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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

IMBB #19: Strawberry and Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

The latest Is My Blog Burning challenge is to trick someone into eating something vegan.

I admit it. The word 'vegan' is usefully enough inducement to emit a Mr Burns-like shudder of envisioned displeasure. Don't get me wrong. I love my vegetables. But when the word vegan is placed in front of something on the menu/blackboard/chocolate bar, it's usually a big fat warning sign to my terrified tastebuds.

But I'm always up for a challenge and this recipe sounded interesting; mashed banana and apple sauce to take the place of butter. I also amended the original recipe to incorporate strawberries and a handful of dried apples as well.

Strawberry and Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Based on a recipe from recipe*zaar

1 1/2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup apple sauce*
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried strawberries, diced
1/4 cup dried apples, diced
3/4 cup rolled oats

Combine bananas, apple sauce, vanilla and brown sugar.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake at 180C / 350F for 20-30 minutes.

*I used a can of apple puree baby food. I always have these handy as they're the perfect size for a couple of roast pork sandwiches, you don't have to worry about leftovers growing mould, and you know they're free of excess sugar.

An integral part of this challenge was to trick someone into actually, ahem, enjoying them--which only goes to show the negative stereotastes vegan cuisine must constantly endure.

So I handed these out oh-so-casually to guage reactions. A few people cottoned on immediately that there was a unique binding agent involved. The problem with these cookies is the banana sheen looks like caramel when a first bite will indicate this is more akin to a chewy fruit cluster.

I was infinitely pleased then, when a notoriously picky eater declared them "beaut". And when I mischievously revealed that these were in fact vegan, there was a shrug of the shoulders as they leant in to grab another one.

Mission accomplished! And not an animal harmed, maimed or milked in the making of this production.

Check out the wrap-up by Sam coming soon to Becks&Posh. Or get with the program and utilise the marvels of Technorati tagging as below.

Technorati tagged with: +
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 9/27/2005 11:59:00 pm


  • At 9/28/2005 1:04 am, Blogger Sam said…

    ooh! they look very good indeed. I don't think I have ever had a strawberry in a cookie before. What a brilliant idea.If it was me, personally, I would double the strawberries and omit the raisins - but, you know, I just have a personal inexplicable vendetta against raisins, nothing serious. Thanks for taking part, Augustus, despite your initial, anti-vegan qualms about doing so!


  • At 9/28/2005 9:36 am, Blogger Niki said…

    I commend your intent and scientific pursuit of research, I really do! But, being completely and totally honest....if I saw these for sale in a cafe, I'm just not sure I'd buy one - even without a 'Vegan biscuit!' sign. They just look a bit....earnest. ;-)
    Vegan choc fudge cake - yes! Vegan grainy fruit biscuits, I dunno. Guess I'd have to taste one, eh?!

  • At 9/28/2005 10:19 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Congrats AG. I think these look smashing! I might use this recipe to get rid of some of my leftover rolled oats (now that it's too hot to have porridge for breakfast)!

  • At 9/28/2005 10:28 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Hi AG. They look delicious. Never used dried strawberries before. Are they sweet or tart and are they easy to come by?

  • At 9/28/2005 12:26 pm, Blogger Nic said…

    Interesting inclusion of the strawberries. And fat free!

  • At 9/28/2005 9:21 pm, Blogger boo_licious said…

    They look very healthy and the addition of the strawberries is a great idea.

  • At 9/29/2005 12:26 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Sam - I'm not a big fan of raw raisins, but they taste great in baked goods (raisin oatmeal cookies, Rich Tea, bread & butter pudding...).

    It was a bewildering challenge at first, but like most things, not that hard once you started. I sure do have a greater appreciation of the chemical properties of butter and eggs though!

    Hi Niki - I think I'd be more frightened of vegan choc fudge cake actually. If it's not fudgy from butter and eggs, then exactly how many tofu products are in it then? =)

    They tasted more like fruit chews actually. I probably wouldn't bake these again in a hurry but hey, I know what to pack for the next vegan retreat eh?

    Hi Kelly - Thanks. Looks can be deceiving! They were a little too soft and chewy for my liking. Plenty of uses for rolled oats... oatmeal and raisin cookies, Anzac biscuits, muesli slices...

    ps. I didn't think you guys had a winter! =P

    Hi Veruca Salt - Howdy! =) I found the dried straws in the cake aisle with the dried fruits and nuts. They actually had added sugar so they were quite sweet (much like dried paw paw). Available at your local large-ish supermarket!

    Hi Nic - The original recipe called for cranberries and I have these strawbs in the cupboard. Instant brain wave.

    And yes, they are fat free. Lots of sugar though!

    Hi boo licious - Thanks. I'm sure you could make these with any dried fruit you like.

  • At 9/29/2005 3:10 am, Blogger Nic said…

    AG - I will never say no to sugar. =)

  • At 9/29/2005 10:18 am, Blogger deborah said…

    Great job AG - I think they look great, and I would also try them over a vegan chocolate creation - carob makes me barf! Prefer things closer to the mark - and I think fruit over tofu substitutes MUCH better!

  • At 9/29/2005 4:01 pm, Blogger tytty said…

    very **shiny** (:

  • At 9/29/2005 8:50 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Nic - lol. I just love to remind people that sugar has calories too!

    I like both. Preferably in the same mouthful!

    Hi Saffron - Aw thanks. I, too, have issues with carob. I agree with you completely on the substitution vs purity. But then, desperation is often the root cause of many a scandal =)

    Hi Tian - I'm never organised enough to shoot during the day. Damn fluorescent lights...


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