food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

What do get when you combine creamy cashew butter, tiny pearls of puffed quinoa and heady, exotic cardamom? The most delicious two-bite biscuit this side of a bakery. Sweetened with date syrup - and containing no grains whatsoever - if you have a food processor you can be eating these in less than 20 minutes. No chilling, no tricky cutting out, no decorating. Bake. Eat. Repeat.What do get when you combine creamy cashew butter, tiny pearls of puffed quinoa and heady, exotic cardamom? The most delicious two-bite biscuit this side of a bakery. Sweetened with date syrup – and containing no grains whatsoever – if you have a food processor you can be eating these in less than 20 minutes. No chilling, no tricky cutting out, no decorating.

Bake. Eat. Repeat.

cardamom-quinoa-cookies-food-to-glowBut before we get to the recipe I just want to mention the upcoming awareness and fundraising campaign by The British Heart Foundation – DECHOX.

If you live in the UK you will have hardly failed to see the powerful “advert” aired by British Heart Foundation (the “heart disease is heartless” one) between your favourite shows about the heartache of early death by heart disease. The one with the father and son at the school has me welling up every time**. And I am not the least bit of an old softie. Old, yes. But not a softie.

For over 50 years BHF have been pioneering research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Their work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need their help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure.

This March do consider joining the DECHOX campaign and “fight for every heartbeat”. It couldn’t be easier. Or actually, maybe it could! You see, the DECHOX campaign is asking chocolate lovers to help raise need funds by giving up what may be their favourite thing in the world, never mind favourite food. 🙂 Just for March, mind.

Last year the theme was “Baking Bad” (see what they did there?). This year’s light-hearted take is, “Chocolate Orange Is The New Black” (with apologies to Netflix).

To help kick-off the campaign I am tempting helping you by offering this utterly divine, but completely chocolate-free, biscuit to help fill that sweet snack gap. And apparently many of us may need such help – 78% of us think about chocolate at least once a day. Does that sounds low to you?

Do you think you could rise to the challenge and get sponsored to give up chocolate? Would healthy, sweet treats help?

Regardless of whether you sign up to give up, do give these tender, nutty and fragrant biscuits a go. And, if you dip one in chocolate, I promise I won’t tell. 🙂

**UPDATE: 4 February 2016 > I’m very happy to say that, with only my second article, I am now a featured blogger on Huffington Post (UK). Here’s a screenshot of front page side panel, with my posts appearing in the Lifestyle section.huffpostshot.jpg I will start doing bespoke blog posts soon, mainly on in-the-news food issues and food politics. If you wish to get notification of my Huff Post posts, click ‘become a fan’ next to my name on any of my articles. Here’s a link to my Huffington Post bio page with ways of getting in touch. If you like something, don’t like something, or have a question or comment, let me know. It looks like you have to be signed up on Facebook to leave a comment though.

Now that I’ve finished tooting my own horn, here’s the recipe!


Cardamom & Quinoa Crunch Cookies

  • Servings: 12-13 biscuits
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These easy, no-fuss cookies are based on my Coffee Cashew biscuits from last summer. Use any nut butter you like for these and, if you can’t easily get the quinoa puffs (here’s how to make your own quinoa puffs but I use Biofair brand), just leave them out. My favourite nut butters are cashew and my sunflower seed butter. I make them up in my Froothie power blender – so much cheaper than buying little pots of it. If you don’t want to make your own, Meridien make 1 kg tubs of some of their nut butters, available at good health food stores, and perhaps places like Costco. Enjoy xx

250g (1 cup) cashew butter or other nut or seed butter (here’s my adaptable recipe for sunflower seed butter)

2 tbsp date syrup OR best maple syrup

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground (green-podded) cardamom

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp almond or other milk

Pinch of salt

6 tbsp puffed quinoa – optional

1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan)/180C/350F. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2. Place everything but the quinoa into a blender or food processor and blitz just until smooth. If you go too far the butter starts turning into oil! Believe me, I’ve done it   – yuck. Use a large, thin-edged spoon to fold 2 tablespoons of quinoa puffs into the mix. Or use a fork.

3. Roll the dough into 12-13 balls, flatten slightly in your hand, then press into the remaining quinoa puffs. Place the biscuits onto the lined tray.cardamom-quinoa-cookies4

4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then leave to cool on a counter-top. The cookies won’t brown, but when you leave them to cool they crisp up like shortbread. Cool completely before keeping under lock and key in a airtight and carefully hidden container. 🙂

**Here is the heart-rending “heart disease is heartless advert” I referred to in the post. This is why the work of the British Heart Foundation is so vital.

28 thoughts on “Cardamom & Quinoa Crunch Cookies Recipe + “DECHOX” for BHF

  1. Yummy! I have been trying to eat less chocolate… it’s hard, but it has to be done!

  2. ladyredspecs says:

    I’m not a big fan of the flavour of quinoa, do you think amaranth puffs would work here

    1. Oh, of course. But honestly you don’t taste the quinoa. It tastes like puffed rice. I have both quinoa and amaranth puffs and to me they taste pretty much the same when puffed. You will perhaps have a finer palate though. 🙂

      1. ladyredspecs says:

        Perhaps I split a batch of dough and try half with each. I’ll let you know. Thanks for the brilliant recipe..

      2. Do! I hope you like them. I don’t think there’s anything not to like – cashew butter, cardamom, a little sweetness?

  3. superfitbabe says:

    I love quinoa, but I rarely have it in puffed form! This is a great way to incorporate it into a delicious but healthy dessert!

    1. Thanks Cassie. 🙂 I add to homemade granola, on top of porridge, in savoury snack miss – it’s pretty versatile.

  4. Sarah says:

    Cardamom is my all-time favourite spice! These cookies sound gorgeous – going to give them a go this weekend.

    1. Sanny says:

      Will definitely give these a whirl. I have used quinoa in a few desserts n gone down well so biccies here we come! 🙂

      1. Yay! I hope you like them. 🙂

    2. Mine too, Sarah! I have a ridiculous number of recipes here with cardamom. 🙂

  5. Maryana says:

    What an unique idea to use quinoa in cookies. Love it!

    1. Thanks so much. These are so easy to just whip up too. 🙂

  6. …oops well I havent spotted the ad yet but if you well up, I have no hope at all…pass the tissues. These bites look amazing, a bit amaretti looking but all good, bravo!

    1. Hi Niki. The advert link is at the end of the post if you want to see it. Also, I have made an update while you were commenting. See just above the recipe for what I mean. 😉 I will see you soon!

    2. I hadn’t thought that, but now that you mention it they do like those little paper-wrapped amarettis.

  7. Such a creative recipe!! I love it!!

    1. Thanks so much. And it’s very very easy to make – which is the best bit!

  8. Susan says:

    Congrats on the Huff Post gig!!! The world need you! <3

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. It is kind of surreal being approached by Huffington Post. I am so under the radar that I keep thinking they will realise they have made a mistake and bin me. I hope not!

  9. mmmmm yum yum, this sounds tasty and so easy to make. i will definitely try!

  10. Riz says:

    These sound delicious! And congratulations for getting featured on the Huffington Post! That’s amazing!!!

  11. Jan says:

    What a great idea and easy to make too!

  12. These look incredible Kellie. Really creative (as are all your recipes) and such a good way to use quinoa too.

  13. These little bites look so lovely. I have puffed quinoa for breakfast sometimes and I rather like it. Love your food styling and photos!

  14. Kavey says:

    I’ve never had quinoa in anything other than savoury salads, so this is a very intriguing idea. They look so cute too!

  15. Sally says:

    Crisps are my downfall – try not to have them in the house. I can live without sweet things quite happily but husband can’t. May have to work on him for this campaign! Delicious recipe – and huge congrats for Huff Post feature. I will subscribe right away.

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