Sunday, May 5, 2013

Energy-packed pumpkin cookies - vegan and gluten free

Left to my own devices, I rarely buy pumpkin. This isn't really deliberate, as I like pumpkin and enjoy it plain and mixed into dishes. Rather, it reflects a certain amount of laziness on my part at the time of purchasing (pumpkin is heavy) and when thinking about preparing it (because, you know, it takes a good minute or two to peel and cut up).

Luckily for me, I'm not left to my own devices with vegetable buying these days. Aussie Farmer's Direct have provided me with two pumpkins over my previous three deliveries (six weeks), pulling me out of my pumpkin avoidance and highlighting that, actually, pumpkin is really very easy to prepare and very versatile to use.

Protein-packed pumpkin cookies

These cookies were made without reference to a recipe, and perhaps as a result, they are a bit of a hybrid product. Cookie-muffin-scones might be a better description. In effect, they look like cookies with a twist of scone, but the interior is soft and more like a muffin in texture. If you can forgive that - or embrace it! - then they are really very enjoyable.

I used incaberries in my ingredient list, making use of the sample I was provided, but you could substitute tart dried cherries, or jump across and use chocolate chips instead. Or use both. Should you be fortunate enough to have access to all three, you could even use incaberries, tart dried cherries, and chocolate chips.


When made with the ingredient list below, two of these cookies will give you 7g of protein and 9g of heart-healthy, good for you fats. This is a snack with staying power.

Energy-packed pumpkin cookies.

Importantly, these cookies are also a snack that taste good. The peanut butter and sesame seeds shine through, the tartness of the incaberries is offset by the sweetness of the pumpkin, and the maple syrup and nutmeg pull it all together.

I don't plan to neglect pumpkin again in a hurry.

Energy-packed pumpkin cookies
Makes about 16 cookies
Adapted from my imagination
Vegan and gluten free


Ingredients
1 cup quinoa flakes (you could use oats but the texture would be heavier)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin (equivalent to 1 medium butternut pumpkin)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup incaberries
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup sunflower seeds


Method
Preheat your oven to 160'C (320'F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the quinoa flakes, baking soda and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, peanut butter and apple cider vinegar and mix well to combine.

Stir in the incaberries, currants and sunflower seeds.

Place heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays, leaving space between each cookie.

Bake for 30 minutes or until just crisp on the outside (the cookies will still be soft). Allow to cool on the pans. Store in the fridge.


I think these cookies could rise to pretty much any occasion, regardless of time or location. I also think they would work quite well with sweet potato...anyone want to try that twist and let me know?

Tell me - what are your favourite uses for pumpkin? I have another one waiting to be used!

Submitted to Ricki's Wellness Weekend 9th to 13th May 2013.

32 comments:

  1. I have a pumpkin in the fridge right now that I was debating what to do with..... i agree that cutting and peeling them is just on the way too hard list!
    And.... i was going to cook tonight - so this it is! :-) They sound so tasty! :-)

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    1. Glad I could time this so well! I hope you enjoy them if you did decide to make them :-)

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    2. I sure did try them!!! I love them heaps - so moist! I'm not a huge pumpkin fan - but I love pumpkin when its turned into something sweet. The only trade I did was use flax seeds in place of the peanut butter! :-) Great recipes! :-)

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    3. Oh, yay! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know :) I'm so glad you enjoyed them and flax seeds are a great swap.

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  2. I know what you mean about feeling lazy about pumpkin - I do too - often I buy pumpkin and it sits for ages - if you can get organised, I find the best way to use it is to roast it in small chunks and have those in the fridge to put into dishes - it works in so many. I made lasagna with about half a pumpkin and then put most of the remainder into soup this week - still have a little chunk to go. I have tried pumpkin in biscuits and find it can make them rather soft and cakey.

    I love my pumpkin tea bread and pumpkin scones better than any pumpkin biscuits I've tried - but I quite like the sound of these http://www.eatmedelicious.com/2011/11/pumpkin-ginger-molasses-cookies.html. Can also recommend pumpkin damper, pumpkin and choc bread pudding, pumpkin miso muffins. I could go on and on but I wont. I also love savoury pumpkin recipes such as soup and risotto. Oh and I love the sound of your biscuits - the ingredients list reads like a few of your favourite things!

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    1. You are a positive guru of pumpkin recipes! I do remember your pumpkin scones and they have been on my To Try list for ages, so I should move them up the list and get to them while pumpkin is in supply. You are right about this ingredient list too - it is a bit like my favourite things all thrown together!

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  3. (ooohhh something odd happening with my comments, if you have 3 incomplete ones now- sincere apologies.)

    They look lovely :-)

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    1. So sorry about the comments issue! No problem from what I got, so the inconvenience was all yours :S Thanks for persevering xo

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  4. Yay another use for quinoa flakes!! They look great, will definitely give these a go, maybe using cranberries

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    1. Cranberries would work very well! And yes - quinoa flakes turn up in all sorts of things in my kitchen ;)

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  5. I think the worse about pumpkins and other squashes is that I usually have to plan a few meals around them since they are so big. I love them in curries and soups, mostly... although roasted kabocha + avocado + cucumber makes for a very delicious sandwich. Your cookies look awesome, though.. the kJ through me for a loop. Do you use that in Aussie instead of calories?

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    1. Yes, the big pumpkins need to be put to several causes! Curries are a great idea - I don't do that enough with pumpkin.

      I always forget that kJ are foreign to North Americans ;) They are the official unit here in Australia (as they're the metric version of calories; 1 calorie = 4.2 kJ) but to be honest, calories are probably more what I think of when I think of anything. The program I used to get the nutritional information is an Australian / New Zealand program so kilojoules are just what it spits out.

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  6. I always forget to buy pumpkin as well but love it in baked goods! this looks great!

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  7. Jump across.... what?

    I like that these involve peanut butter. That means I'd be allowed to sandwich them together with more peanut butter.

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    1. I think of tart dried fruit and chocolate chips as in different categories...so, you know, jump from one thing to another thing. It's possible it makes sense to no one but me :P

      Sandwiched together with peanut butter - that makes sense with no clarification required.

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  8. I love pumpkin. Love it so much that I massively stock up on it during the fall season when it is really popular. I still have 4 unopened bags of pumpkin spice coffee to get me through the summer. :-)

    Have you tried pumpkin mac n cheese? It is to die for!

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    1. Pumpkin spice coffee sounds divine! I'm afraid, though, that macaroni and cheese and I do not get on. Adding pumpkin wouldn't help, and I fear would turn me off pumpkin! It's just one of those dishes I can.not.stand.

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  9. Ohh, I've never thought of putting peanut butter with pumpkin, but yum. A few years ago I discovered that you can eat the peel on most pumpkins if they're cooked reasonably well. I gave up on peeling, especially butternuts and especially when I'm blending to include in baked goods. I've been much less daunted by pumpkins ever since!

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    1. That would make a huge difference to my pumpkin relationship! What a great idea.

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  10. These look like the healthiest cookies I've ever seen! I believe I would feel very virtuous just eating them!

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    1. I certainly did :) I mean - vegetables in cookie form!

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  11. These look delicious! I love to put pumpkin in things, especially cookies and cakes!

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    1. I'm new to the concept but I do love it now :)

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  12. I love that these don't use flour! And the flavour sounds awesome, pumpkin is one of my favs. A small part of my almost wants to bypass our summer here so we can get to fall and I can justify pumpkin again!

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    1. I'm sure it will come around soon enough Gabby! But yes, these do work surprisingly well for something with no grains in them.

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  13. These look amazing! I love pumpkin but its never really in season where I live, so its only really on sale around Halloween. Wish I could make these though!

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    1. Do you have tinned pumpkin? It probably wouldn't be quite the same, but it might stand in and be better than nothing :)

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  14. I don't buy pumpkin often either, but when I do, it's usually the canned version! Haha. I love that you guys are going into the winter months over there (especially considering that it's pretty much always summer here). I also love your use of peanut butter with the pumpkin....you know how I love peanut butter. ♥

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    1. Our temperatures are still pretty warm in truth, but it is great to be getting some different produce :) Peanut butter is definitely a winner with this (but as you say, it is with most things)!

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  15. I looooovvveee pumpkin baked goods and these energy bites sound like the perfect post-run snack!

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