Category Archives: foodie post

Keeping it cool

Here in Poland the weather for the last couple of weeks had a lot to do with mood swings. One day it could be 26°C and the next one it could drop to just 18°C. I really don’t mind this kind of weather. Hot days exhaust me easily so I really don’t mind a cooler day intermission. As far as I can see from your comments or emails many of you suffer from heatwaves, so I thought I will share with you a simple recipe for a drink that should refresh you instantly.

tea

Saying that you should fight fire with fire didn’t come out of nowhere. This rule also applies to this drink because you’re meant to drink it hot. Ingredients you’ll need include a little cinnamon stick, a slice of lemon and a bunch of fresh mint leaves. All you have to do is to put them all together in your favorite mug (or a pot, if you want to make more) and then pour hot water over them. Let it sit for a few minutes. Voila! Enjoy.

My mom prepared me a drink like that last Saturday and it turns out that its pretty similar to a local specialty they tried during their trip to Israel last month. The only thing that my mom skipped was honey which in original recipe was being added at the very end. But of course you could add it as well. I liked it without as I think the addition of honey flavour would be too much. In my opinion freshness of mint, juiciness of lemon and gently tingling spiciess of cinnamon are really well-balanced here. I hope this little tip will help you to cope with high temperatures. If you have other tips like this, do tell! May temperatures be ever in your favor!

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Crunchy oat bran cookies

Sometimes you really want to eat something sweet. Then you grab a bunch of gummy bears, candies or cookies. At first everything is fine but in many cases the feeling of guilt will appear sooner or later. We all want to look good and feel good, don’t we? What if there were cookies that are healthy, full of vitamins and minerals, with almost no sugar or fat? Couple of months ago I would say that such thing is impossible to achieve – but I was terribly wrong. As I was dieting (and still am) my family wanted to support my hard work and Mum found a recipe for crunchy oat bran cookies.

This recipe is fast and very easy to make and what is more important – you don’t need to be a great cook to make these! Shall we get started? Lets get all the ingredients first.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams of mix nuts
  • 100 grams of dried fruit
  • 100 grams of various seeds
  • 100 grams of oat bran
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons of liquid honey

Time to get to work. Take your favourite nuts: peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew (I suggest taking 2-3 different kinds) and chop them into fine pieces. For the cookies I baked I used dried cranberries and raisins but you’re free to replace them with dried figs, dates, apricots, apples, candied pineapple or mango are less welcome (sugar!). Smaller fruit such as the ones that I used don’t require making them smaller but if you decide to choose a different dried fruit which is bigger, you’ll have to make it into smaller pieces. In the recipe you’ll need 100 grams of various seeds. By seeds I mean sesame, sunflower seeds, linseed, pumpkin seeds. The key ingredient for the oat bran cookies is… obviously… oat bran. Once you chopped the nuts and bigger dried fruits, put them into a bigger bowl together with seeds and oat bran. Give everything a nice stir so that the elements mix thoroughly.

Now we’ll do the moist ingredients. Take 3 egg whites and put them in a bowl or a shaker, add 4 tablespoons of honey and whip them together. The point here is not to turn the whites into a “stiff foam” – you just want to blend them with honey and introduce some air into the mixture so that the bubbles are created (see the picture). Now you combine dry ingredients with the moist ingredients and gently mix them. Nuts, fruits, seeds and oat bran must be all covered with mashed egg whites and honey. The latter one serves as the “glue” for the cookies. Once you have done that, take the plate from the oven, cover it with a baking paper and turn the oven heating on 180°C (356 F). With a table-spoon gather a portion of the cookie mass and with your hand form a flat round pieces. You should squeeze it in your hands so that it gains “density” and doesn’t fall apart after baking. From my portion of dough I was able to prepare 15 quite big cookies.

Is your oven hot now? Good! Put the cookies into it and let them bake (it’s best to use an up-down heating mode). The suggested baking time is 15-20 minutes but every now and then you should have a look at them and evaluate if they still need a couple more minutes or not. When they start turning golden-brown, it means they’re ready and you can take them out. Wait! They need to cool down first! [10 minutes later] Now you can taste them. Are they good? I bet they are. That was fast and easy, wasn’t it? You just made some great cookies without much effort. And unlike the cookies from the sweets alley in a supermarket, they’re healthy, packed with minerals, vitamins. And don’t forget that 4 tablespoons of honey is the only sugar they have. Fructose in honey is beneficial for our bodies.

Nuts add a great crunch to these cookies while dried fruit add a little bit of sweetness which is just lovely when you suddenly feel like eating something sweet. This alternative is much better that shop-bought cookies because you’ve done them on your own (you’re right to feel proud!) and you know exactly whats inside of them. Thank you for cooking the crunchy oat bran cookies with me. Hope that you enjoyed following the recipe step by step. Are you going to try making them?

Hope you have a yumtastic weekend!

[note] all pictures: my own, all rights reserved.

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