These peanut butter, date & oat cookies are so delicious and ‘oat’ so easy to make. We love desserts, but there’s something special about a cookie with only 3 ingredients!
I don’t use any packet mixes for any of my baking; only organic whole food ingredients.
You can whip these up in 20 minutes, including cooking time. I use a thermomix, but if you don’t have one just use a food processor. Use the blade attachment to blend the dates, then change it to the plastic blade attachment to gently mix in the oats. You want the oats to be relatively whole, rather than being all chopped up.
If you don’t have a very powerful food processor, I would recommend you soak the dates for at least 15 minutes in hot water. Once you’ve drained them, save 1/4 cup of the water to smooth out the dates and peanut butter mixture.
If you like a bit more sweetness, add some pure maple syrup or rice syrup. Otherwise the dates give the cookies a nice natural sweetness.
2 cups organic dates
1/2 cup organic peanut butter (no added salt, sugar or oil)
3 cups organic jumbo oats
1/4 cup water (saved from the dates if you soaked them)
Pre heat your oven to 190° degrees
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
Blend the dates, peanut butter & water until fairly smooth. A few small lumps of dates are great for texture
Add the oats and pulse until they’re just mixed with the date mixture. It will be quite sticky.
Using damp hands roll tbsp sizes of the mixture, place onto the tray and press to flatten into a cookie shape. Try to keep them 1cm thick
Continue with the rest of the mixture
Place the trays into the oven; 1 on the top shelf and the other on the middle shelf. Cook for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies on the top tray are brown and slightly crispy at the edges
Remove the top tray and move the middle tray to the top shelf for 5-6 minutes
Cool the cookies on the trays for 5 minutes, before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely
Store the cookies in an airtight container for a week
I was honored to provide the catering for Paula Bennett’s visit to Inglewood yesterday. If you don’t know who she is, she’s the deputy leader of the NZ National Party. They’re currently the opposition to our Labour/coalition government.
It was a wonderful experience, not least because the event was hosted in a shop/event venue called Farmsource. As you can imagine it’s a place where farmers come to buy stock, conduct training and do business. All types of farmers, but the majority are dairy and dry stock farmers. The irony was not lost on me!
There were some looks of anxiety on their faces when they saw there was no meat or dairy for their breakfast, but after the initial shock they tried the food and really enjoyed it.
The breakfast consisted of:
* Chia pots with blueberries and granola. This was made with soy milk rather than coconut milk and sweetened with rice syrup.
* Breakfast burritos with avocado, black beans, green capsicum, tomato, cajun spices and sunflower mayo
* Seedy rye Sourdough bread with apple & onion chutney and blueberry & chia seed jam
I answered lots of questions about the ingredients and the merits of a plant based diet. They were especially interested in why we use minimal oil and reduced sugar. I really enjoyed educating the group and they enjoyed listening. While I got lots of compliments and the sound of ‘mmm’s’ was echoed through the building while they were eating, I know these farmers will not choose a plant based diet. The point is that they tried something new and were surprised that they enjoyed it.
That is all I ask for.
I’m so proud to be the local plant based caterer and voice of change here in Taranaki. I know that many people have tried my food with apprehension and become lovers of plant based foods because of me and for that I am humbled and proud.
If you’d like to order catering or book me to speak at your next event, contact me for a quote. I’d love to help you.
Some say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If that’s true for you, then you want to be eating something delicious and nutritious right?! These cookies are absolutely delicious and easy to eat on the go. So many people eat on the run, which isn’t ideal, but sometimes can’t be helped.
I’ve called them breakfast cookies because I made them late at night and I forgot to prep some oats for breakfast. In the morning, my eldest asked if the cookies were what we were having and I thought, why not! Of course you an eat them at anytime of the day and they’re great in the lunchboxes.
The recipe is very adaptable, so you can add any type of nut or seeds that you have. If you don’t have nuts or seeds, just use extra oats! As usual, these cookies are oil free, dairy free and egg free. I made these cookies fairly large, but you can make them smaller to make the ingredients go further.
If you’re not used to cooking without eggs, oil and butter; the cookies won’t be like the traditional cookie you’re used to. They’re not crunchy and light, they are soft, deliciously chewy and satiating. The dates give them natural sweetness, so there’s no need for any extra sugar. If you’re introducing children to these cookies for the first time and you’re worried they won’t find them sweet enough, add half a cup of dairy free chocolate chips.
Makes 10 large cookies
1/4 cup organic nuts or seeds (I used almonds & hazelnuts)
2 cups organic dates (soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 1/2 cups jumbo oats (not quick oats)
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray
Boil the kettle and soak your dates in a bowl
In a food processor or thermomix, blitz your nuts or seeds (not the flaxseed) until they’re small, but not ground and set aside
Add the dates to the mixing bowl along with the cinnamon and vanilla. Blend until nearly smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times
Add the oats and nuts/seeds to the dates. Blend until the oats are just mixed in, but still whole
With damp hands shape the mixture into tablespoon size balls and flatten slightly on the tray.
Cook on the top shelf for 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and still soft.
Remove from the oven and cook on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing. Otherwise dig in!
Use any seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds in place of nuts
If not using any seeds, ad an extra 1/2 cup of oats
Add 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips for a sweeter cookie
You can leave out the flaxseed if you don’t have it
Make the cookies extra large and top them with ice cream, fresh fruit or chia jam for an extra boost of colour and nutrients
Store the cookies in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months
Potatoes are one of my favourite vegetables. They so versatile, but also very filling and contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, fibre, potassium, magnesium and folate (vitamin B9].
We love hashbrowns, especially the crunchy bits on the outside. They go with anything and you can eat them anytime!
In my quest to cook them without oil, I discovered that using my sandwich maker or grill produced a crispy result while still being fluffy inside.
Depending on how many people you’re feeding, you’ll need to either cook 2 batches or like me, use both the sandwhich maker and the George foreman grill. This recipe makes enough to feed 2 adults and 3 children. I use 2 potatoes per person, so you can adjust that number as you need to. You can also sub some potatoes for zucchini, kumera, onion and carrot.
I top ours with pan fried vegetables cooked in liquid seasoning and fresh garlic. You can add anything you like!
10 medium potatoes (any variety)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or any fresh herbs)
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
Pre heat your sandwich maker and/or grill to toast or medium setting
Scrub the potatoes and grate them into a clean tea towel
Squeeze the water from the potatoes
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix everything together, making sure the potatoes are well coated
Spread half of the mixture onto the grill, making sure it is even. Repeat with the other grill if using
Close the grill or sandwich maker ensuring the lid is flat. Cook for approximately 15 minutes (each machine is different so adjust cooking time as needed). Be careful not to lift the lid too early. If the hashbrowns haven’t crisped up enough you’ll pull it apart.
Carefully remove your hashbrowns and enjoy on its own with a dipping sauce or top with your favourite vegetables.
The best bit is that you only need to gently wipe you machine, as no oil is required!
Tofu; you either love it or hate it! We love it, but it hasn’t always been that way. We first tried it in an Asian style soup and it was simply cubed and dropped into the broth for a few minutes before it was served. It really didn’t taste of anything, and the texture was rubbery. We’ve tried semi firm tofu cooked like scrambled egg. It’s broken up in the pan while cooking and you add flavour and turmeric for colour. We don’t like it like this either; it feels too much like egg in my mouth.
I came across this method while researching other ways to cook it. A recipe I saw dried the tofu in the oven on a low heat for a few minutes before frying it. The author was cheating, so as not to have to press the water out of the tofu for hours! So I thought, why not just bake it in the oven without oil.
Tofu is bland! It doesn’t taste of the soy beans it’s made from; it doesn’t taste like anything so you have to season or marinate it, so it takes on flavour. I use various methods of marinating depending on what I’m using the tofu for. This recipe makes the tofu nice and crispy, perfect for stir fry’s, wraps, summer rolls and burgers. Tofu is very high in protein and it an excellent meat substitute.
I only use 1 packet of tofu in this recipe and it serves all 5 of us. Most recipes call for pressing the water out of the tofu block for at least an hour. This is because it has a high water content and most recipes deep or shallow fry it in oil. I don’t bother with that (who’s got that sort of time?!) Besides, we need a little water left in the tofu to dry out in the oven, making it crispy.
The picture along with this recipe shows the tofu on top of stir fried rice noodles and veggies. We don’t mix it into the noodles as it will go soggy and we don’t want that.
I prefer the Braggs brand of nutritional yeast, but you can use whatever you like. If you don’t like nutritional yeast, you can sub it for any other seasoning flakes. Onion flakes are a nice substitute. I wouldn’t use powder, as it will clump when it comes into contact with the tofu and the water. You can also change the All Purpose seasoning to suit your preference. This substitute can be a powder, it will sit on top of the previous seasoning layer.
1 pack Tonzu tofu (or any other brand of firm tofu)
5 tbsp Braggs Nutritional Yeast
1 tbsp Masterfoods All Purpose Seasoning
Pre-heat your oven to 200º Celsius
Drain the tofu block, being careful not to break it
Place a clean, dry tea towel on a chopping board
Put the tofu block onto the centre of the towel and cover with another clean, dry folded tea towel
Place something heavy on top of the tofu. I use 3 or 4 cook books. Leave it for 10 minutes
Line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone mat*
Pour the nutritional yeast into a shallow bowl or plate
Remove the tofu and place it on a dry chopping board, or turn over the one you already used
With a sharp, straight bladed knife slice the tofu width ways, into 1cm thick slices and cut each slice in half
Using your hand, carefully coat the slices in the nutritional yeast, ensuring they are evenly coated. Place them onto the baking tray leaving a small gap
Once all the slices are coated and on the tray, sprinkle them with the All Purpose seasoning. They don’t need to be completely covered
Cook for 20-25 minutes until the edges are brown and the slices are crispy. There is no need to turn them over during cooking
Remove from the oven and try not to eat them all before you serve them with the rest of your meal!
*If you use a silicone mat, you will need to turn the slices over after 20 minutes to get both sides crispy.
I only started making smoothie bowls a few months ago. I would see so many elaborate and stunningly beautiful pictures of them on Instagram and think ‘I don’t have time for that’. I was so in awe of those amazing photos, I thought I’d give them a go. I spend around 10 minutes making them, with 2 toddlers and a tween telling me they’re hungry. If I can do it, you can too!
We love smoothies, but they can be a bit boring. My children love bright colours and food which looks different and fun. You can dress up a smoothie bowl with anything you have in your fridge and pantry. I use a mixture of grains, nuts, seeds and fruit. My kids love a smiley face on top of the brightly coloured base mixture. The trick to the floating face, is to make sure the smoothie is thick. You won’t be drinking it through a straw and you don’t want the toppings to sink! I like to use frozen bananas to make ‘nice cream’, which is nice and thick.
A smoothie bowl is typically topped with nuts, seeds and fruit which provide essential nutrients, vitamins and protein. Some people only use fruit and/or protein powder in the smoothie itself. That doesn’t keep my kids full for long at all. My favourite tummy filling, protein loaded things to add are:
* soaked oats
* cooked quinoa
* cooked buckwheat
* cooked kumera (sweet potato)
* Cannellini Beans
Mix it up a bit and try something different each time. I don’t use plant milk in smoothies, I only use water. This is only because almond milk is expensive. Water works just as well and if I want a creamier consistency, I use avocado.
If you or you children haven’t tired spirulina powder before, just try a little bit first and look out for a tummy upset. It isn’t recommended for children under 1 yr, so please consult a professional before giving it to your baby.
I hope you have as much fun creating these bowls as I do.
This recipe make 4 smoothie bowls. I make individual smoothies in my nutri bullet.
2 cups rolled oats, soaked overnight in 1 cup almond milk
4 tsp spirulina powder
4 heaped tsp ground flaxseed
4 tsp chia seeds
4 tsp sunflower seeds
4 tsp blueberry & apple jam
8 tsp peanut butter
1/4 cup water
Pure maple syrup, optional (I add a tsp to each smoothie to dull the taste of the spirulina powder)
In the blender add: 1/2 cup of the soaked oats, half a banana, 1 tsp of spirulina powder, 1 heaped tsp of flaxseed, 1/4 cup water
Blend until smooth
Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite toppings and enjoy!