Saturday, 29 September 2012

Quinoa & Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Quinoa is an excellent addition to a vegetarian diet.  This grain provides indispensible amino acids (simple form of proteins) similar to those found in meat.  Most plant foods do not contain the full sequence of essential amino acids and hence why it is recommended to eat a variety of vegetables, fruit and grains.  For example, pairing of sweet corn and tomato or apple and coconut improve the amino acid intake for that particular meal.

To reap the benefits of all that Mother Nature has to offer, eat a variety of fruit, vegetables and grains.  This ensures that your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and the different variety of essential amino acids found in plant foods.

Quinoa is superior in that it does contain the full complement of essential amino acids.  Although the amino acid composition is influenced by both environmental and climatic factors, it is still a good source of protein. 

Another reason to love quinoa is that it is naturally gluten and wheat free.  It can be used very much like rice for stuffing vegetables or in salads to add a wonderful nutty texture.

Add it in small amounts to baking and your cakes and biscuits will still retain its silky texture. 

To tackle your baking dilemmas and add a bit of spark in your kitchen, bake cookies with quinoa for the child on a wheat or gluten free diet.  I was so excited to discover a recipe for quinoa cookies in a magazine that I knew that I just had to try it after adjusting for eggs and soy of course.

Purple Tip: If you need to exclude milk as well as egg, wheat, gluten and soy, then use dark chocolate chips only.

These cookies also need to eaten straight away.  Unlike milk, egg, wheat & soy free cakes, biscuits don't appear to hold their shape for over a day.

Quinoa & Chocolate Chip Cookies


60g quinoa
60g coarse polenta 
100g rice flour
125g soft brown sugar
3/4 tsp wheat & gluten free baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
85ml olive oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp egg replacer
50g dark chocolate pieces
50g milk chocolate with hazlenut pieces


  1. In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  2. Measure the oil in a jug, vanilla essence add egg replacer and 3 tablespoons of water.  Mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, mix and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  On a baking tray, add 1 tablespoon of the mixture for each cookie.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool and then enjoy a biscuit, over a cup of tea.