I’ve always supported schools teaching children about good food; not just what it is, but how to prepare it too and since my boys have got to an age when they are preparing real meals, I’m even more of an advocate. I get the night off, you see. I do love to cook but when one of them is ‘in charge’ of the meal (please note meal, not kitchen. Learning to appreciate and cook good food has not yet extended itself to clean kitchen appreciation, but everything is bearable after a good meal, so I’m not complaining. Yet.) it leaves me with time to potter. Potter and experiment and later to sample.
Right now, I’m really enjoying messing around with chia seeds. It seems that there is really not much these little nutritional powerhouses can’t do. They make a great egg substitute and as they even help to cut down the fat needed in recipes, I thought today I’d have a go at replacing the fat completely using a combination of chia seeds and banana. Now, I’d better be honest here and admit that I was really trying to make a vegan shortbread type biscuit using up the massive glut of bananas I seem to have accumulated over the last few days. (How? It’s like they have been reproducing in the fruit bowl) I obviously didn’t achieve that texture, but looking back, it was obvious from the moment I decided to use up the bananas that a different texture was going to be on the cards. But all the best cookery discoveries happen by accident and I can safely say that this one will make it into my repertoire again and again. Unbelievably quick to make with enough of a chocolate hit to satisfy even me and low in fat, almost a guilt free mid afternoon pick me up then. Almost. They are still cake.
Chocolate Chia Cake Bites Recipe
Makes 20 (or thereabouts, depending on whether you cut them into longer ‘fingers’ or squares:
1 tbsp milled/ ground chia seeds soaked for at least ten minutes in 3 tbsps hot water
125g mashed bananas (2 smaller ones)
60g brown sugar
200g self raising flour, with 2 tbsp taken out and replaced with 100% cocoa powder
Optional caster sugar to sprinkle on top (about 2 tsps)
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Mash the bananas and whisk in the brown sugar and chia seeds with their soaking liquid, which should be quite gloppy by now.
Knead in the flour, adding slightly more of you think necessary or slightly less.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out until it is around 1.5 cms thick.
Cut into the size biscuits you want and prick them all over. Sprinkle the extra sugar over if using and place in the preheated oven and bake for around 12 minutes.
When they are springy to the touch and slightly risen, take out and cool on a wire rack. Then put the kettle on.