Words: Fiona Herron                                                                                   Photo: Chris Herron
 

These antioxidant-rich raw cookies are awesome anytime – whether you want to include them as part of your ride nutrition, your post-ride recovery or simply as some afternoon deliciousness.
 
Antioxidants help you recover from stress (e.g. pollution or training) so including foods with a high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) contributes to preventing the damage by free-radicals on cells. Recent research has even indicated a diet of rich antioxidant foods helps reduce the likelihood of depression, anxiety and stress.
 
Three of this cookie’s ingredients have exceptionally high ORAC values – Cacao, Acai berries and Goji berries – but we’ll only focus on the berries here. Neither are particularly sweet so, combined with the dates, this snack is the perfect amount of crunchy sweet.

 

Native to the Himalayas, Goji berries contain antioxidant carotenoids (such as beta carotene and zeaxanthin) and high levels of Vitamin A, which, combined makes them excellent for supporting eyesight. They also contain alkaloids (including small amounts of atropine) shown to positively effect immunity.
 
Acai berries from Brazil similarly contain Vitamin A in substantial amounts. This berry is known to possess high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin, a flavonoid involved in reducing inflammation. Together, this berry combination not only tastes great, it packs a powerful antioxidant punch!
 
Ingredients (makes 20): Use organic where possible and always use trusted brands
- 175g coconut flakes (approx. 2 and 1/2 cups)
- 120g goji berries (approx. 1 and 1/3 cups)
- 340g chopped dates (approx. 3 and 1/2 cups)
- 60g cacao powder
- 10g coconut oil (approx. 2 TBS @ room temp)
- 20g acai powder (approx. 1 heaped TBS)
- 7g psyllium husks (approx. 1 TBS)
 
Method:
1. In a food processor blend goji berries and coconut flakes (mix should be dry and crumbly)
2. Add cacao, dates and coconut oil and process again until blended (mix should be soft and hold together)
3. Add acai and psyllium husks
4. Scoop out a tablespoon of the mix (36g) and mould – I’ve used a silicon cookie mould
5. Top with a mix of desiccated coconut & acai powder (if you are planning to use these on the bike, just leave them plain)
6. Store refrigerated (can be frozen)
Have fun with the acai and psyllium husks – you can add more/less if you’d like without affecting the texture of the mix.
 
Nutrition per 36g serve:
Energy – 627kJ
Protein – 2.4g
Fat – 7.6g
Carbohydrate – 18.5g
 
Fiona Herron:
With a PhD in digestive physiology, a background in group fitness, food coaching and healthy snack food production, Fiona believes healthy eating looks like whole/real foods, good fats and consuming functional foods.