Whole Wheat Macadamia Nuts Chocolate Chip Cookies

Presenting my third recipe under “My Julie & Julia Project” for this year. For those who don’t know, I have started this project under which I will be posting 100 recipes from my kitchen by the end of the year 2019. This is the Recipe #3. Here is the link to “My Julie & Julia Project” post:

Julie & Julia – Starting my journey

We are really fond of having cookies/biscotti/rusk, something to snack on, to go along with our tea during our morning and evening tea time. I have baked chocolate, oats, almond cookies in the past, but baking with this nut, macadamia, was my first time.

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Macadamia nuts are also called Hawaii Nuts, but these are actually native to Australia. These nuts are sweet and full of flavor, but most importantly, they are the powerhouse of nutrition.

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The health benefits of these nuts are numerous. These nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help in lowering the bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol levels in blood, which are linked to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Macadamia nuts provide a good amount of energy, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. All in all, these nuts are packed with lots of health benefits.

I have been trying to reduce the use of all purpose flour from my baking experiments, and have been using whole wheat flour through my recipes. Though I occasionally love to use all purpose flour for baking breads, as I love the texture of the bread if prepared with all purpose flour. This recipe calls for using whole wheat flour in the macadamia cookies. I was a little skeptical at first, but the taste and texture with whole wheat is a winner as well, just like with all purpose flour.

I have not chopped the macadamia nuts, and have used it as I got from the bag, but if you plan to bake smaller cookies, you can chop them to as little a size you want. Even the chocolate chips I used are big in size. Well, I loved baking the cookies bigger, with two tablespoons full of batter for each cookie. So, the bigger nuts and chips worked for me.

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I baked the cookies in two batches, and got around 23 cookies in all, thanks to the size of each cookie. Do make smaller ones, as per your preference, you might get double the number of cookies that I got.

Also, cranberries pair well with macadamia nuts. I will try using them in my next batch of macadamia cookies that I bake. Those who are fond of cranberries, do try adding some dried cranberries to the recipe. You can use half-n-half of chocolate chips and cranberries, or maybe even leave the chocolate chips in the recipe and just use cranberries, as per your preference.

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The cookies were baked to perfection, just how I like them. Crusty outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. Without further taking more time, I will take you guys straight to the recipe. Happy baking!!

Whole Wheat Macadamia Nuts Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print
Whole Wheat Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies…

Ingredients

  • Butter (unsalted) – 1 cup
  • Jaggery powder – 1 1/4 cup (1 cup + 1/4 cup)
  • Eggs – 2
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
  • Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Macadamia Nuts – 1 cup
  • Chocolate Chips – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 2 tbsp (optional)

Directions

  1. (Optional) Chop the macadamia nuts and chocolate chips to small pieces. I did not do this step, as I was baking bigger cookies, and used both macadamia nuts and chocolate chips as I got them from the bag.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the butter and the jaggery powder till the jaggery powder is completely blended with the butter. I prefer to not use hand mixer for most of my baking recipes, as I believe that beating the mixture with a whisk is better than using mixer (I have over-mixed the batter many a times previously using a mixer, so I avoid using it).
  4. Add in the eggs to this mixture and keep stirring till all the ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  5. Now add vanilla essence to the above mixture. The wet ingredients mixture is now ready.
  6. For the dry ingredients, mix in whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt to the wet mixture.
  7. Finally add the macadamia nuts and chocolate chips and give it a stir. I have also added milk in this step since I felt the mixture was too dry. Milk is just added to adjust the consistency.
  8. Line a baking sheet with ungreased cookie sheet. Drop the batter on to the cookie sheet spoon by spoon and flatten using the fingers, keeping 1-2 inches space between each cookie. Since I have baked bigger cookies, I used two tablespoons of batter for each cookie (I baked the entire batter in two batches).
  9. Once the oven is preheated, bake the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool for 2 minutes.
  11. The macadamia nut cookies are now ready to be stored in an air-tight container or enjoy them just out of the oven!!

Method (Step-by-step with pictures)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Meanwhile, mix the butter and the jaggery powder till the jaggery powder is completely blended with the butter.
  • Add in the eggs to this mixture and keep stirring till all the ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  • Now add vanilla essence to the above mixture. The wet ingredients mixture is now ready.
  • For the dry ingredients, mix in whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt to the wet mixture. Finally add the macadamia nuts and chocolate chips to the mixture and give it a stir. I have also added milk in this step since I felt the mixture was too dry.
  • Line a baking sheet with ungreased cookie sheet. Drop the batter on to the cookie sheet spoon by spoon and flatten using the fingers, keeping 1-2 inches space between each cookie. Since I have baked bigger cookies, I used two tablespoons of batter for each cookie (I baked the entire batter in two batches).
  • Once the oven is preheated, bake the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool for 2 minutes.

The macadamia nut cookies are now ready to be stored in an air-tight container or enjoy them just out of the oven!!

Eggless Whole Wheat Pistachio Cranberry Cake – No oil, no butter bake

Here comes my second recipe under “My Julie & Julia Project” for this year. For those who don’t know, I have started this project under which I will be posting 100 recipes from my kitchen by the end of the year 2019. This is the Recipe #2. Here is the link to “My Julie & Julia Project” post:

Julie & Julia – Starting my journey

Pistachios, as we all know, have numerous health benefits. They are loaded with antioxidants. These nuts help in boosting immunity and also help in managing blood pressure levels, among many other benefits.

I am using Roasted and Salted Pistachios here in this recipe, so that’s the reason I have skipped salt completely in the ingredients. If you are using unsalted pistachios, please add 1/4th teaspoon of salt to the ingredients list.

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The no oil, no butter and no egg has been my favorite part in this. Avocado, bananas and milk help in maintaining the softness and moisture in the cake. And using jaggery powder in the recipe is a win-win too, for those who are looking for refined sugar substitutes.

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The cake can be sliced and served as a tea time snack and will also be great for adding to children’s lunchbox. I love the hint of cranberries in each bite, but those are completely optional. Those who want to savor the pistachio cake in its purest form, can skip the cranberries completely. I am using dried cranberries from Trader Joe’s.

Do try the recipe and please pour in your suggestions on what other dried berries or nuts will go with the pistachio cake. I would love to give it a try. Happy baking everyone!!

Eggless Whole Wheat Pistachio Cranberry Cake Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print
Eggless Whole Wheat Pistachio Cranberry Cake..

Ingredients

  • Powdered Jaggery – 3/4 cup
  • Avocado (mashed) – 1/2 cup
  • Bananas – 3 (medium)
  • Orange zest – 1 tbsp
  • Pistachios – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla Essence – 1/4 tsp
  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Cranberries (optional) – 4 tbsp

Directions

  1. Grind the pistachios in a blender or food processor to a fine flour consistency and keep the ground mixture aside to be used later.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the mashed avocado and the jaggery powder till the jaggery powder is completely blended with the avocado.
  4. Add in the mashed bananas to this mixture and keep stirring till all the ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  5. The pistachio flour can now be added to the above mixture, along with the orange zest. Combine to form a smooth blend.
  6. Also add milk and vanilla essence to this. The wet ingredients mixture is now ready.
  7. For the dry ingredients, mix in whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda to the wet mixture.
  8. Finally add the dried cranberries and give it a stir.
  9. Pour the mixture to a lined or greased cake pan dusted with flour.
  10. Once the oven is preheated, bake the cake mix in the oven for 40 minutes, or till the cake is done (when the inserted toothpick comes out clean).
  11. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool before serving.
  12. The guilt-free pistachio cake is ready to be relished!!

Method (Step-by-step with pictures)

  • Grind the pistachios in a blender or food processor to a fine flour consistency.
  • Keep the ground mixture aside to be used later.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Meanwhile, mix the mashed avocado and the jaggery powder till the jaggery powder is completely blended with the avocado.
  • Add in the mashed bananas to this mixture and keep stirring till all the ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  • The pistachio flour can now be added to the above mixture, along with the orange zest. Combine to form a smooth blend.
  • Also add milk and vanilla essence to this. The wet ingredients mixture is now ready.
  • For the dry ingredients, mix in whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda to the wet mixture.
  • Finally add the dried cranberries and give it a stir
  • Pour the mixture to a lined or greased cake pan dusted with flour. Once the oven is preheated, bake the cake mix in the oven for 40 minutes, or till the cake is done (when the inserted toothpick comes out clean)
  • Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool before serving

Relish the yummy pistachio cake with your family and friends!!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Cake – Healthy, Moist & Yummy

This is the first recipe I am posting under “My Julie & Julia Project” for this year. For those who don’t know, I have started this project under which I will be posting 100 recipes from my kitchen by the end of the year 2019. This is the Recipe #1. I have chosen this recipe to be the first one, as it is one of my daughter’s favorite and so, is quite close to my heart.

I have tried this recipe a couple of times, and it has never failed. The best part, of course, is that there is no all purpose flour or oil or butter involved (as healthy as it can be). And I am using cane sugar in this recipe, which is definitely a healthier option compared to the white sugar. Also, even though there is no oil or butter in it, still the cake is amazingly moist because of bananas and yogurt.

I am a big fan of Trader Joe’s products. And this time, I decided to use their Cocoa Powder (I mostly use Hershey’s Cocoa Powder and find it quite good). Loved every bit of their Cocoa powder, the chocolatey flavor imparted to the cake by Trader Joe’s Cocoa powder wins hands down (though chocolate chips also added their bit to the chocolicious flavor). Which other cocoa powder brands have you all used? Let me know in the comments.

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My daughter has a sweet tooth, and every now n then, I am looking for healthy alternatives to the store bought sweet treats. So, this recipe is a keeper for those who are okay with loads of chocolate but want to go easy on butter, oil or all-purpose flour.

Myra loved preparing the cake with me for this blog post. You might see her hand holding the ingredients in some pictures. It’s so amazing to see how we can engage kids at such a young age, and making this whole baking time a play date with them. Sometimes, they can come up with ideas that are completely mind blowing.

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It’s a proud moment when we see them working in the kitchen wholeheartedly. They love stirring and mixing in the things, making a cute little mess in the kitchen, but it’s worth it. Sometimes I feel this is the correct time when we can instill basic cooking skills in our kids (boys and girls both). This is the skill that any person would require in his/her life.

Well, I will not go more into the “who will work in the kitchen in future” mode, as it’s a different topic altogether. But, I would certainly say that we can making baking time fun for our kids. They learn responsibility, precision, team-work and of course, the basic kitchen skills as well.

All in all, this recipe is a hit at my home. And I hope you guys love it too. Let’s take you all straight to the recipe now.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Cake Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print
Super moist Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Cake pieces..

Ingredients

  • Bananas – 3
  • Cane sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
  • Yogurt – 1/2 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Chocolate chips – 3/4 cup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a bowl and add cane sugar. Mix them together to a smooth blend.
  3. Add vanilla essence, yogurt and egg to the banana-sugar mixture and mix them all together. Wet ingredients mixture is ready.
  4. For the dry ingredients, add whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder to the wet ingredients mixture.
  5. Start mixing all the ingredients, the mixture will be little thick by this time.
  6. Once the dry and wet ingredients form a smooth and uniform blend, add in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the mixture to a greased cake pan dusted with flour.
  8. Once the oven is preheated, bake the cake mix in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or till the cake is done (when the inserted toothpick comes out clean).
  9. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool before serving.
  10. The guilt-free cake is ready to be relished!!

Method (Step-by-step with pictures)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a bowl and add cane sugar. Mix them together to a smooth blend.
  • Add vanilla essence, yogurt and egg to the banana-sugar mixture and mix them all together. Wet ingredients mixture is ready.
  • For the dry ingredients, add whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder to the wet ingredients mixture. Start mixing all the ingredients, the mixture will be little thick by this time. Once the dry and wet ingredients form a smooth and uniform blend, add in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the mixture to a greased cake pan dusted with flour.
  • Once the oven is preheated, bake the cake mix in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or till the cake is done (when the inserted toothpick comes out clean). Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool before serving.

Relish the yummy moist cake with your family and friends!!

The famous Indian curry paste

This is the most versatile curry paste used across many Indian dishes. The smell of onion, ginger and garlic is hard to resist at almost every other Indian household. The sprinkling of dried masala powder along with turmeric lends a fresh aromatic flavor to any Indian dish!!

But then, preparing this takes time. Sometimes, when we are having time crunch, because of office work, deadlines or if we have small kids at home who just demand our time and attention, then it becomes difficult to prepare everything from scratch. So we look for other options like instant noodles or ordering something from a restaurant. While sometimes this is doable, but not too frequently.

That time this pre-prepared curry paste comes to your rescue. Prepare a batch over the weekend as per your requirement and use it across the week two-three times as per the quantity.

Most of the Indian ladies would find this post too simple to share, but those who have never tried it and are looking for such alternatives should definitely give it a go.

 

******       INGREDIENTS       ******

Onions (Big) – 2 1/2 (otherwise take 4-5 if using medium sized ones)

Garlic cloves – 7-8

Ginger – 2 inch piece

Green chilies – 3 (or as per spice level)

Tomatoes – 4-5 (medium sized)

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – To taste

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

 

******       METHOD       ******

Start by adding oil to a skillet. Add green chilies, roughly chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté till they turn light brown. Add in the onions, and sauté for 5-10 minutes, till the onions start turning light brown. Add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder (you can prepare at home or use the readymade garam masala). Sauté for 5-7 more minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes to the mixture. Sauté for 5-10 minutes more. Turn off the stove.

Let me mixture cool down. Once cooled, make a fine paste of this mixture in a blender/mixer. Sauté this curry paste in the same skillet for 15-20 minutes or till the oil separates from the gravy. Once oil separates, turn off the stove, cool the curry paste and store it in the refrigerator and use through the week, this can suffice 2-3 gravies/curries.

You can now use this paste to prepare chickpeas, black chana and kidney beans  as well. This can also be used as a base for watery curry (matar paneer, aaloo matar etc) or cream based gravy (paneer makhani, butter chicken etc).

So go ahead ladies and give it a try. Trust me, with work pressure and also kids at home, this will definitely turn out to be a savior!! Till then.

Adios Amigos