The last few weeks have been so busy, getting the last bits of my new book finalised. It’s very exciting – I have 250 copies of Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie currently being printed and hopefully being delivered tomorrow. I’m at the Horsham Vegan Festival on Saturday (click here for details) where I’ll be giving a talk and selling my book for the first time! If you’re in the area, do pop by and say hi.
In the meantime, there’s still some baking going on (if nothing else it’s therapy to being on the computer for hours on end!). And as its half term, I thought you might like something simple to do with the kids, especially if you’ve run out of ideas that don’t cost money, as school holidays can be such an expensive time.
I used to love baking with my children when they were young, but it had to be simple otherwise 1) they would run out of patience and 2) the kitchen would turn into a baking bomb-site! And sometimes is was wise not to do highly sugar-laden cookies otherwise it would send them a bit bonkers – not ideal on a wet February day!
These cookies are super easy to make and contain no refined sugar, the sweetness coming from the ripe banana and dried fruit. If they are not sweet enough for your family’s taste-buds, add a little maple syrup. I’ve used raisins and almonds in my recipe, but there’s lots of alternatives like cranberries, pecan nuts, peanuts or chocolate drops (dairy-free of course!).
These can be made strictly gluten-free if that’s important to you by using gluten-free oats. And there’s loads of lovely fibre here from both the oats and the flaxseed to keep your gut bacteria happy. The flaxseed also provides health omega 3 fatty acids which help boost brain power and reduce inflammation in the body. Yay!
Of course, you don’ have to be a child to enjoy these! Just a lover of cookies! Perfect for lunch-boxes and snacks, you could even get away with eating them for breakfast. And as they are fully plant-based and low in fat, they are suitable for many specialist health programmes like Overcoming MS and reversing diabetes and heart disease.
I hope you give these a go. If you do, let me know how you get on. And if you can come to Horsham on Saturday – see you there! If not, I’ll be posting details on how to buy my book very soon.
Healthy oat and flaxseed cookies
- 1 large ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- 100 grams oats gluten free if needed
- 50 grams ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 30 grams raisins
- 30 grams sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons dairy-free milk
- Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicon mat. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (fan).
- Hunt out 10 good almond flakes and put to one side for decoration. Roughly chop the remaining almonds
- Place the ripe banana in a bowl and mash it until soft and smooth. Add the oats, ground flaxseed, salt, cinnamon, raisins and almonds to the banana and mix well to combine. Pour in the dairy-free milk and stir to form a thick dough. Leave it to settle for 5 minutes. If the dough is really dry, add a little more dairy-free milk but take care not to make it soggy.
- Split the dough into 10 equal sections. Roll each one into a ball, place on the baking sheet and flatten with your hand until it’s approximately 2cm thick. Repeat with the remaining sections.
- Press a sliced almond into the top then place the tray in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake for another 10 until firm and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. That’s if they don’t all get eaten at once!