Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RECIPE ~ Honey Tahini Cookies


A few years ago I used to be the "cookie lady" at my neighbourhood yoga studio, where each week I'd bring in a different snack for the yogis going to their classes, and this was one of the recipes I came up with that was wheat free, dairy-free, egg-free, and packed with energy and natural, earthy sweetness... just right for before or after a nice yoga class, and very warming during the cool damp spring season.

1 cup tahini
1 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins or prunes, roughly chopped, and soaked & drained
3 cups quick cooking oats, coarsely processed
1 cup chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or mixture


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, stir together the tahini, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and soaked dried fruit. Mix in nuts/seeds and oats until well blended. For drop cookies (pictured above), drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. For smoother texture, wet hands and form into balls the size of a golf ball and flatten lightly with wet fingers.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are slightly brown. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen (2 large cookie sheets).

NOTE: Ayurveda does not recommend cooking with or heating honey, as it should remain raw and unpasteurized for full health benefits. To follow ayurvedic principles, it can be substituted with other liquid sweeteners like agave nectar (K), brown rice syrup (V & P) or maple syrup (V & P).

* FOR INDIVIDUAL DOSHAS
VATAS because baked oats are drying, consume in moderation with a drink like hot milky chai
PITTAS because baked oats are heating, consume with a drink like cool peppermint tea; choose sunflower seeds
KAPHAS because of the oily quality of the tahini, consume in moderation; choose sunflower seeds

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've read in "The complete book of ayurvedic home remedies" by vasant lad, that you should never cook honey because it becomes a nasty glue in your body. Have you ever heard about this?

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Yes, it's true that you shouldn't cook honey if you're following ayurvedic guidelines, which I made a point of noting at the bottom of my recipe. It doesn't turn it into a glue, however, but it becomes toxic and leads to ill-health.

Anjelica said...

I had no idea about cooking honey and it having toxic effects. I put honey in my hot tea all the time, is this bad?

rozhee said...

Thanks for replying to my question re: cooking with honey--I hadn't noticed your note at the bottom of your recipe. This looks really yummy - i'll try it with one of the sub sweeteners esp. since i really like tahini. I'm new to ayurvedics and just getting up to speed with its philosophies and incorporating into my lifestyle. I really enjoy your site - such an original concept, fun and nutritious!!

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Anjelica, I believe that warms honey up too much and therefore does make it unhealthy. Depending on your dosha, maybe you could use a different sweetener like agave nectar or maple syrup? Rozhee, thank you and you're welcome!

Anjelica said...

Thanks so much for you suggestions. How could I figure out what my 'dosha' is?

rozhee said...

i've been using agave and rice syrup for a while now in cooking/baking and to sweeten any teas;recently i've been experimenting with stevia. i don't know how these sweeteners are categorized in ayurvedics. i think i'm predominantly a vata type -- and from what i've read, maple syrup and cane sugar isn't optimal for my type. fran, would you know where rice syrup, agave and stevia fit for dosha type vata?

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Anjelica, to find out your dosha you can go to my page on that, here. Have fun!

Rozhee, I've been trying to find out that information but haven't had much luck. What I do know is that brown rice syrup is good for Vata and Pitta types, and my feeling is that agave is good for all three, and stevia is good for Kapha, but again that's just my feeling on it. Hope this helps!

rozhee said...

fran, thanks for looking that up!

Gina said...

Hi! I just found your blog through Ricki's blogroll (at Diet Desserts and Dogs...although she spelled your site wrong, so the link doesn't work, in case you want to let her know).

Anyway, I love it! I've just recently been educated myself on the Avurvedic style of eating, and I find it so interesting. I'll definitely be coming back :)

John Newman said...

What if we used agave syrup in the baking, and then drizzled them with honey afterward? Hmm ... maybe too sweet.

I don't know though ... :-)

Lakshmi said...

These are excellent, Fran! I baked them using maple syrup since I don't use honey in cooking. I am going to make them again... for sure. How amazing that these are completely vegan too... :)

Fernanda R. Lima said...

Hi Fran!

Your blog is great! I work with Ayurveda here in Brazil, and also have a blog. Nice to discover your "house".

Ps: I´ve used one of your images on my blog with your blog´s link attached.

Namaste

Fernanda

Danielle said...

I am SO gad to have found your blog, because I've recently discovered ayurveda and it has already helped me a whole lot!

I hope you keep updating!

Rumela said...

This Honey tahini cookies looks so beautiful with the colors, I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the kids! Nice colors! Although I'm to a big fan of chocolate cake, this sure looks yummy! I'm normally the one that will say no to tahini cookies. thank you for shearing your post.

Kathryn P. said...

I just came across your blog, it is great! These look good, but I'm a strict vegan and I don't consider (neither do most vegans) honey to be vegan. Could I sub agave?

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thanks Kathryn! No, honey isn't vegan (which is why I labelled these "vegan options", because the honey can be substituted). Use agave nectar (K), brown rice syrup (V & P) or maple syrup (V & P) instead. Thanks for your visit! :-)

Metagenics said...

I love honey and I use it on my salds or just with my breads.thankd for that Ayurvedic tip.

Abby said...

This recipe is very good with maple syrup instead of honey, and much less of it. Though, it is a different cookie altogether, it is just as delicious. I have had to add a little water to the recipe to get it the right consistency to roll between my palms.

jindi said...

Yoga holds that a person’s health condition depends on himself. It lays emphasis on physical, mental and emotional balance and development of a sense of harmony with all of life. There’s nothing mystical about it.Nor is it external. Rather it is an inner faculty. Yoga endeavors to re-establish inner balance through a variety of ways, ranging from the gross to the subtle. Which is why it is considered a holistic art.Rather than prescribe treatments, yoga therapy encourages awareness. Through age-old yogic techniques, we get to know ourselves better.From that knowledge, comes the ability to more easily accept and adapt to change, resulting in enhanced well-being in body, mind, heart and spirit. Hence its applicability to almost all chronic conditions.

What approach does yoga therapy take?

Contrary to modern medical science that tries to identify the pathogenic factor (be it a toxic substance, a micro-organism, or metabolic disorder) then eliminate it, Yoga takes a totally different point of view. It holds that if a person is sick there must be a deeper reason behind it – that illness doesn’t arise by chance. It is the result of an imbalance, a disruption in the body-mind complex that creates the condition. Here the symptoms, the pathogenic factors, are not the issue. Yoga believes that the root cause lies somewhere else.
yoga therapy

desertshiela said...

Oh. My. Yumminess. Had this recipe bookmarked for a while and finally got round to making them this week. Absolutely delicious. Thanks Fran! Can't wait to try some variations next.

Anonymous said...

I tried making them and they were delicious. My variations were cooked steel-cut oatmeal instead of rolled oats, chopped dates and walnuts.

One word of advice. You must be very careful not to overcook these. As stated, the honey will indeed burn quickly. Given that you have pre-heated, check them at five minutes, then again at seven.

As soon as you see the slightest hint at browning around the edges, pull em out immediately then let them cool for a few hours. The Tahini adds a lovely, exotic richness.

Anonymous said...

I tried making them and they were delicious. My variations were cooked steel-cut oatmeal instead of rolled oats, chopped dates and walnuts.

One word of advice. You must be very careful not to overcook these. As stated, the honey will indeed burn quickly. Given that you have pre-heated, check them at five minutes, then again at seven.

As soon as you see the slightest hint at browning around the edges, pull em out immediately then let them cool for a few hours. The Tahini adds a lovely, exotic richness.

Anonymous said...

I tried making them and they were delicious. My variations were cooked steel-cut oatmeal instead of rolled oats, chopped dates and walnuts.

One word of advice. You must be very careful not to overcook these. As stated, the honey will indeed burn quickly. Given that you have pre-heated, check them at five minutes, then again at seven.

As soon as you see the slightest hint at browning around the edges, pull em out immediately then let them cool for a few hours. The Tahini adds a lovely, exotic richness.

Anonymous said...

these r great!

Kashif said...

Cooking honey is indeed a bad idea, it's properties change and become toxic. But adding it at the end of a recipe to a dish that is still warm is ok, as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

THIS RECIPE IS LISTED UNDER "VEGAN OPTIONS". VEGANS DO NOT USE HONEY.

Claudia said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! Just to clarify, the tag "vegan options" means that there are changes you can make to the recipe to make it vegan. Please read the suggestions at the end of the recipe to see notes about substituting honey with other sweeteners, both for vegan options and for ayurvedic health benefits.

NB: these vegan/ayurvedic options have been included with this recipe since I posted it some years ago, so do read it before commenting needlessly on any perceived problems. Thanks!

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