Thursday, 25 July 2013

Spinach Cookies (aka Peppermint Choc Chip Biscuits or Monster Biscuits!)

As predicted, a reboot was all that was required to fix my computer problems - I think the main culprit was having about 20 internet pages open simultaneously....perhaps overloading a little?! I have a bad habit of finding great recipes or information and leaving the page open so that I can keep reading it over and over again. I think I'm a website hoarder - the new-age hoarder!

I have a quick recipe to post while the kids are occupied making popcorn to take to their friends house for a movie afternoon. It's a cold windy day, the last official day of holidays, and the perfect excuse for us mums to have a bit of a gossip and the kids to have a bit of chill time. (When I say making popcorn, the kids are watching our popcorn machine spit popcorn into a big bowl. Just thought I'd clarify in case anyone thought I had a 2 and 4 year old over a hot stove!). 

For so many reasons we choose not to make microwave popcorn in the house 1) I prefer to only use the microwave when I'm really pushed and desperate (I feel that there is so much controversy over their use that I prefer to err on the side of caution) 2) There are some scary ingredients in microwave popcorn. The ACT II variety has 'less than 2% butter', colouring, flavoring, loads of salt, and a mystery ingredient called TBHQ...never heard of it! 3) Buttered popcorn is a really reactive food for my IBS so with my oldest having similar digestive problems I prefer that we don't eat it. In saying all of this, the kids do eat it at parties etc, and I do still have some in the pantry, although to be fair it's probably past it's useby date! These days I prefer to buy the whole kernels, pop them in the machine and then drizzle with coconut oil. The flavour options are endless too - sometimes I sprinkle a little garam masala or ground cumin over it for a tasty savoury popcorn, or a little maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweet option. We don't eat a lot of popcorn, but when it's a rainy winters day and a movie is in order then popcorn is really the snack of choice to make the experience authentic!

But I digress! (surely not...Usually so good at staying on topic!!) The recipe I wanted to share was for Peppermint Choc Chip Biscuits (Also known as Spinach Biscuits for those who are not put off by veges, or Monster Cookies if you are trying to sell the idea to kids!)

I found a recipe for these on a website and thought they looked like fun as they are bright green and kind of crazy looking.




These photos don't do the biscuits justice - they are even more green in real life!


Mint Chocolate Chip Biscuits  

(adapted from recipe on the blog www.itsmecharlotte.com)

Ingredients:

1 packed cup spinach leaves
¼ cup coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 eggs
2 tsp peppermint extract/essence
5 tbsp coconut flour
¼ cup chocolate chips (roughly!)
2 tsp chia seeds
pinch of salt

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 170C and grease or line a backing tray.
  2. Add spinach leaves, coconut oil and maple syrup to a food processor and blend until well combined.
  3. Add eggs, salt and peppermint extract and blend well
  4. Pour mixture in to a bowl and add coconut flour. Mix well.
  5.   Add chocolate chips and chia seeds to mixture and combine.
  6.   Ideally, place the bowl in the fridge for around 15 minutes to allow the mixture to harden a little. This makes it easier to shape, and also means that the biscuits hold their shape a little better, but if you are in a hurry you can skip this step.
  7.  Use about 1-2 tbsp of mixture to roll into small balls. Flatten with your fingers or a fork.
  8.  Bake for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
  9.   Cool on a cooking rack
  10. Eat!

These biscuits are a fantastic way to get some sneaky vegetables into the kids. If you really want to make them healthy I would omit the chocolate chips and just add a little more maple syrup or some dates to sweeten. The peppermint essence and the chocolate hide the taste of the spinach so they will not be able to taste it. The biscuits are bright green, which is somewhat of a giveaway, but if you sell them to little ones as ‘monster cookies’ or ‘slime biscuits’ they will be none the wiser!

I am all for encouraging kids to eat vegetables and to know what they are eating so that they can learn to love wholesome foods for what they are, but I also know that there are plenty of children out there for whom eating greens is somewhat of a none event, so if they have to be disguised then so be it.  I am lucky enough to have the best of both worlds with my two little rascals – my oldest will always give anything a try, enjoys eating a wide range of vegetables, and happily tries new ones. The youngest actively avoids vegetables where possible, and if she had a choice she would live solely on rice, bread and potatoes. The irony is that with these green biscuits it was not the green colour that she objected to, but the chocolate…go figure! It seems hard to believe that I could possibly have given birth to a child that doesn’t like chocolate, but pigs obviously do fly because it has happened! Switched at birth perhaps?! 

Happy friday everyone 

x