Almond Cakes “to go” with Quinoa and Cranberry
The Recipe Redux – August, 2014: Bars and Bites for Brown Bags
For many families, the end of August also marks the return of school. Trying to come up with healthy options that are easy to transport, and which the kids will enjoy, can often feel like a daunting task.
These Almond “to-go” Cakes will make for a tasty, healthy addition to any brown bag. Kids love them because they are shaped like cookies, yet are moist and delicious like a cake. Moms love them because they are loaded with whole grains (buckwheat, quinoa and oats). These also make for a wonderful, healthful breakfast treat. I used tri-colored quinoa when I baked these, but any color quinoa will work fine in this recipe.
For extra fun, let the kids make their own designs on top of the cakes with the almonds just before baking. Over lunch they can show off their art work to their friends.
Many recipes for cakes and cookies often call for a stick or more of regular butter. This version replaces butter with mashed pumpkin and olive oil, which really cuts back the total saturated fat.
To make the date paste: soak dates in enough water to cover them for 1-2 hours, then process dates and water until smooth in a food processor.
For delicious recipe variations: fold in 1/2 cup of shredded coconut or 3/4 cup chocolate chips into the mix just before shaping cookies. Dried cherries also taste great in place of the cranberries.
Happy Healthy Baking!
2/3 cup Almond flour
1/2 cup Tapioca flour
1/3 cup Buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum
3/4 cup Pumpkin, mashed
2/3 cup Date paste
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 cup Quinoa, cooked
1 cup Oats, old fashioned, gluten-free
1 cup Cranberries, dried, fruit-sweetened
1/4 cup Almonds, sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt and Xanthan gum.
In a large bowl using an electric mixer on low, whisk together pumpkin, date paste, eggs, and extracts until mixture is light and frothy. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while mixing. Beat in flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. With a spatula, stir in cooked quinoa, oats, and cranberries. Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, spoon portions onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Gently press slice almonds into tops of cookies.
Bake to-go cakes for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies spring back to the touch. Place cakes on cookie rack to cool.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.