Cardamom

Spelt and Date Cookies

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It has been quite a busy week as we finally found a lovely apartment and moved in a week today. Of course the first thing to be unpacked and ready to use was the kitchen and I've been trying to understand the way the stove works as it's and electric stovetop and we had a gas stove in London so there have been many trials.You come across delicious looking dates almost everywhere you go here and I ended up buying a pack of amazingly soft medjool dates. When I got home I wanted to make something with them and had a look through a cookbook I bought a couple of years back called When Suzanne Cooks by Suzanne Husseini which is a great book filled with delicious Middle Eastern recipes. I have to say it does help being in the Middle East as the ingredients are easier to come by. I altered the recipe slightly to make it slightly healthier and to suit the ingredients I had at home so instead of white flour I used whole grain spelt flour and instead of butter I used coconut oil, and luckily it worked!

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Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen)

1 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour 1/2 cup coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 3 cups soft dates, pitted and chopped 30 grams 70% dark chocolate

Place the coconut oil, nutmeg and cardamom in a small saucepan and put on low heat until the coconut oil has melted, then set aside.

Put the flour in a large saucepan and place on medium heat and let it toast slightly, stirring constantly, this should take about 10 mins.

Then add the dates to the flour and combine until the dates start to soften slightly then add the coconut oil and remove from heat. Continue mixing well with a wooden spatula. Transfer the mixture onto a clean surface and knead slightly until you get a dough like consistency, then roll it out and if you have a cookie cutter cut the cookies into any shape you like and place onto a lined baking tray.

Melt the chocolate by placing a heatproof bowl/dish over a saucepan with hot water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and put the chocolate pieces into the bowl and leave them to melt. Once melted using a spoon, scoop out some chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.

Leave the cookies to set for at least half an hour and enjoy with a nice cup of mint tea or a coffee!

Turmeric and Ginger Tea

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I usually make a pot of this tea first thing in the morning before I start my yoga practice so that it is nice and infused and just the right temperature to drink when I'm done. It's super easy and a lovely way to start the day. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, and ginger is a great immune booster.

I like to use a pot with a mesh strainer to put all the ingredients in, alternatively you can use a tea filter or make it in a saucepan and use a sieve to separate the liquid.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Fresh ginger to taste 2 teaspoons turmeric powder 3/4 cardamom seeds

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Put the kettle on so that the water is boiling while you prepare the ingredients. Grate or chop up the ginger, I like to use a lot which comes to about a tablespoon once grated. Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar so that the interior seeds fall out. Place all the ingredients, as well as the turmeric powder in the strainer/filter/saucepan. Pour the hot water over them and let steep for at least 5 minutes so that all the flavours infuse. Enjoy!