Flourless Vegan Zimtsterne

A cinnamon fiend’s dream: Flourless vegan Zimtsterne are a traditional German Christmas cookie gone vegan with the help of aquafaba. Dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, with no butter, oil or flour these cookies fit many diets.

First off: …

Merry Christmas! – Fröhliche Weihnachten! – Joyeux Noël! – Geseënde Kersfees! – God Jul! – Feliz Navidad!

Instead of my usual Christmas post I’m bringing you a recipe as a little gift today.

Do you know what’s funny? It’s only through blogging that I realize foods or dishes I’ve eaten for ages fit certain criteria. Like these Zimtsterne that to me were just, well , Zimtsterne but actually happen to be naturally gluten-free. No tinkering needed. However, they still needed a makeover because the traditional recipes relies heavily on whipped egg whites so isn’t vegan. In comes the magic that is aquafaba! If you haven’t heard of this superstar ingredient yet: it’s the liquid you dran from cans of chickpeas and white beans. Or rather: the liquid you won’t be discarding anymore once you see its amazingness play out.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

The flourless vegan Zimtsterne aren’t the healthiest cookie out there, I know. All that powdered sugar – whoa, huh? Here’s the deal [and it’s no revelation]: life’s all about balance. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I like to experiment with more nutritious alternatives to traditional baking ingredients. Gluten-free oat flour instead of the refined version. Maple syrup standing in for sugar. Dates to create a luscious caramel topping. Yet – there are recipes that aren’t meant to be healthified. The memories evoked by these naturally gluten-free cinnamon cookies weren’t made eating a sugar-free #cleaneating-approved version of them.  Now if I absolutely cannot convince you to let a little sugar into your life: there’s help.  Here’s a tutorial on how to make sugar-free powdered sugar at home or a storebought alternative. Because nobody should miss out on Zimtsterne.

zimtsterne-gluten-free-and-vegan-made-with-aquafaba

Now I haven’t eaten my grandma’s Zimtsterne in years as I’m not eating eggs anymore. So I obviously had to ‘force’ 😉 my family to rate the authenticity of my vegan Zimtsterne. Verdict? Big thumbs up. Even my dad who – unlike my mum and sister – didn’t know about the fact these were vegan, much less the secret ingredient, noticed no difference. If you’re not convinced to try these yet I’m at a loss. Too bad because you’d be missing out on these delightfully soft-yet-slightly-chewy cinnamon-spiked cookies topped with a crisp sweet icing. If you’re a cinnamon fiend you will fall heads over heels for these naturally gluten-free Zimtsterne.

One more thing: Don’t let the length of the instructions intimidate you! This recipe for vegan Zimtsterne – while more time-involved – is actually very simple and fun to prepare. I just tried to make the directions as clear as possible so you, too, could have  Zimtsterne in your life. Not just for Christmas but all year round!

Flourless vegan Zimtsterne

  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar, sifted [180 g]
  • ¼ cup of aquafaba [60 ml]
  • 3 cups of almond meal [300 g], divided [2 ½ + ½ cup] OR 2 ½ cups of almond meal + ½ cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of amaretto*
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Add the aquafaba to a tall mixing bowl and beat at high speed for 4-5 minutes.
  2. In intervals, add in the powdered sugar, beating it in well on high speed for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer about ¾ of the mixture  into a larger bowl. The remaining ¼ will be your frosting later on.
  4. Mix 2 1/2 cups of the ground almonds and cinnamon. Pour on top of the whipped aquafaba in the large bowl and mix to combine everything well with a spatula.
  5. Knead in the amaretto and a squeeze of lemon juice by hand. If your dough is too sticky, add some of your reserved almond meal/[gluten-free] flour.
  6. At this point preheat your oven to 120 °C/235 °F.
  7. Sprinkle some of the reserved ground almonds or the gluten-free flour on your work surface, place your dough ball on top, sprinkle with some more ground almonds and roll out about ¼ inch/1/2 cm thick.
  8. Cut out cookies and transfer to your lined baking sheet(s).
  9. Using a knife or baking brush, spread the reserved aquafaba on the cookies.
  10.  Bake for around 16-20 minutes or until your able to lift a cookie from the tray without bits of dough sticking to the parchment paper.

Barely adapted from Daily Vegan.

Notes

Make sure the bowl you’re whipping the aquafaba in  is completely dry and free from any fat residue as aquafaba – just like  egg whites – reacts negatively to fat [i.e. won’t whip properly].

Cover your mixing bowl with a towel for the first minute of whipping up to avoid Aquafaba splashing all around your kitchen and getting covered in it yourself.

*For an alcohol-free version sub 1 tbsp of water + ½ tsp of almond extract.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

On a last note big thanks to my sweet friend Charlotte who helped me decide on the pictures here. I obviously sent her home with a cookie bag as a little gift.

I’m sharing this with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today: Despite being full-on sick now the day held so many wonderful little moments. Meeting my friend mentioned above. Finding out that her on-off boyfriend finally commited to a relationship [ I asked her if I could share this because it made me truly happy].

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
 

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The things we don’t see [+ what makes life sweeter].

Hi there, Monday and hi there to you!

What a week it’s been! I think it’s safe to say all of you will agree with that statement. A whirlwind of a week not just for me personally but the whole world. As I know many people would rather not have me voice my opinion on the election – I respect this but trust me it’s hard to hold back – I won’t. This coincidentally ties with something that once again became so clear to me when I started drafting this post: even reading a blog or following somebody on social media for years we know but don’t know them. In terms of the election we might have an assumption about a person’s vote but most of us won’t openly state it. Same regarding any other posts: we learn a lot about each other but there will still be equally as much, actually way more in most cases, that stays hidden – more or less depending on the individual. And that is obviously understandable.

Regarding the writing of this post I found this very strongly as it does look like a regular, not very eventful week from the outside – even to myself. Yet it was far from eventless. Only what made it a rough week are things I opt not to share for various reasons. I know this will probably sound like “look at me having such a hard life but, oh, I can’t tell you why”. Which is the kind of thing I don’t like others doing. You’ve heard me mention honesty as one of my biggest values many times before and I’m including these lines to say that I am adhering to this principle but there are still things too private to share. This is to say that my accomplishments this week are lacking a bit but for me the biggest one was getting through the week not letting things take me down, loose faith or cope in unhealthy ways. Granted, more chocolate than usual was necessary but that’s healthy for the soul so it doesn’t count, right?

On a last note here – assuming that we all have those tough days and off-the-blog struggles – I hope that life is okay for you. Hugs to you wherever you are.

My intros are erring on the heavy side lately, huh? Let’s delve into the happier side of life with another Week in Review hosted by Meg – and Ave, obviously.

Week in review

During the past week I …

Worked the usual five days. It was a rough week for the office.

Posted twice and replied to all comments. Getting better at this. In case you didn’t have a chance to check out yesterday’s post yet: some great posts worth reading.

Prepped some food for the week ahead. As of now I’m just preparing individual ingredients – think grains and some cauliflower rice – rather than full dishes.  Though the latter would be a smarter choice given I’ve been getting home from work later lately so lunches were lackluster. Yet my fridge is pretty small – I’ve seen pictures of US ones and: wow … Mine’s a shoebox in comparison which means no space for many big containers.

Ran an errand for a colleague on Monday so she didn’t have to. She had mentioned something she wanted to get in a conversation we had earlier and I offered to look out for it when picking up a few things for myself. Seeing her happy made me happy so that’s the real accomplishment here: sad Monday turned happier.

healthy-nutella_hazelnut-butter_texanerin

Prepared my first batch of homemade healthy Nutella. Woop! It’s -so- good. You might remember I’d found and made this with my sister a few weeks ago but wasn’t sure if it would work in the Vitamix. Well, I can now let you know you can prepare both homemade hazelnut butter and ‘Nutella’ at home if you own a Vitamix. The reason I hesitated – for years, I should add – is that every nut butter-making blogger seemed to use a food processor for those. Germany is a country where hardly anybody owns one of those so …

Used said “Nutella” in a new recipe for the blog. My mum was quite smitten with it which is good but I wasn’t regarding its visual appeal [or lack thereof].

Made more peanut butter. It really is a weekly happening by now.

Spent lots of time – but still never enough – with my favourite little human. Translation: my sister and P. visited us from Friday to Sunday afternoon. It was everything I needed after the week. Not a lot of pictures taken to prove it but my favourite moment was P. climbing on my lap when I was in fact attempting to take a few photos and – I wasn’t sitting in a stable position – almost making me fall over. Baby cuddles are the best and one of the things making life sweeter in an instant.

Baby hand

Braved the cold by going on a walk with my mum, sister and P. We already got a first blanket of snow covering the world over here. It’s pretty but I’m not a fan of the temperatures.

What’s funny and interesting about many of these accomplishments is the time they happened at. Any guesses? Yes, at night. Not even intentionally but just following my flow and motivation. From cleaning to cooking to working out – it’s all easier after dark. With daylight savings in action: way after dark. Maybe we can agree I would be more productive if I had more late nights to get things done?

Speaking of late nights: it actually is pretty late right now that I’m finishing this post so I’ll end it here and wish you a happy happy Monday. If life isn’t sweet for you right now: make healthy Nutella. It helps.

Happiness-inducing today: Still having my nephew around  until late afternoon [Sunday]. I already miss him and his happy-making magic so much again.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me some achievements from your past week!

Are there any more night owls here? I feel very alone in a blog world  full of early birds.

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Healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars

A buttery gluten-free buckwheat and cashew crust topped with creamy date caramel and covered in rich chocolate ganache: these healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars taste decadent while containing lots of nutritious ingredients. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and only eight ingredients. Paleo option, too.

Posting on a Tuesday? Me? I know it’s very unusual and actually not pleasing my mind – three posts in a row … – but even I can make exceptions. Especially when two special occasions collide. First would be today being World Vegan Day. This isn’t to force anybody into choosing a certain diet but I simply enjoy sharing delicious plantbased recipes. Secondly, today I’m collaborating with some other lovely blogging ladies for our first …

Bloggers Gonna Blog Friendsgiving Collab!

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

Granted, I was hesitant to join in a virtual Thanksgiving celebration. As you might know this is a holiday not celebrated in Germany. We do have the occasional ‘Erntedankfest’ [which literally translates to Thanksgiving] but it’s nothing official and I don’t know a single person honoring this day at their home. Anyway, I figured every holiday feast needs dessert and that I could do. Allow me to present: Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

Way different from my recent flourless hazelnut shortbread this is it. The kind of treat you’d whip up for a holiday or take the time to really savour on an ordinary day. Funny story: my first time trying this British classic was as a special Britain-themed week at Lidl [for those not familiar with it: a discounter] of all places. Very gourmet, I know. [Read: not.] I got my whole family obsessed with these caramel-topped and chocolate-covered slices of decadence. For some reason Lidl stopped carrying the shortbread during future British weeks despite them clearly being a popular item and gone very quickly every time.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

But we wouldn’t be bloggers if we let stores decide our food choices, right? Given my ‘history’ of no-bake brownies and bars it’s a riddle why I’d yet to try and recreate the Millionaire’s Shortbread. Luckily, I did after all and – dare I say it?  – these are even better. Buckwheat and cashews are combined with a special ingredient to create the gluten-free shortbread crust here: cacao butter. I just wanted to see if I could use it instead of coconut oil, not expecting anything. But: wow! The cacao butter, despite using a small amount only, lends a truly buttery taste to the shortbread base. Naturally sweet date caramel stands in for the typically sugar-laden variety. My favourite chocolate ganache finishes everything off for an amazing taste experience.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or just an average day when you’re reading this: Make this Healthy  No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread and be sure to have everybody get back for seconds.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire’s Shortbread

Shortbread base:

  • 1/4 cup [40 g]  raw buckwheat groats
  • 3/4 cup [100 g] cashew nuts
  • 1 heaped tbsp/25 g cocoa butter, melted [can sub coconut oil]
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Caramel

  • 1 cup [150 g] dates
  • 1 heaped tbsp of peanut butter [coconut butter works, too]
  • Pinch of salt [omit if your nut butter is salted]
  • 2-3 tbsps water

Ganache Topping

  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsps coconut cream or soy cream [~ 75 ml]
  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend the cashews and buckwheat groats into a fine flour-like consistency.
  2. Add to a bowl and mix with the melted cacao butter, kneading to form a dough. Press into an 8 x 8 inch pan and set into the fridge to harden.
  3. Prepare the date caramel by processing the dates in your blender until crumbly, Add in the nut butter, minimum amount of water and salt and process into a smooth caramel.
  4. Spread the caramel onto your ‘shortbread’ crust and chill in the fridge again.
  5. While the base is chilling in the fridge, prepare your ganache layer. Finely chop the chocolate bar and set aside.
  6. Bring the coconut milk to a boil either on the stove or in the microwave. Pour over the chopped chocolate and (!!!) let sit for three minutes. Do NOT stir before.
  7. Stir to fully combine all ganache ingredients. Top the chilled base with ganache and refridgerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting into it.

I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

.. .and because dessert alone doesn’t make a whole Thanksgiving feast don’t  miss out on what everybody else is bringing to the Bloggers Gonna Blog Friendsgiving party:

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

Happiness-inducing today: Music. It’s been an ugly grey and rainy day. Stressful with some anxiety thrown in, too. But setting out for short walk after work, just catching some fresh air and listening to brighter tunes helped a little.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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Flourless Hazelnut Shortbread [vegan]

Grandma’s cookies gone healthy! These gluten-free vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies are a family favourite  – but with no refined sugar, no dairy and wheat-free, too.

Who knows best when it comes to cookies? Right, grandma. She’s the avid baker supplying the whole family *with tin upon tin of cookies every Christmas season. Sounds familiar? It’s been that way in my family forever. Both of my grandmas have dedicatedly spent hours upon hours, no, days, of their lives in the kitchen during the colder months to provide many a family member, friend or neighbour  with their amazing baked goods. Each of them creating certain varities that I have yet to  seen either in stores or other families. How amazing is it to think that every family still has those recipes that are handed down from generation to generation? Just me? Oh well.

*we’re talking six children and their families in my maternal grandma’s case here

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

Today’s easy hazelnut shortbread cookies are actually a kind I used to overlook and probably consider tin fillers among the more exciting varieties for years. Yet somehow the adults of the family knew better all along and enjoyed these cookies’ simplicity and nutty aroma. How right they were. Only lightly sweetened but full of hazelnut flavour which was heathened by a rim of dark cocoa. Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a favourite with all adults in my family, especially when accompanied by a cup of coffee. Dunk- or dipping highly recommended.

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

Because grandma’s cookies are neither vegan nor gluten-free, much less healthy I adapted her recipe. They’re still cookies, not health food but with whole grains and less refined sugar these Gluten-free Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a more nutritious alternative to the usual offerings in the cookie jar. Oh and another note: while the long instructions make it look like a complicated recipe it’s actually beyond simple. Win-win!

Gluten-free Vegan Hazelnut Shortbread

(yields ~ 30+ cookies)

1/2 cup of hazelnut meal [60 g; can grind your own in a high speed blender]
1 cup oat flour* [125 g]
1/4 cup of coconut sugar [50 g] + 1 tsp of cornstarch
Scant 1/4 cup of cornstarch [50 g]
1/2 cup of coconut oil, softened but not melted [125 g]
1 tsp vanilla
~ 1/4 cup [20 g] of unsweetened cocoa powder

*use certified gluten-free if necessary

  1. Place the coconut sugar and 1 tsp of cornstarch in a blender. Pulse until the sugar reaches a powdery consistency and lighter colour. Voilà, you just made your own powdered coconut sugar. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, hazelnut meal and cornstarch.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla on high speed.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture while mixing constantly until a smooth dough forms. You might need to knead with your hands to get everything well combined.
  5. Place your dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    In the meantime, line a sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat oven to 300 *F/150 *C. divide dough evenly and roll into two logs.
  7. Coat a large plate or cutting board with enough cocoa – you don’t want to see your surface anymore. Roll dough logs in cocoa until thoroughly coated.
  8. Slice logs into coin-sized cookies. Place on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for about 20 minutes. The centre of the cookies might still be a bit soft at this point but they harden as they cool.
  10. Let cool completely before eating.  Don’t try to pick up cookies right away to avoid ending up with crumbs all over the place!

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today:  Getting to pick up a few things from another place while at work, hence getting some fresh air and movement in. A much appreciated break from sitting at my desk for hours.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
Tell me one ‘special’ kind of cookies your grandma/mum/any other family member makes and is a must for you every year!

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Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola [gluten-free, vegan]

With just the right amount of sweetness, heart-healthy buckwheat, oats and nuts this is a nutritious granola you can feel good about eating. Bonus: it takes a mere few minutes to mix together, is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free + uses just six ingredients.

buckwheat-granola_3

The story behind this recipe is both a little embarrassing and saying a lot about me. For months, one of my colleagues would bring bag after bag of expensive organic  [but still sugar-laden] granola or Müsli [okay, muesli for you English speakers but I just like the German way so much] to work. One day when she was eating some I remembered how fun making granola at home is and offered to make a batch of homemade one for her – an offer she happily took up. Well … if you know me you also know about my indecisiveness. Long story short I bought random granola ingredients here and there, telling myself I’d make some soon. Yet wanting to create the perfect  kind lend to stressing myself so much it never happened. Until now, that is.

buckwheat-granola_1

For some reason currently unbeknownst to me I picked up a bag of buckwheat at random. Then I remembered I’d heard people – likely on Instagram – mention buckwheat granola and the ominous ‘caramelized buckinis’. Boredom turned granola on a rainy – that even is an understatement – Sunday afternoon. Actually, I didn’t even have high hopes for it yet boredom has turned into a delicious recipe before so maybe it was meant to be? Anyway, my kitchen smelled amazing and I couldn’t wait to have a try. Liking it I needed the ultimate taste test and scooped up a little cup full of buckwheat granola for my mum to try.

I’ll be honest in saying I expected her to maybe reluctantly take a sniff and a few crumbs at highest, then sending me off again to toss it but: she took a spoonful, grabbed the cup and kept eating, saying she’d leave some for dad to try in his breakfast the next day. Verdict? Winner.  My colleague was also smitten, probably not expecting me to ever turn up with some granola anymore. Sorry!

buckwheat-granola_2

This isn’t the cluster-packed kind of granola I usually prefer but trust me when I say it’s amazing in its own right. Just lightly sweetened with maple syrup the natural flavor of every ingredient shines through. The buckwheat lends a special nutty crunch factor that won’t make you miss the clusters.  As if deliciousness wasn’t enough of a selling point all three of its main ingredients – oats, buckwheat and nuts – are heart-healthy. Turning this easy homemade granola into one you can feel good about eating all day long.

Okay, before we get to the recipe I want to quickly highlight a few other benefits of buckwheat in case it’s not been making an appearance on your plate [regularly] before, either.

  • Despite the ‘wheat’ in its name buckwheat is actually not a grain making it a great fit for gluten-free eaters  [probably the best-known fact here, I know].
  • While low in vitamin buckwheat is high in manganese (necessary for healthy metabolism, antioxidant defense etc.), copper (), magnesium (athletes will be happy to hear this),
  • High in fiber = happy healthy gut.
  • Contains several novel nutraceuticals which are plant compounds that boast health benefits like lowering LDL (aka: the bad) cholesterol as well as your blood pressure, preventing histamine production (i.e. may help lower risks of developing inborne allergies or food intolerances)
  • May lower blood sugar levels which hence why it’s considered a great option for diabetics.

Sources: 1, 2

Okay, enough nutrition talk! Let’s get to the recipe already!

Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola

  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp quick oats [50 g]
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp raw buckwheat [50 g]*
  • ½ cup mixed nuts [I used almonds and cashews; 60 g]
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil [~7 g]
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/175 °C and layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop nuts to your preferred size for granola [I find preferences vary here; I liked mine on the smaller side].
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small pot, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the liquid over your dry ingredients and mix well to make sure everything is coated.
  6. Spread your granola on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. After about 10 minutes, open the oven and stir the granola. This helps avoiding the edges to burn. Repeat this every 5-10 minutes [depending on your oven].
  8. Once the granola is lightly browned – don’t let it bake for too long; it’ll crisp as it cools – take the sheet out of the oven and set aside to cool down.

 

Notes:

*the gree-ish looking kernels; not roasted as this will change the flavor.

 buckwheat-granola_4

 I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays, .

See? Nothing weird about this little pseudo-grain. Here’s to making buckwheat more popular [outside of pasta] – or just to making granola.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Walking around outside soaking up the summery smell of the air. Can I bottle that scent up for colder months to come?!

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
 

Have you tried buckwheat before? In which kind of dishes?

What’s your favourite granola?

 

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Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers

Better than store-bought: Packed with nutritious ingredients these Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers are a simple to prepare yet elegant-looking snack to impress. Vegan, with no added oil or refined sugar these can be made gluten-free, too,

Should I ever have enough recipes* I’d add a category called parent-approved. What’s other bloggers’ kid-approved seal would be dishes that pass my parents’ picky palates. Honestly, while my parents enjoy good quality food I wouldn’t have considered them gourmets [which I’d associated with truffle anything, five-star restaurants and the likes until now]. Given their at times  [overly] harsh criticism of my recipes? I might just have changed my opinion. Luckily, these crackers passed the test – despite being neither sweet nor involving any fudgy chocolate action.

*and a self-hosted site allowing for a nicer plug-in and at that presentation of them

Trail Mix crackers

Why Trail Mix Crackers? Because, well, trail mix. Lots of delicious and nutritious nuts paired with naturally sweet raisins for quick and healthy energy – what’s not to like? In 10th grade I went through a huge trail mix phase, always carrying a bag with me and already letting doubtful friends know about the fact that no, fat doesn’t make you fat [from that moment  on they demanded I share my trail mix, of course ;)]. I used a standard trail [think: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts and way too many raisins] for easy availability but go with what you have on hand or fancy. Yet I’d recommend not using one of those containing any chocolate or other ingredients that might burn easily as you’ll bake these crackers for a longish time. Then again you could obviously sacrifice yourself and pick the ‘undesired’ chocolate out of any trail mix. The selfless things we do for others, no?!

Trail Mix Crackers

While I didn’t test this option myself I can’t see why using an all purpose gluten-free flour wouldn’t work here. Being baked twice these Trail Mix Crackers area forgiving recipe ending in a nice crispy result every time. Some of the loaves I baked didn’t come out quite as intended but crisped up just fine on the second round in the oven.

And the taste? They’re neither verging decidedly on the sweet nor savoury side but a pleasant in-between with the nuts adding an amazing texture and the plump raisins being dots of sweetness.Making them the perfect vehicle for both sweet spreads – think jam + cream cheese, various nut butters or even Nutella if that’s how you roll – or savoury options like as part of a cheese platter.

Trail Mix Crackers_box

One more thing: I know twice-baked anything sounds way too involved. Trust me, though: these are anything but. And the fact you can freeze some of the baked loaves and crisp them up whenever you feel like makes these crackers a great snack for spontaneous visitors, too. Containing trail mix might give it away but I’ll state the obvious: they also make a good on-the-go snack. Hitting the trail with some Trail Mix Crackers? Sounds really good to me.

Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers

2 cups of whole-wheat flour* [240g]
1/2 tsp of salt
2 scant tsp of baking soda
1/4 cup flax seeds [~28g]
2 tbsps maple syrup
2 cups of unsweetened soy or almond milk [480 ml]
2 tsps apple cider OR white vinegar OR lemon juice
1 cup trail mix* [~110-120g]

  1. Preheat oven to 325 *F/165 *C.
  2. Grease four mini loaf pans (5 3/4 inches x 3 1/4 inches) very well OR line with parchment paper. I recommend the latter for easy removal of loaves after baking.
  3. In a large mug, stir vinegar into the soy milk and set aside to curdle. This won’t take longer than 5-10 minutes depending on the kind of ‘milk’ used. After is has curdled, stir in the maple syrup.
  4. Prepare your trail mix by chopping any nuts or breaking them into smaller pieces.
  5. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and flax seeds plus cinnamon if using.
    Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t over mix.
  6. Fold in the trail mix.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 35-45 minutes. Loaves should be golden brown and springy to touch.  Test with a toothpick to check if they’re done after minimum baking time. They toothpick should come out clean. If it doesn’t, bake for an additional five minutes and test again.
  8. Let the loaves cool down on a wire rack very well before slicing. If you do have the time I recommend freezing them for easier slicing.
  9. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160 °C.
  10. Slice the loaves as thin as possible, letting thaw a little before if you froze them. The thinner they are the better they will crisp up.
  11. Bake crackers for a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 25 minutes or until crisp [time will depend on how thin or thick the crackers are cut]. Flipping them about halfway through the baking time is optional but recommend.
  12. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes

  1. *a gluten-free AP mix should work just fine
  2. A serrated knife is your best friend for slicing the loaves thin enough for crispy Crackers.

Adapted from Babble.

Trail Mix Crackers_3.JPG

I’m linking up with Meatless MondaysAllergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Taking time to read a book before and after work.

 

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