Tag Archives: figs

Festive Cookies

CookiesThis recipe will give you a seriously good cookie. The combination of chestnut flour, allspice, orange and fig resonates with the festive season. I just cross referenced a normal cookie recipe from the internet and all of them were in the region of 100g of butter and 225g of sugar. This recipe uses no butter, 60g of sugar and has the added bonus that it is gluten free and tastes as moorish as a normal cookie. Most health food shops will stock chestnut flour. You can use a different flour if you are not bothered with gluten free eg; spelt.

Ingredients (makes 10 to 12)

100ml oil
100g chestnut flour
60g demerara sugar (or Xylitol)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsps ground allspice (or nutmeg)
1 egg
50g hazelnuts
100g dried figs
Zest and juice of half a large orange
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the hazelnuts into a pyrex dish and roast them for around 10 minutes or until they have a slight golden colour. Remove and leave to cool down. Turn the oven down to 160.

With an electric whisk (or by hand if you don’t have one), whisk together the egg, sugar and vanilla. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and allspice and lightly mix together with a spoon or spatula. Roughly chop the hazelnuts or crush them with the back of a frying pan. Cut the figs into small squares, add the orange zest and juice and give a good mix together.

Cookie2Your mix will yield 12 cookies so use that as a guide to size. Spoon onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray – you will probably need two, approximately two inches apart as they will spread a little when baking. Lightly press them down with the spoon. Place into the oven. After 8 minutes or so, remove from the oven and press them down with your hand. The total cooking time will be 15 to 20 minutes – you could turn them over for the last couple of minutes, to ensure they are totally cooked underneath.

Leave to cool completely, as they firm up even more in the cooling process. If they last longer than one hour store in a tupperware or biscuit tin.

Raw Brownie

This is a real success story.  It´s  a  5/10 in terms of how easy it is to make with superb results.  The first time we made this recipe we  used all cocoa powder.  As we are always trying get more health into our healthy desserts we were trying carob, which hasn’t got great press, unfairly so.  This recipe uses  50g carob powder and 25g cocoa.

Nothing was lost in the taste but a little gained in the originality of using  a fairly unknown ingredient.  I would see no problem in replacing the cocoa for the carob gram for gram.  This is an effective and tasty snack to pack up if you are training to get through to the next part of the day or just in your lunch box as a healthy sweet thing.  Raw Brownie has unlimited shelf life within reason.

Ingredients

300g dried figs
250g peeled almonds or 150g almonds and 100g walnuts
65g hazelnuts
75g cocoa or carob powder
50g dessicated coconut
2 tsps vanilla essence
3 tbsps orange blossom water (if you cannot get this then use either rosewater or fresh orange juice)
50g dried cranberries

Method 

Soak the figs in water for an hour.  Thoroughly drain the water and blend until nice and smooth in a food processor.  Roughly chop the almonds (and walnuts if you are using them), and add to the processor.  Pulse the nuts with the figs.  It is okay if there are a few chunks in the mix.  Chop the hazelnuts and add to the mix along with the cocoa powder, coconut and vanilla essence.  Pulse a few times.  The mix should be starting to come together now.

Remove from the food processor with a silicone spatula and place into a bowl.  Chop the cranberries with a large knife and stir into the mix.

At this point we want to add the orange blossom water.  Do this one tablespoonful at a time, making sure the cranberries are evenly distributed.  Once all the water has been added the mix should be smooth and pliable.

Take a disposable aluminum tray or tupperware container approximately 30cm long and 18cm wide, if you don´t have exactly these measurements that is okay, it will just affect the thickness of the brownie.  The desired thickness is 1cm thick.

With a spatula, evenly press the brownie into the container.  Once this is done, lay greaseproof paper over the top.  Place a heavy weight over the top and leave for an hour.  This is to ensure the brownie is nice and compact.

Place in the fridge for one hour to set, before cutting into pieces.  It is upto you what size pieces to cut the brownie, but they do not need to be big.

Keep in a tupperware container in the fridge.

Sugar-free Coconut Energy Balls

Energy balls are a must have in your fridge, for those of you with a sweet tooth who want a sugar-free hit. Dates have a natural sweetness to them, but are also digested very easily, therefore supplying a quick burst of energy.  You could use any type of nut in this recipe. Nuts are a source of protein and general research shows that walnuts help reduce cholesterol.

Ingredients (makes approx 10 balls)

150g dates (try to buy stoned dates, as it saves a lot of time)
50g dried figs
150g walnuts
65g dried apricots
125g dessicated coconut

Method

Soak the dates and the figs in water for an hour.  Roughly chop the dates, figs and walnuts and blend everything together.  A fairly smooth consistency is best, as it makes them easier to roll, but the odd bit of walnut here and there is fine.  Once this is done chop the apricots into small pieces and add to the mixture.  Stir in half of the coconut.

Roll into small balls and roll in the remainder of the coconut, making sure the outside is well coated. Place the balls in a sealed container and leave in the fridge for at least an hour, before eating.  These will keep for a long time, so you could make a bigger batch.