Savoury cookies make people think twice when you mention them. Everyone is super comfortable with regular choc chip cookies, crunchy nut based cookies and even raw vegan cookies, which are not so much of an eyebrow raiser these days. For some reason though, savoury cookies tend to create a sense of trepidation. It reminds me of the way my husband looks at me when I make a smoothie and his dubious look implies ‘ what have you hidden in that?’
The one person who never doubts any recipe that I make (or have made) here on the website is Jess Cheney. Jess is one of the truly talented Nutritionists at the JCN Clinic and also my right arm when it comes to administration. She also happens to be a long time avid recipe maker of literally everything that graces the pages of this space.
Jess and I first met when she took on a work experience role at the clinic. Her enthusiasm to learn was evident from the moment she walked in the door. We did joke about how we would make the ‘Jess’ thing work, and in fact to create less confusion from an email point we created the pseudonym ‘Anna’, which we still use to this day.
As the months flew by Jess not only stood out as seriously proficient and organised in the reception role, but also showed immense knowledge and passion within the nutrition space. Its one thing to study, but it’s another to be so immersed in your passion outside of the course guidelines that you truly flourish beyond any curriculum. Fast forward a few years to Jess graduating and quickly being snapped up by me as a practitioner. I’m no fool. I know talent when I see it.
These years spent together have coincided with a hefty amount of new recipes hitting the website. Literally from before I met Jess to current day, a new recipe hits the virtual pages and she is off to buy the ingredients in the days that follow. The bonus to me now is that I have an in house recipe tester and editor. The editor part is probably the most vital aspect, as I’ve been known to let my grammar/spelling slip once or twice a lot.
Current day brings mixed emotions at the JCN Clinic however, as Jess is now pregnant with a little bundle of joy ready to enter the world quite soon. We are overjoyed for her and can’t wait to meet this little mini Jess, but we are going to miss her presence when she is away. I’m quietly panicking about my right arm being cut off, even though I am making and taking practical steps towards her ‘role’ being filled. Jess will never be replaceable.
Of course we are keeping her seat warm for her at the clinic. The moment she leaves to start her new life as a mum is the moment we start asking annoying questions like, ‘so when are you coming back?’ The well-earned graduation certificate stays on the wall, the Cliniko appointments are just ‘paused’. She may just find us peeping in her windows randomly checking to see if she is ready to come back. We will be waiting with eager and excited hearts to welcome her.
As for these savoury cookies, I know Jess will be on them in a flash the moment this recipe goes live. I’m a little late with it today and she has already left the clinic with a test cookie in hand, which always makes me super happy, as at the end of the day I am a shameless ‘feeder’. Carissa has devoured one and proclaimed it her favourite ever recipe to date and that they taste like “all the crispy bits of roast vegetables at the bottom of the roasting pan” (plus add in some f-word emphasis for a realistic portrayal). Emma has one tucked away safe for Monday as long as Carissa doesn’t get her hands on it. In a nut shell the JCN stamp of approval has been given from this awesome tightnit group of ladies, which is everything to me.
Jess, (as in ‘Anna’Jess, not talking to myself), thank you SO much for all that you do and are and will continue to be. You are truly a shining star. xx
rosemary & mustard savoury cookies
- makes 10 cookies
- preparation time
- 20 minutes
- cooking time
- 17 minutes
- 1/2 cup flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons celery seeds
- 2 tightly packed tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 cup seeded mustard
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
You can use pre-ground chia and flaxseed meal for these cookies, however be aware that this will effect the liquid portions. Freshly ground seed meal will be more oily, where as the bought options will be drier. Most commonly you will need a litle more liquid with the bought options.
Preheat your oven to 175c. Place the flaxseed meal into a blender and blend to a course meal. Follow with the chia seeds also blending to a meal. Place the ground flaxseeds and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl and combine with salt, pepper, rosemary, cumin powder and celery seeds. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the almond butter, seeded mustard, extra virgin olive oil and water. Mix well then add to the dry ingredients and use your hands to mix everything together, bringing to a pliable dough that forms one large ball easily. If the mix seems a little crumbly just add a touch more water (conversely if its too wet add a little more chia or flaxseed meal).
Take roughly heaped tablespoon amounts and roll into balls, then flatten the balls out with your hands to a disc shape between your hands. Place each cookie onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Continue shaping the cookies until you have used all of the dough.
Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 17 minutes, or until golden around the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread out a little while cooking. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave them to cool on the tray for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. (If you try to move them too quickly they will crumble while still hot).
Leave cookies to slightly cool on the wire wrack till you are ready to eat them! If you like your cookies a little soft in the middle you can cover them with a tea towel while they are cooling, otherwise leave them uncovered and they will develop a lovely crunch.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the pantry for two days, or refrigerated for one week. They will also freeze well, but I doubt they will last that long. 😉
- Flaxseeds are also the highest plant source of lignans, a phytochemical compound from the polyphenols family, that helps reduce cholesterol levels and also regulate oestrogen levels. When consumed, lignans are converted by gut bacteria to enterolignans, enterodiol and enterolactone. These compounds exert phytoestrogen like effects in the body, binding to estrogen receptors, either blocking or up regulating the effects of estrogen in the body. Many studies (animal based) have shown a reduction in metastasis (tumor growth) inclusive of breast cancer, however more human based trial studies are warranted in this area and are actively being completed.
- Flaxseeds are also very high in fiber and rich in mucilage, a slimmy/gum like substance that expands when in contact with water (this is why it is so useful in vegan baking as a n egg substitute). Inside the intestines this helps provide bulk to stools aiding their movement through the gastrointestinal tract.
- Chia seeds are a wonderful alternative source of plant based calcium. Just 30 grams of chia seeds has 180g calcium, close to 20% of our daily recommended intake. Chia seeds are also high in fibre (10grams per 30 grams of chia) and provide around 4.5 grams of protein. The filling nature of chia is due to this combination of fibre and protein.