You see, I have a great excuse for not having baked cookies while watching each Canucks playoff game recently.
It’s not as if what I’m doing is greatly affecting their performance. Right?
I mean, it’s just a coincidence that the very day I stopped baking because I was sick…they have been struggling. I’ve been fighting a cold for the last 2 weeks and recently had many sleepless nights due to the coughing-variant asthma that the cold induced. I’ve been over the cold a while ago, but the coughing persists. I never had asthma in my youth but this just seemed to pop up after a cold a few years ago. What a pain!
above, the healthy trio of organic (no GMO) seeds I used: buckwheat are the larger pyramid-shaped green-tinged seeds, hulled hemp hearts are the small white ones and the chia are the dark seeds (as seen on TV—Ch-ch-ch-chia Pets!)
So, I’m back on the band-wagon baking during the playoffs again and this recipe is a whopper of a cookie. I have been having issues getting “healthy” elements into my daughters’ diet. I have tried sprinkling this mixture of hemp, buckwheat and chia into their yogurt. No go.
“Ewww! I don’t like these seed thingies!”
What’s a mommy to do? Well, dump the healthy seeds into their chocolate chip cookies, of course!
I adapted one of my favourite soft cookie recipes by incorporating about 70 grams of this seed mixture. I replaced the honey with agave. I didn’t want to change anything else or they might not eat them at all. Of course, I could have gone whole wheat flour or non-gluten and coconut oil and whatnot, but if I did that it wouldn’t even taste remotely like the cookie they’re used to. I have to make these changes gradually so they don’t detect it. Sneaky mommy.
Really, the seeds don’t taste like anything but are more textural. Like poppy seeds, the chia can get stuck in your teeth. The best thing that you can do is add some nuts to the cookie dough so you get a nice chunky texture and even more protein, vitamins and good healthy omega 3 fatty acids, in particular, alpha-linolenic acid. Walnuts are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.
Chia has some sort of gelling action when you eat them. They’re supposed to help you with dieting in that they gelatinize and make you feel fuller. In fact, when they get stuck in your teeth inevitably, you will notice that they start to gelatinize between your teeth. Kind of slimy at that point, you’ll be forever moving your tongue around trying to dislodge them. Also high in omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, this gluten-free seed seems to have the makings of a super food.
Buckwheat originates from Asia and you will be familiar with it in the form of Soba Noodles. It is actually a fruit seed and contains linoleic acid, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, E, P), essential amino acids, minerals -- chromium, copper, manganese, folic acid -- and is an excellent source of magnesium.
Hemp hearts are supposed to help you fight disease and is infamously related to weed. When you tell people the cookies contain hemp, they get all excited for some reason...which makes many people want to eat them all the more to see if it has psychoactive effects. But it doesn’t of course. What the hemp heart has going for it is omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These little seeds can help lower the risk of heart attacks, lower cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the cell buildup within the arteries that is related to atherosclerosis.
Ideally, these healthy seeds should be eaten raw and sprinkled in your breakfast cereal (like what I actually do every morning), but my children just aren’t into that.
Cakebrain’s “Miracle Breakfast” recipe. I highly recommend it:
- 3 tablespoons of Organic Plain Unsweetened Yogurt (full-fat, because I avoid the gelatine and starches with zero-fat varieties). Don’t use sweetened plain yogurt.
- 2 tablespoons of finely ground shredded wheat cereal (Post brand or an organic brand): read the label; it should say zero salt and zero sugar.
- 1 teaspoon organic manuka honey
- 1 teaspoon organic cold-pressed flax seed oil
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons of the chia/hempseed/buckwheat mixture [I like to buzz these seeds in my Bullet until finely ground to avoid the seeds getting stuck between my teeth]
If you’re not into the seeds, you can do well with just the finely ground shredded wheat cereal. I adapted this recipe from Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat and have eaten this practically every morning since reading about it. She uses ground walnuts instead of the seeds. This does taste better, but really the seed mixture doesn’t have much of a taste as much as a texture. For those of you put off by texture, do what I do and grind everything to a powder. It’ll be so much easier to eat.
My daughters definitely will eat the MB with just the shredded wheat, honey, and flax oil, (they’re allergic to nuts) but they sure don’t like the addition of the seeds.
Now, here follows my recipe for the healthy variation of the chocolate chip cookie or if you wish, an unhealthy version of a healthy seed cookie.
btw, the Canucks just won the series while I was posting this and we were munching on the cookies. Coincidence? hm. Well, it looks like I'll be baking quite a bit in the next little while to ensure the positive vibes continue. I'll do my best. For the team of course.
SEEDY HEMP, BUCKWHEAT, CHIA AND WALNUT DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES
[a.k.a. Cakebrain’s FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH COOKIES]
adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg
yield: 60 cookies, approximately 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) in diameter.
- 14 oz (400 g) dark chocolate chips [I used Callebaut]
- 12 oz (340 g) walnuts
- 8 oz (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 oz (225 g ) light brown sugar
- 6 oz (170 g) granulated sugar
- 70 grams organic (non GMO) chia, buckwheat and hemp heart seed mix
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temp
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 lb 2 oz (510 g) bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) baking soda
- Using the dough hook at low to medium speed, mix together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt until well combined. Add the eggs, agave and vanilla.
- Sift together the flour and baking soda. Add the seed mixture to the flour mixture. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in the chopped walnuts and dark chocolate. Chill the dough if it is too soft to form.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, approximately 1 pound 9 oz (710 g) each. Roll each piece into a 20-inch (50 cm) rope; use flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Cut each rope into 20 pieces and place them, staggered, on sheet pans lined with baking paper or Silpats.
- Bake the cookies at 350 degreesF (175 degrees C) just until they start to colour, about 15 minutes [13 minutes for mine]. They taste best if still somewhat soft in the centre.