Thursday, August 29, 2019

Garlicky Maple Walnut Vegan Cookies



So, summer is almost over.  I have hardly used my solar oven because of gardening, writing, what-have-you.  

I love the idea of the Sun Oven: not heating up the house, not having an electric bill that includes cooking (or other things like dehydrating or baking), and just being outside in my backyard a little more often than I have been.  

So, today, another warm day with a blue sky and direct sunlight, seemed like the time to do some sun oven baking of this intriguing garlic cookie recipe.  I have browsed the internet and considered various garlic cookie recipes, but none of them really appealed to me.  Then I thought of the super healthy Maple Walnut cookies that Dr. Neil Nedley recommended in the cookbook that went with his Depression-- The Way Out program that my husband and I helped to facilitate in our community a few years ago.

WALNUTS-- THE BRAIN NUT


  The walnuts and flaxseed in the vegan cookies are high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats and fibre.   In  a study looking at Metabolic syndrome, now a large threat in China, requiring lifestyle counseling and nutritional intervention. The group assigned to eat a substitute bread containing walnuts and flax seed lost weight, although the nuts and seeds were fairly high in calories and one would think that weight gain would result.  Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that include mid-body obesity, high readings of cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure and hyperglycemia.  These symptoms speak of an increased risk for  heart disease and Type II diabetes.  So, this Chinese study would appear to validate what we learned about walnuts and flax seed in the Depression-- the Way Out program with the video lectures by Dr. Nedley.  He referred to walnuts as "the brain" nut.  It even looks like a brain when you crack it open.


Walnut courtesy of Ulrike Leone from Pixabay





INSTRUCTIONS FOR BAKING THESE COOKIES in BOTH YOUR REGULAR OVEN AND WITH THE AMAZING SUN OVEN

  So, here is the recipe for both regular ovens in your home, and for the Sun Oven, solar wonder that I carry out and set up in my back yard when I want to cook without heating up my house or running up an unnecessary electric bill in the summer (I also hang my laundry out when the sun shines on our We(s)t Coast home.


  1. Crank the regular oven up to 350F/175C or 
  2. Set up the Sun Oven pointing in the direction of the sun, and adjust every half hour.  Start the wait for the 90 minutes of heating in the sun so the thermometer on the Sun Oven reads 350F/175C.  (Adjust the oven to have the sun coming in directly.  This recipe is not too wet so I had no problem with condensation-- should the glass on the Sun Oven mist up, just wipe it off.  WARNING: Always wear oven mitts when doing anything regarding the innards of the Sun Oven-- like putting the food in there or taking it out)

INGREDIENTS:  
Process 2 1/2 C. of Walnut pieces into a fine crumble in a food processor.
Combine the following with the walnuts above, and mix well:
1/3 C. Flaxseed Meal (I grind my own fresh in a coffee bean grinder)
2/3 C. Wholewheat Pastry Flour
1    tsp. Salt (I skipped the salt, and you could use "to taste" or "a pinch" as you desire)
1/2 C.   Maple Syrup
3+        Cloves of Garlic, chopped (Reserve a little of the shreds for topping the cookies)
2 tsp.    Vanilla Essence/Extract (optional)

1/2 C.   Chocolate Chips (I use the Mini-Chips that are vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Have food processor and measured ingredients ready to go.  DO NOT PUT Chocolate chips in the food processor.  Put all other ingredients in the food processor
  2. After mixing the above ingredients together well,  mix in the chocolate chips if using.  
  3. Place 12 same size balls of dough on a parchment-covered cookie sheet (parchment means you don't need to use grease on the sheet), and press the cookies down. (You can put the cookies for the Sun Oven right on parchment paper on the shelves for the oven and carry the shelves out to the oven-- no pan or lid required.)
  4.  For the Regular Oven: Put in to bake for approximately 10 minutes (depending on your stove temperature-- they vary! Check frequently to make sure they are not scorching or burning-- yeah, they are rather labour-intense-- but sooo worth it!  Cool on a rack.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
  5.  Put it in the Sun Oven for about 20 - 30 minutes at a temp that might fluctuate between 300F and 350F-- if the temperature is hotter than that, bake for about 10 minutes as in the oven recipe.) The cookies tend to look NOT done because they don't brown as much in the sun oven, but they are best removed a little early since they harden up as they cool (the Maple Syrup?) Cool on a rack in the pan (what I do).  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
Here is a sort of goofy photo of the cookies in the Sun Oven: (gives you an idea of all the reflection that goes on with the sun to bake these cookies)

Another Garlicky Recipe celebrating the diversity of the Stinking Rose!

Find more Garlicky Vegan Recipes here:



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