Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Renovate your favourite recipe! - Starting with ANZAC biscuits

First of all I want to say thank you so much for all the lovely feedback and comments I have been receiving thus far for my blog!  It is exciting to think that small changes are being made from this forum and not only changes to your lifestyle, but I too am reaping the benefits from hearing your comments and sharing your way of thinking.  I hope we can continue to inspire each other!

So this post brings me back to cooking, my love!  Cooking for me, well, the picture below says it all!  I found this in a small shop the other day and it just reached out and grabbed me because it sums up (in a lot less words than I would probably use!) exactly where cooking sits for me.

I'm not much of a trinket person but this needed to be in my kitchen!

As you know cooking with my boys is one of my favourite things to do.  Yeah the mess is sometimes a little out of control (but then if you asked my husband he would probably suggest its not all that different to when I cook by myself!) but all the things they are learning every time is really so much more than just mixing a few ingredients together and throwing them into the oven.  Tastes, textures, maths, sharing, fine and gross motor skills, following directions, consequences and the list could go on and on.

Though when you do a lot of cooking with your kids, like me, making their favourite cup cakes, biscuits, cakes etc can start to get a bit much for everyday eating.  But dont despair, I am not a total stick-in-the-mud!!  If we just 'renovate' some of these recipes, you can achieve both fun and learning in the kitchen, as well as boosting nutrition along the way!

So here's what I am putting to you - and I'll start you off with a recipe I have included below.  Send me (either in the comments section below or email me at mjklimec@yahoo.com.au) your or your kids favourite recipe that you know isn't the greatest nutritionally, and I will renovate it to add some nutrition into it without compromising the taste too much (and hopefully even improving it!).  Whether its the artificial ingredients that you want more natural alternatives to (ie - red velvet cake that has about 1/2 lt red food colouring in it!!) or a high fat or sugar content etc, I'll show the before and after recipes on a post for everyone to benefit from.

There is no time limit to sending them through, I'll just post them as I get them.

So what do you think?  Do you see this as something of interest to you??  Remember, these little changes all add up to greater things!

So, lets kick it off with a recipe that is relevant to not only us Aussies, but to this week and in particular, tomorrow, ANZAC BIKKIES!  Mmmmmmmmm, who doesn't love the smell of these cooking in the oven, and the crisp, almost toffee flavours hitting every taste bud in your mouth?!
These Aussie favourites get a head start in the nutrition department over many other bikkies due to the key ingredient used, rolled oats.  Oats are great in so many ways:
  • they are high in fibre, specifically a soluble fibre called beta-glucans (found in many studies to assist in the lowering of cholesterol levels in the body)
  • they are a whole grain which means all the parts to the oat (germ, endosperm, bran) are kept intact and the grain is merely rolled flat (quick cooking oats are just the rolled oats cut into smaller pieces to shorten the cooking time).
  • they are low GI (glycaemic index) which means they help keep you fuller for longer - helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and even assist in weight management.
Porridge is obviously such a great breakfast food for all ages to kick start the day, but oats are such a versitile ingredient that you could incorporate them into so many other dishes - breads, soups, granola, casseroles and of course, bikkies!
So when you whip up a batch to celebrate ANZAC Day tomorrow and all it stands for, give this recipe a go......

Renovated Anzac bikkies

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup wholemeal/spelt plain flour (wholemeal flour is available right next to white flour in the supermarket and can be substituted in most recipes - even using half half will give you some nutrition benefits.  Just be mindful that the liquid will need to be increased slightly as the wholemeal will absorb extra liquid)
1 cup desiccated coconut (sulphites are used in a lot of desiccated coconut brands so if this is something you are wanting to avoid, try an organic brand from health food shops - just check the ingredient listing, it will say there if they have used it)
1-2 tsp cinnamon or ginger (or both, to taste.  Both have been used for thousands of years for many health remedies such as anti-inflammatory, digestive, respiratory, blood sugar regulatory)  
1/4 c oil (use coconut, macadamia or grapeseed for a more mild flavour, otherwise olive oil)
1/4 c honey (check out my link for some facts on honey!)
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbs boiling water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Combine oats, flour, coconut and cinnamon/ginger in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. In a small saucepan, place the oil and honey and stir over low heat until mixture has warmed through and is runny.
  4. Mix the bicarb and water together and pour immediately into the honey mixture.  The mixture should froth up in the pan.
  5. Pour immediately into the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.
  6. Roll into walnut size balls and place on a baking paper lined baking tray.  Press on each ball slightly with a fork.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how chewy or crispy you like them (10ish mins for chewy, 15ish for crunchy.)
  8. Place on cooling rack, cool, eat and enjoy!  (Makes approx 20)
   You could make them smaller for the kids or even as a good portion control method for yourself(!)


Gluten Free Anzac Bikkies

Ingredients

1 cup Loving Earth Buckinis (puffed gluten free grains/seeds such as brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa etc could be used instead.  Just be mindful that some of the grains are stronger in flavour)
1/4 brown rice  (or brown rice flour if not using a TMX)
3/4 cup gluten free plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut (sulphites are used in a lot of desiccated coconut brands so if this is something you are wanting to avoid, try an organic brand from health food shops - just check the ingredient listing, it will say there if they have used it)
1-2 tsp cinnamon or ginger (or both, to taste.  Both have been used for thousands of years for many health remedies such as anti-inflammatory, digestive, respiratory, blood sugar regulatory)  
1/4 c oil (use coconut, macadamia or rice bran for a more mild flavour, otherwise olive oil)
1/4 c honey or a combination of 100% pure maple syrup and honey (check out my link for some facts on honey!)
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbs boiling water

Method - Conventional

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Combine buckinis, flours, coconut and cinnamon/ginger in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. In a small saucepan, place the oil and honey and stir over low heat until mixture has warmed through and is runny.
  4. Mix the bicarb and water together and pour immediately into the honey mixture.  The mixture should froth up in the pan.
  5. Pour immediately into the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.
  6. Roll into walnut size balls and place on a baking paper lined baking tray.  Press on each ball slightly with a fork.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Place on cooling rack, cool, eat and enjoy!  (Makes approx 24) 

Method - Thermomix

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Place brown rice in TM bowl and mill on speed 10 for 1 minute.  Set aside.
  3. Place oil and honey in TM bowl and heat at 60 degrees, sp 1 for 2 1/2 minutes, or until runny and warmed through. 
  4. Mix the bicarb and water together and pour immediately into the honey mixture while mixing on speed 2 for 5 seconds.  The mixture should froth up in the bowl.
  5. Add flours, buckinis, coconut and cinnamon/ginger to bowl and mix on REVERSE, speed 5 for 15 seconds or until all combined.
  6. Follow steps 6-8 above.


Gluten Free Anzac bikkies!

Until next time............

4 comments:

  1. Such a good idea Mel! I'm assuming it'd be easy enough to adapt this recipe to being gf by using say, rolled quinoa and a blend of healthy gf flour and something lighter, eg tapioca and rice flour. I'll have to give it a go.

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    1. Thanks Heather. Yes for gluten free variation I would substitute the oats for rolled/puffed quinoa, puffed rice or millet, puffed amaranth or even a mixture of these. Yes gluten free flour and for fructose friendly, you could substitute the honey for golden syrup or maple syrup or a mix of both. Let us know how you get on.

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  2. i've just tried your nutty seed clusters - wondering how it could be made into something like a muesli slice - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal does a honey and peanut butter booster bar - but i don't like peanut butter - and that is his binding agent - any ideas on either recipes

    love your recipes - keep up the good work

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tricia. Thanks so much for your feedback!
      Whilst I haven't tried this suggestion (although you have me curious now!!) this is what comes to mind:
      The whole mix could be 'pulsed' a couple of times to make a chopped up version (with a little more coconut oil and honey to bind) and then pressed into a slice tin and refrigerated until set for a chewy bar, or baked until lightly browned then cut when cooled for a crunchy bar. The chopping of the mix would help to bind it as much as the extra spoon of oil and honey.
      You could even throw in some extra seeds such as sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds.
      I might even try it in the next couple of days and I'll report back. Let me know if you try it out too!

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