Sometimes a girl just needs a bit of a treat. The month of October was a particularly harrowing one, with lots of things happening at once and a series of bad news, which added to the stress. This would have been the time when it would be oh so simple to reach for the unhealthy dessert, be it biscuits, cake or some other sugar laden sweet. Instead I managed to (miraculously) keep the temptation away. Armed with the knowledge of just what would happen to my body and mood - I won’t even mention the waistline – and fully aware that it is at times like this when the body needs healthy food rather than any more stressors (read sugar and empty calories), I decided to bake my own healthy biscuits. They had to meet three strict criteria:
- Be sugar-free
- Be quick to prepare
- Satisfy the sweet craving without adding to the waistline
I perused my archive of recipes which I file away just for these kind of moments, and stumbled upon some low-carb paleo almond biscuits. To my horror I didn’t have enough almond flour at home (note to self: criteria for emergency recipes should also consider available ingredients), but I did have a whole pack of coconut flour I’d been promising myself to try. What better time to do so?
Experimenting in the kitchen is something I quite often do. Not happy just to try the coconut flour I decided to go all the way and also add raw cacao powder. To balance out the natural bitterness of cacao and cut through the crumbly flour mixture I also used a handful of dried cranberries. Dried fruit is not entirely sugar-free, but fructose is still better than processed sugar.
I have to be honest, at this point I did cross my fingers and hope it would turn out well, otherwise I knew I’d end up legging it to the nearest shop to buy the first chocolate biscuits I could find regardless of the ingredients list or my criteria!
I am glad to be able to report that they were scrumptious. So much so that my husband, who normally stays well away from my healthy dessert alternatives, couldn’t keep his hands (and mouth) away from them! I had to rescue some from his hands just to take the picture for this blog post.
Ingredients (makes about 12 biscuits, regular size)
225g of flour of which approx 113g almond flour + 112g coconut flour
2 tblsp raw cacao powder
75g raw virgin coconut oil (melted)
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
a handful of dried cranberries
a pinch of sea salt
1. Pre heat the oven to 180° C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Weigh out all ingredients and melt the coconut oil if necessary.
3. In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, raw cacao, cranberries and salt).
4. Add all the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil and vanilla essence). Mix thoroughly so the dough is homogenous.
5. Using a tablespoon scoop up the dough and place on the lined baking tray. Use your fingers to shape each biscuit and flatten it. You can make these biscuits as thick/thin and large as you like, just remember that cooking times will vary accordingly.
6. Once you have used up all the dough, place the tray in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they are firm (and golden if you didn’t use the cacao).
7. Allow to cool on the baking tray before moving them to a cooling rack. Eat at room temperature and store in an airtight container.
If what you normally crave is not sweet but something savoury, you could easily swap the sweet ingredients with grated parmigiano, or paprika/cayenne pepper and some mature (hard) cheese, or even rosemary and garlic. There are endless options.
Whatever you do, enjoy!