You can eat this mid-winter veggie treat guilt free
The mercury is dropping in NYC and snow has hit London. But you can comfort yourself without filling up on junk
It might be chilly in London and New York, but if you want to experience a truly bleak midwinter, you should probably look further north. Today, in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the sun didn’t rise until just after 10:30am and it set just six or so hours later at 4:45pm. The outside temperature didn’t budge above minus two degrees Celsius (28.4 Fahrenheit).
Under such conditions, you’d be forgiven for staying in, wrapping up warm, and comforting yourself with some less-than-healthy comfort food.
However, the Icelandic chef, and restaurateur Solla Eiríksdóttir knows a better way to beat the winter blues. She founded the country’s first vegetarian restaurant, she’s the author of Raw: Recipes for a Modern Vegetarian Lifestyle, and she knows how to brighten up the dark days of the year, without filling up on junk.
“In the darkest period of winter, many people feel like sleeping longer and crave comforting warm foods,” she writes. “Skiing is a popular pastime but we also spend a lot of time inside our warm houses. We love to bake a healthier version of Chocolate Cookies.”
Solla’s recipe includes a little coconut oil, coconut palm sugar and chocolate, but it also works in gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, and a few red chili flakes, for added kick.
The recipe is pretty simple, and only takes around 20 minutes to prepare, but the cookies are still tasty, comforting and pretty good for you. In fact, Solla likes to give them as gifts, to brighten up other people’s winters. Here's how you make them.
2 cups (8 oz/225 g) gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup (8 oz/225 g) coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
3–4 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
¼ teaspoon red pepper (chili) flakes
1 cup (6 oz/175 g) coarsely chopped semisweet (plain) chocolate
Preheat the oven to 345°F/175°C/Gas Mark 3–4. Line a baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper.
Put the oats into a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate, and mix together. Add the chocolate and combine.
Using a tablespoon, place spoonfuls of the cookie dough on the prepared baking sheet, making sure that they are 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart, because they will spread during baking.
Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack—well, they might get finished before they are completely cold.
For other seasonal, healthy dishes, order a copy of Raw: Recipes for a Modern Vegetarian Lifestyle here.