Sunday, January 15, 2012


I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say these are my favorite healthy cookie/granola bar/morning snack treat I've ever made. This recipe has been bookmarked ever since I bought Super Natural Every Day (along with a couple dozen other recipes) and I'm ashamed it took me so long to make it, especially since it's a common coffee shop snack in San Francisco, a city I love beyond words. Although it nearly completely composed of my go-to ingredients for these kind of snacks, I did get to try out something new-extra-virgin coconut oil. Until recently, coconut oil was made out to be a nutritional villain and I'd thus avoided it, but the tide appears to be turning on expert and public opinion so I was willing to try it out. Although it's still an ingredient to be used in moderation, I will most certainly not shy away from the quickly growing library of recipes using coconut oil in the future. Coconut oil adds a tremendous amount of flavor, not just fat, the coconut flavor playing beautifully with maple syrup and nutty whole wheat flour and oats. These are special enough for a dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast or a snack, sure to delight no matter what time of day you enjoy them. They are rugged enough to hold up all day in your purse or backpack, a delightful crusty exterior concealing a moist and flavorful center. Much more delicious than the proverbial carrot-on-a-stick, these provided motivation to make it through the early hours of my work day, and the energy to keep going until lunch. While I've made many recipes that I would be happy to return to when baking up a batch of something delicious for my work week morning snack, this is the only one I've been 100% sure that I will return to many times over.

from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
makes 12 oatcakes

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/4 cup flax seeds
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan.

2. Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut oil, butter, maple syrup, and sugar and slowly melt together. Stir just until the butter melts and sugar has dissolved, but don't let the mixture get too hot. You don't want it to cook the eggs on contact in the next step.

4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture. Stir a bit with a fork, add the eggs, and stir again until everything comes together into a wet dough. Spoon the dough into the muffin cups, nearly filling them.

5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges of each oatcake are deeply golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for a couple minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges of the cakes and tip them out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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