involved.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to bake/cook. I do it when I am stressed, relaxing, for peoples birthdays. Hell I do it whenever I can use the excuse to whip my trusty old mixer out.
Sadly, with great cake comes great calories and my hips certainly do not lie anymore.
Enter Fearne Cotton and her new cookbook “Cook Happy, Cook Healthy”. Now we all love and respect a mama that can cook and bake whilst fending off a child or two, screaming “mama where are my raisins” or “I did a poo, see?”
This is exactly what she has done. A cookbook filled with recipes that are realistic, easy (so far) and mostly child friendly.
Oh did I mention, they are healthy. I mean like roll me in coconut oil, because me and my truffle shuffle are about to rediscover my 20 year old waistline, healthy.
Coconut oil, Coconut Palm sugar, Chia seeds, nut butter. These are all ingredients I had heard of but assumed were covered in cobwebs in the back of a health store whilst Chris Martin wept over the organic soy beans.
Coconut oil, Coconut Palm sugar, Chia seeds, nut butter. Let me tell you, I am fluent in them now, not only do they taste good but I am sprinkling seeds on my porridge, squeezing juice out of nuts like a student after a freshers disco and rubbing coconut oil pretty much everywhere.
Happy happy healthy me.
Back to fearne’s recipes. like an excited child I was eager to try as many recipes as I could. I made Almond butter, Spiced chickpeas, Quesadilla, Lentil, haricot and veg soup and her cashew and apricot biscuits. All of these went down a treat, most of these were shared by my toddler.
I am going to share her Cashew and Apricot Biscuits recipe and the rest, well I think for £9.99 from amazon you would be silly not to see for yourself. A big thumbs up from me.
CASHEW AND APRICOT BISCUITS:
Makes 12-14 Biscuits
60g Coconut Palm Sugar
60g Coconut Oil
50g Raw unsalted cashew nuts, finely chopped
50g unsulphered dried apricots, finely chopped
100g white spelt flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan350f/gas mark 4 and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
Place the coconut palm sugar and coconut oil in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until very well incorporated and creamy.
Put the chopped cashews and apricots into a separate bowl checking there aren’t any large chunks and combine with the flour, baking powder, chia seeds and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and thoroughly combine. Once everything is incorporated, drizzle over the vanilla extract and use your hands to form the mixture into a ball. It may seem a little dry at first, but keep on kneading and compressing the dough with your hands until it all comes together, add 1-2 drops of water and continue kneading. Don’t be tempted to add the water too early though, as the flour needs time to absorb the moisture as you knead.
Take a heaped teaspoon of the doll and roll it into a ball. Place on a baking tray and flatten out gently into a neat 3/4cm thick round biscuit shape. Continue with the remaining dough, leaving a 2-3cm gap between each biscuit. Place both trays in the oven for 8-9 minutes until the biscuits are a shade darker and rough textured on top. They burn easily so be sure to time them. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be soft at first, but will become crunchy as they cool.
Do let me know if you make them, I have made four batches now and imagine many more in the pipeline.
I am sure Fearne would like to know too.