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HOT: Healthy Cookies from Quinoa 365

Recently I’ve started an informal weekly routine of holding a baking/cooking session on Saturday or Sunday mornings, either when NKOTB and Tim are at their swimming lesson or when they’re busy dancing/singing/being zombiefied in the lounge room by Pop Asia on SBS.

Mostly I’ve been experimenting with making healthy treats for NKOTB which are packed with nutrients or sneak in veges and protein in sweet packages. By request I’m going to start sharing some of the more successful recipes, with the first one being my adaptation of Healthy Cookies from Quinoa 365.

I already own Cooking with Quinoa so decided to borrow Quinoa 365 from the library before committing to buying it. It’s an American book so the 170+ recipes have a noticeable leaning towards US-style flavours like Santa Fe meatballs and Southwestern Quinoa. I have been most attracted to the breakfast and cookies & muffins section and it even has a baby food section for 6-18 month olds.

The problem I have with a lot of quinoa-based sweets is that the addition of nutty quinoa make them taste, frankly, like dirt. Healthy Cookies sound boring and dull but they are sweet enough to mask the dirt-like qualities of the grain. NKOTB loves these cookies and so I.

Ingredients: Makes 30

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/6 cup white quinoa, rinsed
  • 125g butter
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/6 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/6 cup white or black chia seeds
  • 1/6 cup sesame seeds

(I use organic quinoa, coconut sugar, flour, oats and eggs but of course it’s not necessary. The original recipe also uses brown sugar instead of coconut sugar, but then it’s less healthy.)

Bring water and quinoa to boil in small saucepan. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and leave covered saucepan on burner for addition 6 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Preheat over 180 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets, you’ll be able to fit around 15 cookies on each sheet. I use silicon baking sheets – reuseable, easy to clean and much more environmentally friendly than single-use baking paper.

Cream butter with coconut sugar, then add eggs and vanilla and mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.

Roll dough into approx 3 cm balls, flatten slightly. Bake in the centre oven rack for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet. Store in airtight container.

About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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