|Flax flowers from Ranchita Vida's Flickr collection|
Always looking for healthy, homemade snacks, one of the recipes caught my attention: multi-seed cakes made from a blend of seeds mixed with oats, honey and oil, then baked into clusters. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry so I gave the recipe a try. The mixture didn't stick together — it was like trying to form cookies using damp granola — so I was apprehensive. Will these hold together? But almost miraculously, something happened during baking and cooling that turned the loose blobs into self-supporting cookie-like objects. (What exactly is happening to hold everything together? There is no egg, no water, nothing binder-like.)
Since making the recipe a few times, I've learned that it's essential to let the cakes fully cool on the baking sheet before trying to remove them — they firm up as they cool, turning from mush to crispy cakes.
|Sunflower by Anselmus de Boodt|
The seed and oat cakes are becoming one of my favorite snack foods. They are healthy, delicious (crunchy, toasty, just a little bit sweet), almost of the ingredients can be bought in bulk (thus reducing packaging waste), and are proving to be highly adaptable. The last time I made them I was short on some of the seeds, so I swapped in peanuts and finely shredded coconut with great results. Now I'm adding a few tablespoons of coconut to each batch.
I like to use a scale when baking, so my key contribution to the recipe's evolution 'in the wild' is to add weights for each ingredient so that making the mixture can be a "pour and tare" operation.
Recipe: Seed and Oat Cakes
Adapted from San Francisco Chronicle's Seed and Oat Cluster recipe (which uses the Super Seed Raw Blend)
50 g shelled pumpkin seeds / pepitas (4.5 T)
60 g sunflower seeds (4.5 T)
20 g chia seeds (2 T)
25 g flax seeds (2.5 T)
25 g sesame seeds (2.5 T)
100 g rolled oats (1 cup)
1/2 t kosher salt (2 g / 2.5 mL)
25 g oil
84 g honey
Optional: 3/4 cup dried fruit (175 mL)
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Prepare a baking sheet with a non-stick liner like Silpat or parchment paper.
Stir the seeds, oats, salt, honey and oil together (plus dried fruit), being sure to fully coat oats with the oil and honey. Spoon onto the lined baking sheet, about 2 tablespoons each. Push loose seeds and oats into the blobs, then press lightly to hold together. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
- Photo of Flax flowersfrom Ranchita Vida's Flickr collection, subject to a Creative Commons License
- Photo of Sunflower by Anselmus de Boodt (ca. 1600) from Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Random link from the archive: Choc-ing the Rubicon