Saturday, 3 November 2012

Toasty oats and sesame seeds encrusted dry fruits cacao rounds

Do we say no to chocolates? The sinful taste of cocoa not only satisfies a grownup’s taste buds but is equally tantalizing to children as well. We mothers, employ the tactics of disguising the healthy stuff with cocoa and chocolate flavors to make our children eat without protest. That is the reason we see chocolate-banana smoothies, chocolate flavored milk and yogurt being popular among children.

My mission to make my fussy two and half year old daughter to eat dry fruits and oats is accomplished now! Yes, I made her eat almonds, walnuts, cranberries and oats. Of course I disguised the healthy nuts and dry fruits in the form of a tempting treat. To my amazement I saw my “Toasty oats and sesame seeds encrusted dry fruits cocoa rounds" containing a good balance of nutrients disappearing quickly in no time. It was eagerly devoured by my daughter and by her grandparents !

Recipe for Toasty oats and sesame seeds encrusted dry fruits cocoa rounds

Things you need (for making approx 20 small cocoa rounds)

* Rolled oats – 1 cup
* Raw almonds and walnuts – 1 cup
* Dried cranberries or raisins – ½ cup
* Raw Cacao powder /Cadburys drinking chocolate cocoa powder (If you don’t have raw cocoa powder) - 2 tablespoons
* Honey for sweetness – Honey helps the dough to stick together – 1 to 2 tablespoons
* Clarified butter (ghee) – 1 tablespoon
* Sesame seeds – 1 ½ tablespoons
* Cinnamon and cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon each
* Himalayan crystal salt (optional) – ½ teaspoon

How to make it:

- In a pan, dry roast the oats for two minutes on a low flame followed by dry roasting the raw almonds for three minutes to release the nutty aroma.

Keep the toasted oats and the almonds aside to cool.

 - In the remaining heat of the pan, toast the white sesame seeds/ black sesame seeds for less than a minute. I prefer using white sesame seeds since it has nuttier flavor and beautiful aroma. Keep this aside which is used to encrust or coat the rounds.

- In a food processor, first powder the oats. Keep the powdered oats aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of powdered oats to be later on used for coating the rounds.

- Next, powder the almonds and the walnuts. Keep it aside.

- Blend the cranberries or the raisins at the end as it becomes a paste when blended and will stick to the insides of the food processor.

- In a wide vessel, mix all the powdered and blended ingredients. Add raw cacao powder, cinnamon, cardamom powder and Himalayan salt and mix it well.

- Add clarified butter, and honey to the mixture and mix it well.

- Keep a tablespoon of mixture onto your palm and roll it to make rounds. The mixture should hold well without crumbling. If it doesn't crumble, then proceed with making the rounds.

- If the mixture crumbles, add few drops of clarified butter or melted butter and mix it well. Adding the clarified butter should help the mixture to stick together.

- Taste and see if you need more sweetness. If you need more sweetness, add honey to the mixture.
After you have made the rounds, moist your palm with clarified butter and press the rounds coating it with clarified butter. Roll the rounds again, coating it with powdered oats which was reserved earlier.

- Finally coat it with toasted white/black sesame seeds to form a thin crust on the top.

These healthy oats dry fruits cocoa encrusted rounds will last for a month. But I bet it will be devoured once it is made. It keeps you full and it is a good snack on the go. Enjoy!

 A note of caution: kids suffering from nut allergy should avoid taking nuts. Substitute the nuts with ragi flour aka finger millet flour which is equally nutritious.

Health benefits of some of the ingredients I used in this recipe

OatsOatmeal and oat bran are significant sources of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. One component of the soluble fibre found in oats is beta-glucans, a soluble fiber which has proven effective in lowering blood cholesterol.

Almonds: Almonds are rich in manganese, vitamin E and magnesium. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

Raw cacao powder: I prefer using unsweetened raw cacao powder for this recipe. To see the health benefits of raw cacao powder, see my posting under my blog

Dried cranberries: I used dried cranberries as it has a yummy tartness flavour. When combined with the sweetness of honey and cacao powder, the tartness gets evened out and the result is yummy! Dried Cranberries are the dehydrated version of the Common Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus). Dried cranberries are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. They are used widely for treating urinary tract issues. Dried cranberries are being studied for possible health uses: fighting bacterial infections, cardiovascular benefits, immune system strengthening, and anti-cancer properties. Dried cranberries are even suspected of helping fight tooth decay.

Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Himalayan crystal salt : To see the benefits of Himalayan crystal salt, see my posting under my blog -

Hope you enjoy making these delicious rounds for your children and why not make these healthy rounds for the upcoming festival – Festival of Lights (Deepavali)?

Bye for now – With love from pD

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