Hello everyone! It’s officially my first post from our new temporary home, complete with the tiniest kitchen you’ve even seen.
We’re living in the mountain town of Innsbruck, in the west of Austria, wedged between Switzerland, Italy and Germany. We’re still getting used to the idea of driving one hour and being in an entirely new country, when at home we would be fighting to make it to Bondi in under an hour. It’s a crazy feeling, and we’re set on squeezing as much out of our time here as possible.
Innsbruck is smack bang in the midst of a beautiful “fall” – the first proper ‘like-the-movies’ season change I’ve really experienced. The leaves are crazy colours of orange, red and green, and falling in stacks and stacks on the bike paths, crunching as you ride over them. That’s one thing the Europeans do well, the changing of seasons – and bike paths.
We’ve been hiking a lot in the afternoons and weekends while the weather is still warm enough and the mountains aren’t covered in snow. There are trails that start right behind our apartment and meander through the woods right up to 2,300 metres if you’re feeling game. And that’s another thing, Austrian’s bloody know how to hike! Families, couples, oldies – they all hit the paths without question, it’s simply part of what they do and the way they spend their weekends. It’s actually really refreshing.
The best parts of the Austrian hiking experience are the authentic wooden ‘Alms’ or mountain huts dotted along the tracks, owned and run by Austrian families for years and years. It’s completely normal to hike for 4-5 hours, and then to stop at an Alm for a lunch of cured meats, freshly made cheese, bread and local beer in the sunshine. There’s apparently even commercials advertising the benefits of non-alcoholic beer as the perfect ‘after hike sports drink’ that naturally refuels your body. I’m not so sure – but it shows their commitment to the drink I guess!?
I wanted my first post from our new home to be 100% Austrian, and the first things that came to mind were …. strudel and schnitzel. Yeahhh. You’ve probably guessed a big plate of crumbed chicken isn’t part of Every Healthy Day’s usual repertoire, so I dug a little deeper and eventually read about the famous Linzertorte – a specialty dessert made with short pastry and raspberry jam that’s highly traditional to bake in Austria, right around Christmas time.
That idea evolved into making a kind of Linzer ‘Cookie’ to take as fuel for our hikes, made with a little less sugar and more guilt-free goodness than the original version.
*Disclaimer* I also wanted to make something that wasn’t going to take me a full afternoon on Google translate wandering the supermarket trying to work out the German words for coconut oil and buckwheat. For the record coconut = kokonuss. Embarrassingly easy.
So in summary, the less ingredients this time around, the better.
I based this recipe on the lovely version from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen – with a few small changes. These cookies are mostly raw (the chia jam filling requires slight heating in a pan), gluten-free and full of really good energy. They’re also a lot of fun and kinda pretty to make. Something different to the old bliss ball, but equally as good for you!
These make the ideal hiking buddy, guilt-free treat or are perfect to put on the Christmas recipe list (dusted with a bit of icing sugar or dipped in dark chocolate perhaps?). The chia jam is amazing on its own, and I’ve been swirling some through my yoghurt in the mornings.
For now, I’m off on a hike – a few of these tucked in my bag!
Raspberry chia jam – what you’ll need:
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
How to go about it:
- Heat the raspberries over low heat until they’re melted, and then mash with the back of a spoon.
- Mix in the lemon juice, chia seeds and honey until smooth.
- Remove from heat to cool, before placing in the fridge for about an hour to set.
Healthy Austrian Linzer cookies – what you’ll need:
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
- Small pinch of sea salt
- Chia jam (if you don’t have time to make your own chia jam, you can use any other jam you have lying around – but trust me the chia jam is a sinch to make and really delicious!).
How to go about it
(makes about 8 medium-sized cookies)
- Add the cashews, coconut flour and salt to a food processor and pulse until it reaches a fine consistency OR finely chop cashews and mix with coconut flour and salt if you don’t have a food processor on hand (aka me in Austria at the moment!).
- Add the honey, coconut oil and vanilla essence and process/mix until smooth and combined.
- Cover the mixture and place in the fridge for about 45mins – 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll out on a piece of baking paper. Roll it as thin as you can – but be careful, the dough will be quite fragile.
- Using two different sized cookie cutters, cut out your cookies making a top and bottom layer for each cookie, with a small cut-out in the top layer for the chia jam to peak through.
- Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
- Once ready, remove from the fridge and spread about 1 tsp chia jam in the middle of each top/bottom layer (like a cookie sandwich).
- Return to fridge to set – and then enjoy!