Chef in the City, Recipes

Crunchy Almond Chia Cookies

December 9, 2015
chef shine

Packed with protein, these cookies are simply the bee’s knees! Free from gluten and processed sugar, they’re satisfyingly crunchy, great paired with your morning or afternoon cup of coffee or herb tea. They also make for great sustenance for children – a couple of these in the lunchbox will delight and sustain a growing body.

I first made these for my dad when he was diagnosed with cancer. I was studying at the time and had just come across a paper about the detrimental effects of processed sugar on the body, especially with cancer cells. Knowing my father (who has a HUGE sweet tooth!) I knew cutting all his beloved sweet treats out would be just as torturous as being sick! So I set about experimenting with almond meal (healthy source of fats) and chia seed (healthy source of protein) and a few other bits n’ pieces.

My favourite natural sweetener to use in these cookies is coconut sugar which (nutritionally-speaking) is incredibly similar to brown sugar, true story! So if you don’t have the money to spend on the more expensive coconut sugar, feel free to use a little organic brown sugar instead. What is organic brown sugar exactly? Well, it’s white sugar in the raw. Instead of being sprayed, bleached and stripped of all the good stuff, brown sugar still houses calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium – albeit in small amounts, but it’s much better than white sugar. If you absolutely feel opposed to using brown sugar, choose your favourite sweetener of choice and use accordingly.

Oh! And if there’s any left by the time they’ve cooled (never in my house!) you can store them in an airtight container in a cool cupboard or pantry for up to a week.

Crunchy Almond Chia Cookies

Serving – about 15 medium cookies (2 tbs dough) or 30 small cookies (1 tbs dough)

You need:

  • 315g almond meal
  • 5 Tablespoons chia seed
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (or organic brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 organic egg (or you can make these completely vegan by creating a chia egg: mix 1 Tablespoon chia seed with 1/3 cup water and leave to gel for 15 minutes before using)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt

You do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Combine all ingredients together and pulse in a food processor until mix comes together to form a moist dough. You can also combine without a food processor, but it will take a lot longer!
  3. To make medium size cookies, take 2 tablespoons of dough, for small cookies, take 1 tablespoon of dough and roll between your hands.  Place on a lined baking tray and push down carefully to make a flat disc. I like to place a whole almond into each cookie for presentation purposes but you can also keep them plain.
  4. Bake until golden brown – you’ll know they’re ready from the delicious smell that will start to waft from your oven. Chef after about 15 mins to test. Transfer carefully to an iron rack after 5 mins out of the oven. Cookies will harden as they cool and if left uncovered overnight they become super duper crunchy!
  5. Enjoy :)

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