Wednesday 19 December 2018

Food blogger Finn Ní Fhaoláin's Maple Pecan Protein Cookies

With Coeliac Awareness Week fast approaching, Finn Ní Fhaoláin shares some of her favourite snacks

Maple Pecan Protein Cookies
Maple Pecan Protein Cookies

This Monday, May 14, sees the start of Coeliac Awareness Week 2018. Coeliac disease affects an estimated 47,500 people in Ireland. The auto-immune disease prevents sufferers from digesting the protein gluten.

This year, national charity The Coeliac Society of Ireland aims to raise awareness of the impact of the disease on families. If a first-degree relative of yours is coeliac, then there's a one in 10 chance you also have the disease. If undiagnosed, it can lead to serious health problems, and so the Society urges everyone who thinks they may be coeliac to go to their GP for testing.

For those who have already been diagnosed, it means carefully following a diet void of wheat, barley and rye. However, that doesn't mean that you have to lose out on taste and variation, according to cook, food blogger and avid surfer Finn Ní Fhaoláin.

Here Finn, who is herself coeliac, shares three of her favourite gluten-free recipes. "They're perfect for busy folk who want handy, gluten-free snacks for work, school or college or a quick, but delicious lunch," she says. "Remember to check that all packaged products are gluten free. Sometimes a naturally gluten-free product can become contaminated during production."

I was recently on a trip to Australia and everywhere I went, especially in Byron Bay, all I could see was banana bread! Since so much of it wasn't gluten free I wanted to put my own spin on it that was not only gluten free, but also vegan (also covering dairy- and egg-free folks as well). This is a great snack on the go or a sweet little breakfast, spread with some almond butter and washed down with an iced coffee.

Maple Pecan Protein Cookies

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Maple Pecan Protein Cookies
 

I came up with this recipe a few months back, determined to phase out the bold Christmas treats and get a bit more protein in. They are of course a treat, but with less than a teaspoon of sugar per cookie, they're a perfect pick-me-up instead of that muffin when it comes to our 11am coffee break.

Makes 12 cookies or 20 mini cookies

Gluten-free, dairy-free option

Ingredients

1½ cups gluten-free oats

½ cup corn flour

¼ cup gluten-free brown rice protein

¼ cup ground almonds

½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

7 tbsp butter or coconut oil

1 free range egg

3 Qtr cup chopped pecans

12 whole pecans for the top of the cookies (optional)

½ cup maple syrup

Method

1. Set the oven to 180˚C, for fan assisted ovens about 170˚C, even a little lower. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Add the oats, corn flour, rice protein, ground almonds and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and stir.

3. Melt your butter (or coconut oil) in the microwave - I do 20 seconds at a time so it's just melted but not cooking.

4. In a small bowl whisk up the egg.

5. Add the butter (or oil), maple syrup and half the egg mix to the dry mix and stir to make cookie dough.

6. Stir the chopped pecans into the cookie dough. Shape the cooking using your hands or a spoon and pop them on the tray. If you like, press a whole pecan into the top of each cookie.

7. Brush the remaining egg mix onto each cookie - this gives them a lovely colour and also stops the pecans from burning.

8. These little guys stay good for quite a few days in an airtight container, but trust me, they won't be there that long!

Irish Independent

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