Friday, November 13, 2009

Raw Cardamom Cookies

As you may have noticed, I've been posting meal ideas this week featuring pungent and warming ground spices -- perfect for spicing up fall / winter meals.

I incorporated my favorites, cumin and coriander, into Wednesday's Spiced Lentils and Thursday's Black Beans.

And today it's cardamom, which due to it's deliciously aromatic sweet flavor, I'm using in a sweet treat.

A few weeks ago I featured several home-made herbal teas, including a spicy chai that make use of cardamom pods as well as a number of other pungent spices.

The treat I'm sharing today is the perfect accompaniment to spicy chai or even a simple cup of black or herbal tea.

I write a regular column for the Women's Magazine and this month my article explored savoring the little traditions such as lovingly brewing a pot of tea and sharing it with a special someone. As we head into the holiday season this is the perfect antidote to hurried and harried days.

Because I'm not a big fan of baked goods containing lots of white sugar, butter, and processed flour, I like to experiment with raw ingredients when making treats to eat with a cup of tea or as a dessert.

One doesn't need a recipe just a delight in pairing and mixing dried fruits like dates, raisins, cranberries, perhaps a little honey, oats and coconut, maybe chocolate drops and nut butter.

And children will find picking and mixing a selection of ingredients, such as those just listed, lots of fun.

Additionally, treating kids to whole, unprocessed foods, instead of cookies and cakes laden with white sugar and white flour, is far healthier than the empty calories found in most store-bought cookies and cakes.

Raw Cardamom Cookies
1) Explore your pantry for ingredients on hand such as walnuts, almonds, peanut or almond butter, coconut, oats or raw muesli, honey, dates or date and coconut rolls, raisins, cranberries, chocolate drops, or chocolate coated nuts.
2) Pick a selection of the above pantry items -- note my selection in the pic at the top of this post.
3) Now into a food processor toss spoonfuls of say 3 or 4 items, including at least one sticky item like nut butter and or honey or dates. The sticky item will bind the ingredients.
4) Add a pinch of ground cardamom, cinnamon, and perhaps a tiny pinch of ground cloves.
5) Run the food processor till ingredients bind together into a ball. If you don't have a food processor, chop all ingredients on a chopping board, pop them into a mixing bowl and then work the ingredients together with clean, bare hands. (Kids will love this!)
6) Now tip raw cookie mix onto a chopping board and roll it into a oblong log. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
7) Or alternatively, tip mix into a round baking tin lined with cling wrap and press with the back of your hand until mix lines the entire tin. Refrigerate.

To Serve: Remove raw mix from the cling-wrap roll and slice either into round pieces, as in the pic above, or if you used a round tin, cut into triangular pieces. Serve with a hot cup of milk tea, herbal tea, hot chocolate or your choice of warm beverage.

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