Monday, March 14, 2011
Despite cooking for one and having to use pedal power to get to the grocery shop (rather pathetic pedal power, I should note, see photo below), I've been fairly creative in the kitchen lately. While in the thick of training I seem to go through phases where I never want to cook a thing, opting for take-out or unenthusastically throwing together very simple meals. Or, in contrast, there are times when I go all-out in the kitchen, trying anything and everything. I used to think there was a correlation between the amount/intensity of training and the culinary creations, but I'm not so sure anymore. I simply love cooking but just like other aspects of life, there are ebbs and flows, and my energy and creativity for cooking tends to fluctuate. I'm pretty sure though that the "next chapter" in my life will involve many hours in a kitchen, whether it's through culinary school or as a full-time chef for my ultra-running husband, attempting to keep him fueled (I'm only joking about this last one.. sort of... but he is training for a 160km RUNNING race, so I can only imagine the sheer quantity of food he's consuming). Right now though, I find cooking to be an enjoyable way to "switch-off" after training and a way to satisfy any craving I might have.
With the training we've been doing, I've been craving more sweets than usual. I know, this isn't ideal from a "health" perspective, but it's just the way it is for me when things ramp up. I try to avoid sugar whenever possible, especially white, refined sugar, so I often make my own sweets using other sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, fruits, etc). I thought I'd share my 6-ingredient "jewel" cookies. They happen to be vegan, wheat-free, sweetened with honey, and very tasty (in my humble opinion :) If you end up trying them, please let me know how they are!
1 cup oat flour*
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
2 tbsp coconut oil (if you don't live in a hot climate, heat until melted)
pinch of salt
fruit jam of choice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together everything but the jam and roll into small balls (if the dough is a little on the dry side, add a touch of water, or too wet, add a little extra flour). On a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, press into patties and create a little dip in the middle of each cookie with your finger. Dollop a little jam into the dips and bake for about 12 minutes until crisp on the bottom.
*For oat "flour": pulse whole oats in a food processor to a mealy-consistency. I don't have one with me in Australia, so I used some elbow grease with a mortar and pestle! It worked great!