It’s been a while since I baked vegan goodies. A lot of my oven time has been dedicated to monthly Daring Bakers’ challenges, and being on a low-carb diet at the moment, I haven’t really wanted to bake things which would inevitably have to get eaten by me. There is also only so much food that I can palm off onto friends and co-workers after all.
Before anyone becomes alarmed by the ‘D’ word, my low-carb commitment is not some futile attempt to be a size 0. It wouldn’t hurt to get a bit leaner for what I think will be a fairly challenging year for karate (*nurses a bruise on her forearm*) but this diet is more a preventative exercise. March is one heck of a month in terms of consuming food (Largesse Dining, Amuse Project Mayhem, Eat Drink Perth, tapas bar opening, high tea etc.) so it wouldn’t hurt to lay off the calories when I can!
Anyway, this cookie is hardly carb-free but certainly a better alternative for afternoon tea breaks than a tray of Tim Tams. It’s easy to make even without a Thermomix. The best thing about these cookies is the use of chia seeds. Chia is high in fibre so a couple of cookies should give you a feeling of fullness (I did say ‘should’ and some people are going to want more even if they do feel full). This cookie is also relatively low GI (I used the special Low GI sugar from CSR) but you can use agave or rice syrup, or artificial sweeteners to lower or omit the sugar intake as needed.
Chia seeds give this cookie a fun texture. It’s kinda like eating a baked, crunchy fig :)
Peanut Butter, Chia & Cranberry Cookies (makes about 30)
3/4 rolled oats (as is, or lightly ground in Thermomix/food processor)
3/4 plain flour
1/2 caster sugar (or equivalent in low GI sugar, sweetener or natural syrups)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup oil or margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
1/3 cup of dried cranberries (or other dried fruit to your liking)
2 tpsp chia seeds (less if you don’t like the texture of chia)
To make: Pre-heat oven to 170C. Mix rolled oats, flour and sugar together well with a food processor or blitz briefly in Thermomix. If using Thermomix, give the rolled oats a few seconds on Speed 4 prior to mixing with flour and sugar for a smoother cookie. Add peanut butter and oil and blitz until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add soy milk a little at a time and mix until the ingredients appear more doughy. Add the cranberries and chia seeds and blitz briefly just to combine. Take small balls of dough and place on lined baking tray. The cookies won’t spread much so use a fork to flatten the balls a little. Bake for 12 minutes if you like your cookies on the softer side or up to 15 minutes if you prefer harder cookies.