The Oh She Glows Cookbook snapped me simultaneously out of both cookbook malaise syndrome and late winter gloom-funk. It’s Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows blogÂ in book form, and it is filled with food to make, eat, and love right now.
The blog started in 2009, but it’s new to my life this spring, and it is a drug. Just reading the recipes makes me feel like I’ve had in intravenous solution of miso, angels, and love. It’s not an especially desserts-oriented place, but what got me hooked on the blog were these bars.
The book is like the blog, but with seventy-five (75!) new recipes and an even more enchanting layout, printed on creamy paper. Almost every recipe is illustrated with a vibrant photo–important when you’re in need of inspiration after a winter of one million tikka masalas, or if you can’t read and your mom wants you to choose something to make for dinner.
Angela’s recipes are all vegan and almost all are gluten free. And they’re creative, combining nutrient-rich ingredients in unexpected ways plus enough other stuff to keep the recipes from veering into sanctimony. Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip features baby spinach, soaked raw cashews, as well as crushed corn chips. The Glowing Mojo-ito Green Monster is a smoothie featuring avocado, apple, spinach, lime, mint, and gentle encouragement to add white rum.
Lots of recipes in this book will appeal to children, in terms of both making and eating. One obvious example, reprinted here with permission, is the recipe for Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites. These can–of course–be made with any nut butter if peanuts aren’t your scene. These yum balls are gluten free, raw, refined sugar free, soy free, and can be made nut free as well.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
When I was growing up, my best friend, Allison, and I used to split an entire package of store-bought cookie dough for a snack. Yes, as a snack! We’d slice the plastic cookie dough package down the middle, grab two spoons, and go to town eating the raw dough. Ohh, to be kids again! I’m happy to say that my love for cookie dough has never dwindled, but I now make my own using all-natural ingredients. My health, arteries, and waistline thank me. Best of all, these cookie dough bites are still very much kid-approved.
Makes 14 small bites
1 1â„2 cups (375 mL) gluten-free rolled oats
2 tablespoons (30 mL) coconut oil
2 tablespoons (30 mL) smooth peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
1â„4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1â„2 cup (125 mL) almond flour or almond meal
1â„4 teaspoon (1 mL) fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) mini dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1. In a high-speed blender, blend the oats until a fine flour forms. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the almond flour, oat flour, and salt and beat again until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Roll the dough into small balls (about 1 tablespoon/15 mL of dough each). If chocolate chips fall to the bottom of the bowl, press them back into the dough when rolling. Place the finished bites on a plate lined with parchment paper.
4. Freeze the bites for 5 to 10 minutes, or until firm. Store the bites in the freezer in a freezer bag for quick and easy snacks.
Tips: For a nut-free version, simply swap sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter and more oat flour for the almond flour (add a splash of nondairy milk if the dough is a bit dry). Both versions work just fine. For a soy-free option, use soy-free chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand).
The Oh She Glows Cookbook
By Angela Liddon
March 2014 by Avery, $25
Reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright Â© GLO BAKERY CORPORATION, 2014.
Editor’s note: Avery sent a review copy of this book for our consideration. Kidoinfo never accepts payment for reviews and only runs reviews ofÂ things we’ve tried and liked.