Small Plates

By Aine Carlin | July 8, 2011

Photo: Aine Carlin

I like playing around with food, messing with it and just having silly fun, which is exactly how these little ‘cocktail sausages’ came about. Okay, so there is nothing sausage like about these semi sweet morsels other than the shape but that’s what makes them fun (I’m easily amused). Stick a cocktail stick in ‘em even. Go wild. Go crazy!

These fun ‘sausages’ are not just silly, they also have a serious side and contain a whole load of goodness that you certainly wouldn’t find in a real sausage. 

Photo: Aine Carlin

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients included in these raw delights. First up, we’ve got plain old traditional oats. Oats are magnificent and are full to bursting with essential nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and potassium. Not only that but they also contain a soluble fibre that purportedly helps to reduce cholesterol. Winner.

Photo: Aine Carlin

Next we have a slightly more unusual ingredient in the amaranth pops. What the heck are amaranth pops I hear you cry? Well, these little beauties are a grain that has been eaten since as far back as the Incas and was once described as ‘the crop of the future’. That surely is a bold claim, however, I’m not one bit surprised and you won’t be either when you soon discover they are an excellent source of (deep breath)… vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin BC, vitamin C, riboflavin, folates, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. Phew!

Photo: Aine Carlin

Wait, wait! I’m not finished yet! Amaranth also contains protein (bingo!) and just like oats is said to help with conditions such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Eaten regularly (which I do) it can reduce blood pressure and combat that dreaded cholesterol. Have I sparked your interest yet? Then get thee to the health store pronto.

One more crazy ingredients coming at ya now and then I’ll stop. Maca. Ever heard of it? Neither had I until recently but it really is fabulous stuff and I use it all the time now even in my smoothies. Again, full of essential nutrients; calcium, magnesium, iron, you get the picture. It comes in powder form, has a malty flavor, which I personally love and works amazingly well in shakes. Remember, taste is paramount too – it’s all well and good these ingredients being uber fabulous for your body but if they don’t taste great too, what’s the point?

Photo: Aine Carlin

There are a few more fantastic ingredients in these weenie ‘weiners’ but I think I’ll stop there lest I overwhelm you with information and send you running a mile in the opposite direction. I shall leave you with this nugget then. Call it a slogan. Imagine it emblazoned on one of those fantastic old school advertisement posters.

These ‘sausages’ could help your heart.

Now there’s a sentence you don’t hear every day!

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 flaked almonds
  • 1/4 cup amaranth pops
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1 heaped tsp Maca
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan or rock salt

Directions

1. Put the oats, almonds and amaranth pops in the blend and blitz until to a fine powder.

2, Remove the stone from the dates and chop into small pieces. Add to the blender along with the maca powder, ginger and salt.

3. Blitz until all the ingredients combine into a firm lump. You may have to scrape down the sides with a spatula from time to time.

4. Turn out into a bowl and tear off a small piece (about a teaspoon amount), roll into a ball and then shape in a sausage. You should get 10-12 'sausages' from the mix. Refrigerate until very firm.

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