My husband is partial to eating chocolate Hobnobs for breakfast. Not daily but every so often I see him surreptitiously slipping a couple in as he goes off to work. Over the years I’ve tried various ploys to discourage his ingestion of these refined-sugar laden, bad-fat filled biscuits but alas they haven’t worked. I feel I’ve failed a little as a nutritionist.
So rather than fighting it I’ve decided to embrace it. I’ve taken on the challenge of making a much healthier alternative that will give him that fix of crunchy, chocolate dipped tastiness but with a much healthier nutrient profile.
The joy of these biscuits, as I found when trialling the recipe, is that they are perfect for little people too (I push the chocolate-free version their way). My little boy could not keep his mitts off them! Not only are they easy to make (especially if you skip the chocolate dipping bit) but also hugely versatile, great as a snack or a dessert.
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup of butter, softened
Makes approximately 14 biscuits
▪ 100g dark, fair trade chocolate (70% coco solids). This will be enough to coat half of the biscuits in this batch.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add the ground almonds, oats, coconut, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add the maple syrup and butter to this dry mixture and combine. Mix with a spoon or your hands. You want to end up with a slightly crumbly consistency that sticks together when pressed.
- Form into golf-sized balls and place on the tray. Then pressed them down with a fork to flatten.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. They should be golden in colour. Cool in the tray for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack and leave until completely cool.
- If you’re adding the chocolate (I tend to add it to half of the biscuits) then place a bowl over a small saucepan, which contains a little water in the bottom. The bowl should not touch the water in the pan. Break up the chocolate and add to the bowl. Heat the pan so the water gently simmers and let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally.
- Once the chocolate has completely melted gently take the bowl off the saucepan. Leave to cool for a minute. Take one of your biscuits and tip the top half into the melted chocolate, then place on a plate lined with parchment. Continue with the rest of the biscuits. To get a thicker covering, dip the slightly cooled biscuits again in the chocolate. Then place in the fridge to cool and set. Store in the fridge in a tupperware. Chocolate-less biscuits can simply be stored in a cupboard.
Why a better biscuit?
- They contain no trans fats. This is good because processed trans fats are the worst type of fat you can eat. Our body cannot recognise this type of fat and fails to break it down properly. Adding to this these fats also inhibit us from absorbing other important essential fatty acids (such as omega 3). These good fats are vital in helping to keep our heart healthy, support our immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s no wonder trans fats are consistently linked with increasing the risk of coronary heart disease! The less we have of these in our diet the better.
- They have no refined sugar. Thankfully the health risks of eating refined/processed sugar are now coming much more into the lime light. High in calories with no important nutrients, refined sugar actually drains nutrients from your body as they use vitamins and minerals when metabolised. They also disrupt energy, increase fat storage and over the long term increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes!
- There are no mysterious preservatives or additives. The problem with these is that we don’t actually know the true danger many of the commonly used food additives or preservatives pose, both individually or when they are combined together in one product. What we do know is that some are linked to asthma and allergic reactions, nausea, diarrhoea, ADHD and hyperactivity.
- They are full of vitamins, minerals. protein and healthy fats. Yep, the ingredients in these biscuits contain a wide range of important nutrients that help our body to thrive. They support energy, immune function, strong muscles and good brain function.
All in all I’m pretty pleased with these. They go down a treat with everyone and provide a very good reason to stop buying chemical filled biscuits. So for all those trying to sway loved ones into healthy eating, start with these little wonders.