I’ve always thought of myself as having quite a balanced diet, not perfect but pretty healthy on the whole. It’s only been over the last twelve months when meeting international students at my university that I realised that I’d got into a bit of a food rut, and my diet lacked diversity.
I’ve been lucky enough to make one particularly good friend through my course, and she happens to come from Seattle. One of our frequent topics of conversation is British cuisine and also her frustration at the lack, or sheer expense of health-orientated food in the UK. This has spurred me on to try and experiment with, and introduce new flavours and ingredients into my diet, and after a disastrous episode with quinoa (can’t cook grains to save my life!) I’ve recently invested in a bulk purchase of cacao nibs – resulting in my first successful batch of cacao nib and cashew cookies.
Cacao nibs seem to be touted as a chocolate alternative, they do smell delicious however the reality is they have a much bitter taste and are actually quite hard if eaten as sold. I purchased six 100 gram bags by the Suma brand mainly because they are organic, I found a good bulk offer online and I didn’t know how often I’d be using them so smaller bags seemed more sensible.
After searching online I decided to adapt this recipe for flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies. I made the recipe vegan by subbing the eggs and chocolate for a ripe banana instead:
100 grams peanut butter
2 tablespoons of cacao nibs
1 ripe banana
60 grams brown sugar
30 grams cane sugar
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
The recipe made eight large cookies, and these lasted a total of 20 minutes out of the oven before being devoured by myself and my other half. I think for my next batch I’ll try and use cashew butter to complement the cashews on top, as the peanut putter wasn’t quite strong enough and hopefully I can then lessen the sugar. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with cacao nibs!