How to make a MEAN Greek Spaghetti

Doug's Kitchen

Blogging is a wonderful experience. Unless you’re blogging on an 8 year old iMac – in which case, blogging is a terrible, traumatic nightmare.

But I persevere. I do it for YOU GUYS, the adoring fan(s) of my blog, you are the reason I do this! I think about you guys all the time, especially when I’m alone in my room at night!

Anyway, before I say things I can’t take back, I wanted to ask you an extremely important question – one which will change the way you see the world forever. I want you to dwell on this question for a long time, and seriously consider it and how it relates to your life. That question is this:

Have you ever wanted to cook a Greek spaghetti?

 

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Think about it for a second. You probably have never wanted to cook a Greek spaghetti, and for obvious reasons. First, I didn’t even realise Greece made spaghetti. If they did, Italy would invade. But then again, we think wine is Italian, but it was actually invented by the Greeks. I wonder what else was invented by the Greeks. Greek Yoghurt? Sure. Greek Burgers? Say what? I once watched Tim & Eric awesome show, which told me that the Romans invented wine, specifically for orgies, and I actually believed them. I honestly believed a factual statement presented by this show:

Good show. Anyway its ironic I’m talking about wine, cos i happen to be drinking wine. Well, it’s not ironic, probably considering I’ve been drinking wine which has been the source of my intention to discuss wine. That’s basically how us fancy wine connoisseur people work – we basically do two things with our lives:

  1. drinking wine
  2. talking about drinking wine
  3. thinking about drinking wine

Let’s talk about wine. In this case I’ve got two wines – the one I’m drinking is on the left – it’s from Italy (or is Italian people call it, Italia). It is a sparkly red wine – i didn’t even know sparkly red wines existed, but hey, you learn something new about wines every day. Especially if you’re always around a wine connoisseur. My cousin is a wine connoisseur. You should follow him on instagram  – https://www.instagram.com/robbiecharge/

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The portrait of alcoholism, and it’s not even a portrait

Anyway, we were gonna talk about how to make a MEAN greek spaghetti. So basically, you need lots of olives and a mushroom sauce. Basically, the whole recipe is in this book – Incredibly Delicious, which is one of the best vegan cookbooks I’ve ever read.

No they’re not paying me to say this (although they should). I just happen to think they food in this book is really really really really really really awesome. Try it! Oh, and dont forget to put some basil leaves on top in order to fancy the fuck out of it. And don’t forget to give me your money!

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Okay, I was actually gonna share the recipe but Scannable somehow managed to lose it. Don’t download Scannable – it doesn’t work. And it sucks. Mainly because it doesn’t work.

So here’s a goddamn recipe I just took from Google. Enjoy.

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Which Vegan Bean Dip is The Best?

..., Doug's Kitchen

Which Vegan dip is the best?

Well, it depends on who you ask. But since you’re on my blog, you’re asking me. You may have intentionally asked me, or you may have just clicked into this link hoping to get somebody, anybody’s opinion, and you get mine. Bad luck. We don’t always get dealt the best hands. We can start out in life in the rose gardens and end up in the ditch. Life is a bitch, and you’re a snitch. I don’t know what that means but it rhymes. Thanks, Bob Dylan.

But we’re here to discuss vegan dips. In New Zealand. And specifically, which one is The Best, and why. What makes a bloody good kiwi dip? Creamy? Hearty? Dipping Ability? After all, you don’t want a dip so viscous that you slip your chip into the dip, and break that chip on its way out. A good dip should be accommodating, not thick and clingy: you’re the one eating the chip, not the dip. And you don’t want your relationship with the tip and chip to be like a tense three way love triangle with you assuming the girl, the chip is your boyfriend and the dip is his jealous ex. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I guess I’m really saying you shouldn’t have sex with your dip. Dip is good for many things – eating, for example. You could probably paint your walls with dip. Heck, you could use it as a lubricant. But there’s a big difference between having sex ‘with’ (alongside) the dip, and having sex with the dip. The difference is yours to make.

Going on a bit of a tangent, here, so let me get back on subject. So the three dips we have here are the from The Good Taste Company, who released the ‘Good From Scratch’ vegan dips in a marketing campaign with celebrity kiwi chef Michael Van De Elzen, famous for his ‘hit and miss’ approach of either making incredibly delicious food, or incredibly hated food. (Okay, I wanted to include a link. I can’t find that one scene from ‘The Food Truck’ where everyone is spitting out his food. But it exists, damn it!)

He’s a nice guy though, and he’s passionate about healthy food, so he gets points.

The range of dips is hit and miss too! So let’s go through each one of them and see what they have to say for themselves.

DIP 1: BLACK BEAN AND BEETROOT DIP

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You’ll either love this dip or hate it. I didn’t like it the first time, but quickly grew to love it. It’s an acquired taste, I guess. I like it because it really does have that hearty black bean and beetroot flavour. It tastes genuine, like a homemade hummus. It’s really thick however so it goes great with thick cut potato chips and a beer. Or five.

DIP 2: SPICED LENTIL AND CARROT DIP

There’s not too much great to say about this dip. It’s far too salty,  basically tastes like an amateur lentil curry at a Hare Krishna restaurant. It might go better with some dosas or idlis rather than my potato chips. Pass.

DIP 3: SMOKEY WHITE BEAN AND GARLIC DIP

This is the more popular of the dips. I guess because it’s the only one of the three that actually tastes like a traditional kiwi dip. It’s got that creamy, sour oniony flavour that I miss so much.

However, it’s just a bit too rich for me, and they went a bit overboard on the artificial smoke flavour. I wish they did what they did with Turkish Kitchen Manuka Smoked Garlic Hummus, and actually smoked that damn thing. It tastes so much more authentic:

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The greatest hummus ever.

So in conclusion, the black bean and beetroot wins! That’s what it’s on the featured image, too. Because it’s the best dip ever!

However, many dips remain out there, some discovered, some undiscovered, some that everyone loves yet I don’t know about. So let’s take a look at some of the dips that you might be interested to try:

The Saucy Vegan does an excellent looking Avocado dip

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Nest and Glow do a Raw Sweet Chili Dip

And Seasons Gourmet do two wicked pestos that apparently make great dips:

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And in homage to my friends in the vegan wordpress community, I suggest the following:

Red Pepper Dip (also gives you a recipe for some chips to go with!)

Smoked Spinach and Artichoke Dip (sounds delicious)

Spicy Moroccan Dip (the best dip ever?)

Sweet Pea Dip (i made a typo of Sweat Pee dip which sound delicious)

Spicy Sweet Potato Dip (eat it)

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Dip (say whaaat)

Well, there you go folks! In this blog post I said the word ‘dip’ exactly 43 times. So well done to you as much as it is to me. Do you have any great vegan dips? If so, I’d love for you to share them! Leave a comment below and follow!

Tasty Tofu Scramble Recipe (+ free poem)

Doug's Kitchen

Take a gamble, and read this preamble,

In which I ramble, ’bout my tofu scramble.


Put down that soup, from a brand called Campbell’s,

Before your put your health in shambles.

I’m not asking you to give me a famble,

Simply to try my tofu scramble.


Cook enough for 10, make your servings ample,

give your friends and family a sample.

And let is be a fine example,

Of how ye don’t need eggs if ye hath tofu scramble.


I hope this preamble has made a fine ensemble,

To this terrific tofu… scremble?


Ye Olde As Recipe:

  • 450 grams of soft or silken tofu
  • 1 /2 sliced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of marmite
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

for seasoning

  • A handful of curly-leaf parsley
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Dash of black pepper

Directions:

Let the marmite and oil heat in the pan. Add the sliced onion once hot. Press the tofu so it’s reasonably dry, but you don’t have to worry too much. Chuck the tofu in and use your spatula to scramble it up. Add the turmeric while you mash. After it’s fully mashed, add the nutritional yeast and salt. Mash it all up until it looks like scrambled tofu. Add more yeast or turmeric to your desires. Let it sizzle the rest of the liquid away.

Have as you would have scrambled eggs, but add parsley and a bit of lemon juice to the top for a kick.

How to make some MEAN baked beans

Doug's Kitchen
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Trinity = the Man – ie, ‘who needs greens when you got beans?’

O, baked beans. The food of kings. Did I say Kings? I meant cowboys. Cowboys who don’t need guns – they can shoot bullets out of their assholes and breathe fire.

Cowboys like Trinity, pictured right: the greatest cowboy in film history. Piss off Clint Eastwood, you whiny bastard, Terrence Hill will always be the the king of cowboy movies. Take a look at the 10 minute introduction to the cinematic masterpiece ‘They Call Me Trinity’:

(And yeah, you don’t have to watch the whole 10 minutes. Just have it playing in the background so you can enjoy the awesome theme music. No that is not the theme music to Django Unchained, it’s the theme music to They Call Me Trinity, which was stolen by a far shittier movie called Django Unchained)

Trinity is a badass. The reason he’s so great is because he spends the whole introduction sleeping on his rickshaw, as if to say, ‘I’m so badass, I don’t need to prove to you how badass I am’, until about nine minutes in when he shows that he’s the greatest gunslinger on God’s Green Earth, mowing down two villains behind him with his revolver in an insanely dexterous manner which defies all logic. In between that you see him eating some very cowboy-like food, possibly baked beans. That could be the reason for his amazing gun skills. He’s not too bad at slapping, too. In fact he really seems to like slapping people. I’d slap anyone who took my beans.

Now that we’re full of beans and campy testosterone, let’s figure out how to cook some mean beans. Because baked beans are a staple breakfast food in the English world, due to their beany goodness. Rich in beans, baked beans use the power of ‘baking’ to bake the

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when yor beans are baked af

beans to perfection, delivering you a final product we call ‘baked beans’. But if you’re like me and always just buy Watties or Oak (don’t buy the Pams or Home Brand, they’re shit), you can kinda get sick of them after a while.

 

So a long time ago (back in the good ol’ days), I started experimenting with adding cumin and chilli powder to baked beans, which spiced things up a little bit. But then I started currying them, by frying up potatoes in a rich blend of spices, then pouring in the beans. Chuck in some flatbreads and the end result is this:

So if you’re keen to do something like this, here’s a little recipe:

DOUGS SUPER AWESOME MEAN LEAN R18 BEANS (adults only)

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 3 – 4 Cayenne Peppers, deseeded
  • 1 can of Watties / Oak Baked beans
  • 1 tablespoon of Kale Oil

Directions:

Crush the shit out of the cumin seeds and chia seeds in a mortar and pestle. Chuck it in the pan when the oil is boiling hot. Get to work chopping up the deseeded peppers and chuck them in. Every 30 seconds pour in a tablespoon of baked beans along with a sprinkle of cumin powder. Keep doing this until all the beans are frying away with the cumin. Serve with fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano and your choice of bread.

DOUG’S SUPER INDIAN CURRIED BAKED BEANS

This is where things get intense. I actually made a little video but got sick of recording as it was an extremely hot day and frankly I just wanted to hurry the fuck up and eat the beans. I don’t know how these food vloggers do it. Anyway, the recipe goes something like this:

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of Cumin Powder
  • 3 -4 cayenne peppers, deseeds
  • 3 small kumaras
  • 1 can of watties / oak baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 can of watties baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • 2 tablespoons of Kale Oil

Directions:

Crush the cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle, and chuck it in the pan with the hot oil. Peel the kumaras and heat them up for two minutes in the microwave. Then dice them up and chuck them in the pan.


After a few minutes, chuck in the cumin powder, turmeric and cinnamon. Let fry for a few minutes. Then chuck in the chilli peppers. Cook until all the oil is dried up and the potatoes and chillies have become caked with spices. Then add the baked beans, and let some of the sauce fry off before chucking in the coconut cream. Finally, add the garam masala and turn off the heat.


Serve with coriander and rotis or other flatbread.

Anyway, here’s some more baked bean meals:

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Baked beans with tahini, parsley, chips, spinach, gluten-free toast and tomato sauce

 

Hash Browns with baked beams, spinach, nutritional yeast and wholegrain toast

 

 

Okay, I didn’t make this. It’s from the awesome cafe Mimosa – check it out! Tofu scramble, kumara bacon, guacamole, mushroom, baked beans and tomatoes

Tofu scramble with baked beans, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, gluten-free toast and ketchup

WELL, IT’S ‘BEAN’ A GOOD BLOG POST! I’LL SEE YOU GUYS NEXT TIME! BYE BYE!

The best burrito ever created?

Doug's Kitchen

Look at the burrito above. LOOK AT IT. Also, look at my leg. Now go back to looking at the burrito. Keep looking at it and ask yourself this one important question:

Is this the greatest burrito ever created?

The answer is almost certainly, yes.

Or not. Depends who you ask. If you ask most people, they would probably say no. If you ask Doug Wingate, he might say yes. In fact, he would say yes.

Will you join the ranks of the silent minority who agrees that this is the greatest burrito ever? Well, exactly what makes a burrito great? Great like Alexander the Great, conquering eastern lands and raiding them of their treasures and women? What kind of burrito would do that? Can you even imagine a burrito, jewel encrusted, sitting comfortably on his throne, surrounded by servants and concubines? Would that kind of burrito be monogamous or polygamous?

We’re slightly digressing here, so I’ll get back to the subject of ‘greatness’, which can also be like the kinda greatness you get with a movie, like ‘Rogue One was the greatest movie’, or ‘I will build a wall, it will be a great wall.’ What makes a Great Wall actually ‘Great’? If you went back in time and got in a furious argument with a Chinese overseer, he might tell you it’s a great wall because it’s so big, but then you remind him that the wall is not big, rather, just very long. ‘The Long Wall of China’ doesn’t sound as exciting. I hope Donald Trump builds his wall rediculously high. Just stupidly high, beyond all reasoning. Like 100 meters. That way Mexicans can never export their burritos to the United States ever again.

Oh wait, that sounds awful.

‘Sure, everyone hates Mexicans. Until you want a burrito.’ – Mexican proverb

Okay, that was a bit rough, but not as insulting as illustrator MoreVector on Shutterstock. Just look at the way he basically summarised all Mexican cuisine into three categories:

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It’s literally all they eat.

But then I realise I’m not actually suggesting my burrito is great, but rather, the best, which is also open to interpretation. I’m not suggesting my burrito tastes the best, rather that it simply is the best. For example, we can all agree that R2-D2 is better than Jar-Jar Binks, but would he taste better? Probably not. To be fair – and as a vegan it pains me to say this, but Jar-Jar Binks would almost certainly taste better. He’s kind of like a fish, and fish is probably the only meat that I think tastes good.

DISCLAIMER: yes, fish is a meat, and yes, I do not eat fishes, largely because (a) it’s an animal and (b) fish smells like rotten genitalia, but yes, I think fish tastes good.

Robots on the other hand, not so much. To give them credit, eating robots is vegan, but I will respectfully pass. I am pretty sure that when robo-pigs, cowbots and lambots starting taking over their organic counterparts, I will still happily pass on a synth-steak or other mechanical meats.

And if I ate R2 D2 everone would hate me. Whereas if I ate Jar-Jar people would just think I’m gross, but congratulate me at the same time. Here’s a video of a Cockatiel eating a keyboard:

Just slightly digressing here, so I’ll get back to the burrito, which I made this morning as literally second breakfast. My first breakfast was a kiwifruit, chia and cacao smoothie, which was like my ‘omg gonna work hard today on a half empty stomach, powered by the power of powerful plant power’ breakfast, and once it’s done i’m like ‘STILL HUNGRY’, but alas, I haven’t any starch! I need precious, precious starch to quickly fill up my stomach! Oh what is a boy to do?

But DEUS EX MACHINA, I realise to my excitement that I have burrito wraps in my freezer! I instantly begin cooking a fucked-up good burrito, and if I can remember correctly, here is the recipe:

For the ‘juicy meat center’

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Juicy and delicious. The food looks good too.

  • TSP meat (I used 1/2 a packet of Blissful Lamb Tenderloins)
  • 1/4 can of baked beans
  • 2 small ceyenne peppers
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

For the burrito

  • 1 x Farrah’s burrito wrap
  • Smoked Garlic Hummus
  • A handful of spinach
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 6-7 oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini

EAT IT

How to make an INSANE curry

Doug's Kitchen

Here’s a very special, tasty curry I’m so happy to share. If you’re in Auckland, I can tell you where to get the ingredients, too!

The backstory to this curry is pretty simple. I had gone on a 2 month hiatus from making curries because… I was getting bored! 

Yes, bored of curries. WHAT. WHO EVEN AM I. It’s a perversion. Curry by its nature is about… constant and never ending variation! Cooking a curry is a special time where I get to be a mad scientist chucking fucked-up herbs and spices into a pot and laughing maniacally:

‘No, son! No mortal man can possibly eat that many cardomom pods!’

‘If you eat that curry, you will literally DIE.’

‘I put a ghost chilli in the curry.’

You put a ghost chilli in the curry? Are you nuts? A whole ghost chilli pepper?

‘No, I mean a whole ghost chilli plant, leaves and all.’

‘Did you put drugs in this curry?

‘No, that’s just the chillies. And the drugs. Oh wait, I did put in some drugs!’

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Pictured above: the face of pure, unrefined evil. Wait, but at least it’s unrefined right? Unlike damn Olive Oil. Bah!

Alas, things stopped being so interesting. I found myself doing the same ‘sautee onions and garlic in spices, tomatoes coconut cream’ over and over and over. I wanted something different. Basically every curry was the same Aloo Dum, like this, which is delicious and I highly recommend, but as I said, a bad habit we can fall into is making the same curry over and over again without variation.

So when I got my hands on these delicious ‘lamb’
tenderloins at the Blissful Health and Vegetarian Shop, Mt Albert, my immediate thought was “lamb?” “lamb curry?”

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Lamb? Damb! Sweet, I’ll make a “lamb” curry.

But then we noticed I had a beetroot in my fridge from ages ago. It amazed me how long those things can last. It’s a real example of the power of taproot vegetables!

So I googled ‘beetroot lamb curry” and clicked into this link. And I followed the recipe to the dot. – besides these changes:

  • Replacing 750 grams of real baby sheep leg with 200 grams of TVP fake lamb tenderloin like a BOSS.
  • Replaced the plain yoghurt with this coconut yoghurt like a BOSS.

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  • Replaced the ghee with margarine like a CHAMP
  • Finally, I didn’t boil the beetroot, instead just grated it and chucked it in the nutri-bullet like a GANGSTER.

So here’s a comparison picture of the original curry vs my vegan counterpart:

Uncanny!

So after a 2 month hiatus off curries, I came back with a bang! This was a total success. Probably the best curry I’ve ever made. If Donald Trump tried this curry he’d probably use words like “tremendous” and “terrific” to describe it. I give thanks to the easy to veganise recipe which really encouraged me to deviate from the usual. It’s the complete opposite of my usual curry – it’s meaty, creamy and fatty and delicious. It gave me that sweet, sweet heartburn. But it’s also vegan. Give it a go!

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By the way, if you’re looking for an interesting and exciting take on an Aloo Dum curry, try this recipe or DIE.

I mean DIET. If you’re not gonna eat these tasty curries you might as well go on a diet.

Anyway, since you were so patient reading this whole article, here’s some awesome curry-related content to share with you:

A baby using some roti as a blanket:

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A Malaysian Wedding with a rediculously huge pot of curry:

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A chef totally stoked over his kitchen packed with Indian food:

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A funny skit featuring Rowan Atkinson as an Indian Waiter:

Well, that’s all, folks! Please hurry and share me your curry-related stuff! Bye-bye!

I’m Never Baking a Pizza Again

Doug's Kitchen

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I’m never going to bake a pizza again.

‘Wait a minute,’ you’re probably saying right now, ‘how are you going to live without pizza?’

That’s a fine question. A life without pizza is no life it all. It’s more of a static existence, like a pebble on the sidewalk.

Don’t worry. I’m still going to make pizza, I’m just never going to bake pizza. Because now I’ve discovered the wonder of fried pizza, I’m never looking back.

Specifically raw-fried pizza. That may sound like an oxymoron, and it is. But what I mean is simply this: the pizza base is fried, leaving you free to chuck on your topping fresh and raw.

I got the idea from this Jamie Oliver video with Antonio Carluccio doing his favourite fried pizza. Real Italian pizza tastes fresh and alive. Its been abused by Americanisation to the point where we associate Pizza with cholesterol and heart attacks. But Italian food is usually fresh as fresh can be. Are you reheating your leftover pasta? If you are, stop now! It’s better cold. Anyway, here’s the video:

And not only did this pizza look tasty, it was fully vegan pizza until the last moment when he chucked some Mozzarella on the top.

With all this talk of Italian tradition,  you may call it sacrilege to fry your pizza. But I think good vegan food is not about imitating your old favourites, but reimagining them. For me, pizza went from a cheesy, sticky mess to a living, breathing dish full of flavour and character. Nothing beats fresh sliced capsicum or Kalamata olives straight from the brine. And basil is just something that was not ever meant to be served any other way but freshly picked of the plant. That’s why if I urgently need basil, I buy the whole plant.

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If you’re making gluten-free bases, you are at an extra advantage, because the best GF pizza bases are made from a liquid batter, like a pancake. This allows you to make them as thin as possible. The best gluten-free bases are thin, crunchy and fried.

Also, frying your pizza takes less time than baking it, meaning you have more time for activities, or making more pizza. Pizza no longer seems like an ambitious task, and so ultimately, I am eating more pizza.

And a life with more pizza is a better life.

Going raw isn’t about abandoning everything and eating just fruits and nuts. It starts with finding ways to implement raw practices into your meals. Do this enough and idea of a fully nuked dish just doesn’t appeal to you anymore. So get started on a raw-fried pizza and share your results with me today!

Vegan Gluten-Free Gingernut Recipe

Doug's Kitchen

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Some day I hope my grandkids will buy packaged biscuits and think ‘Fuck this. Granddad’s were way better.’ (that is hoping my grandkids are vegans)

So I set out to make my future grandkids proud: by creating a Ginger Nut kinda like Griffin’s. That means salty, spicy awesomeness!  That means this ad:

So I made a recipe is based off an excellent ginger cookie recipe I found on food.com. Go check it out if you want a more standard biscuit, it’s great. I’ve made a few changes, first exchanging regular flour for buckwheat, adding more ginger and salt and a bit less molasses.

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  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups of buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄2 cup oil
  • 1⁄4 cup molasses
  • 1⁄4 cup soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Take two large bowls. Stir dry ingredients in one, and whisk wet ingredients in  the other until it forms a dark liquid. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the second bowl, mixing little scoops into the liquid at a time. Dumping all of it in at once will make mixing more difficult.

Preheat the oven to bake on 150 degrees Celsius (300 fahrenheit). Spread a thin layer of flour across the baking tray (I prefer doing this to prevent sticking rather than wasting money on baking paper).

Remember, we’re making tough English style gingernuts, not squishy little baby biscuits, so the batter needs to have a clay like consistency – it must be more dry and crumbly than a standard biscuit but make sure that it gets beaten and mixed very well. Begin rolling it into a ball once they’re perfectly smooth, without any lumps. Flatten them to about 2.5 cm and let them bake for about half an hour. Once finished, take them out and put them on a place where they can cool completely. Buckwheat hardens rapidly as it cools down, and toughness is what puts the nuts in Gingernuts! Haha

Beware: You’ll need some strong black tea for dipping.