After a decent number of years on this planet so far, I’ve decided that I’m definitely not a person of extremes. I prefer a balanced life. Bring on the no-food-groups-barred degustation dinner but I’ll follow it up with a week of simple eating; maybe a couple of eggs in Shakshuka sauce or just a bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt. I take the same approach with exercise and alcohol consumption. That ole chestnut of moderation, right?
I thought I’d mention the notion of balance in this post in case I’ve ever confused anyone by featuring sugar coma inducing treats on my blog one week, then moving on to recipes that involve things like quinoa, chia seeds and iodised salt (what does that even mean?). I do include a lot of health conscious recipes on Gastromony but I wouldn’t hesitate in bingeing on a tray of Cronuts™ if they magically appeared before me. Me, quit sugar? Meh.
I’m far from quitting sugar but when I have had a day or weekend of consuming a lot of refined sugar, I do switch over to low or no sugar eating. There’s no scientific reason for doing this; it’s just me wanting to re-balance my eating habit. During a no-sugar break, I do still crave sweet things so to prevent myself from going insane, I usually make up a batch of my No-Bake Cookies in my Thermomix.
These cookies are pretty much the basis for my Really Healthy Chocolate Balls but if you’re not after a chocolate flavoured treat then you can just add your preferred flavours and ingredients to the basic recipe. It’s up to you whether you roll the ‘dough’ into balls or flatten them out like cookies. Tastes great either way.
So far my favourite combo is Chocolate, Cranberries and Coconut with Peanut Butter, and Dried Apricots, Coconut and Tahini. I might try Jaffa next :)
Basic No-Bake Cookie ‘Dough’
(makes about 15 cookies or balls)
80g of rolled oats (if you are gluten intolerant, use quinoa flakes instead)
60g (about 8 pieces) Medjool dates, pitted (don’t use the horrible little dried up ones – you can substitute with prunes if you don’t like dates)
50g peanut butter (you can use other nut or seed butters if allergic – tahini is lovely)
30g brown rice syrup or honey if not vegan
To Make: Mill rolled oats on Speed 8 for five seconds in TMX. The oats should look like quick oats. Mill for less time if you like a more textured cookie. Add pitted dates and combine on Speed 6 for a few seconds. Add peanut butter and brown rice syrup and combine again on Speed 6 for a few seconds. ‘Dough’ should be sticky enough to hold together but dry enough to handle. This process can be done in a good quality food processor also.
Add some extra ingredients and flavours then shape dough into cookie or ball shapes. Balls and cookies should form easily by adding a little pressure as you press mixture into shape. If after adding ingredients the mixture becomes loose or hard to handle, adjust with extra peanut butter or brown rice syrup.
Things to add: 30g raw cacao powder, 30g of dried fruit (cranberries are nice and tart), handful of oven dried fruit (bananas, strawberries, cherries), 30g of favourite nuts or seeds, 30g of coconut flakes (or roll balls in coconut), 30g of caramelised buckwheat. Flavoured oils and citrus zest will add some nice flavours too. Maybe chocolate with mint? Have fun!