I was enjoying a stint of green breakfast smoothies to celebrate several sunny mornings (spring comes early to East Texas), but it all came to a screeching halt. The arrival of a cold weather front this week had me lugging out various bins of hot cereals—multigrain, buckwheat, quinoa, and my ubiquitous oats– to fill me up and take away the morning chill.
But shall I tell you what I want, what I really really want? Cookies.
I have no problem justifying an occasional oatmeal cookie at breakfast for myself, but I decided to come up with one that I felt equally at ease serving to Nick at the start of the day.
I used flaxseed meal as my inspiration because…I just cleaned out the refrigerator and discovered I had three bags-full. Just like bah bah blacksheep, except these have imminent expiration dates. I crafted an all-flax muffin recipe for my muffins cookbook so I threw caution to the wind and figured out an all-flax, nut butter cookie.
You need to make—and eat—a batch asap.
You have likely heard all about the health benefits of flax, but there’s nothing wrong with a brief recap: they are high Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, vitamins E and B, and essential minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc and selenium. It also happens to rival SNL’s colon blow cereal in the fiber department.
But what about the benefit to the cookies? It’s a far more interesting and delicious area of inquiry. What makes flaxseed meal a welcome variation from flour in these cookies has to do with fat: although the meal has a powdery, flour-like appearance, it is rich in plant oils, all of which translates to a cookie that’s crisp at the edges but gooey-chewy in the middle.
Question: Do you use flax in your cooking/eating? If so, how?
I sprinkle it into hot cereal and add it to homemade granola and smoothies. But I use it most often in homemade breads. I should note that I only use ground flaxseeds (flaxseed meal)—it’s absorbed most easily and is extremely versatile in the kitchen.
- ⅔ cup ground flax seeds (flaxseed meal)
- ½ cup unsweetened natural almond or peanut butter
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup, agave nectar, liquid honey
- ⅓ cup plain almond milk (or plain nondairy or dairy milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the cup of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together ground flax seeds, almond butter, maple syrup, and milk, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Stir in raisins until just combined.
- Evenly divide batter into prepared muffin cups.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or edges are golden brown and tops appear somewhat dry. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.
Storage Tip Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or wrap them in plastic wrap, then foil, completely enclosing them, and freeze for up to 6 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours before serving.