Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spicy Pepita & Almond Crackers



Gratefully shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays - April 16, 2014.

Years ago when I met my dear friend Terri she taught me how to make delicious dehydrator crackers.  They are gluten free, grain free and full of healthy, flavorful ingredients.  Terri always dehydrates them to keep her crackers raw and full of enzymes but I’m not nearly as patient and I bake mine at a very low temp until dry.  The lowest temperature my oven will do is 170 degrees.  I think that’s probably too high to be considered raw but that’s the temperature I usually use.  Baking at a higher heat will be faster but you really need to be really careful so they don’t over brown. The great thing is, though, you can dry or bake them to suit you.

 I’ve long since lost the original recipe but this recipe is so versatile and adaptable so use what you have on hand and your own tastes. I believe we used sunflower seeds and whole flax seeds with our almond meal in the beginning.  Terri liked curry if I remember correctly and I loved lots of Jalapeno in mine.  I decided to make a tray of crackers yesterday and pulled out what sounded good and what was handy.  There was a beautiful Cayenne pepper in my garden so I used it. Because they can be so much hotter than Jalapenos are I partially deseeded it before chopping.  When I use a Jalapeno I leave the seeds. Even one entire Cayenne didn’t make the crackers hot, just flavorful. I usually use the juice of limes but had lemon handy and there really wasn’t much of a difference.

The hearty texture and kick of spice pairs nicely with guacamole, hummus or black bean dips.  A little container of these babies in your bag would be perfect for a quick snack while you’re out. They’re high in protein and low in carbs to give you a boost without the sugar low other snacks can give.

The guys tried them today and they both liked them and they weren't too hot for Joe. If I were making them to my taste I'd have thrown in another Cayenne.

Spicy Pepita & Almond Crackers

1 large Carrot, finely grated
1 large handful Cilantro, chopped with stems
1 Cayenne Pepper, partially deseeded and chopped
1 cup raw Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup Almond Meal
2 tablespoons Flax Meal
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Mix everything together in a food processor or Vitamix with tamp.  I’ve even used my stick blender successfully.  You can decide how lumpy or pureed you prefer the texture.  Today I really blended it all to a really smooth dough but you can see there are specks of veggies and seeds.

Spoon out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll as thin and flat as possible.  Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the crackers to the size and shape you prefer.  I find giving them the fork marks helps them to dry more evenly and quickly.

Baking at 170 will take a few hours - yes hours - but the oven is barely on and hardly needs tending to.  The best part is your house will smell amazing all day.  After about two hours I flip them over so they dry underneath.  Check every thirty minutes or so after that and move them around to keep them drying evenly.  If I need to run out during this time I just flip the oven to warm to slow it down a bit.

If you prefer to bake them at 350 or so you'll need to watch them closely to make sure they outer rows don't burn.  You'll want to flip and move them after about 15 minutes and then about every five minutes.

If you're patient like Terri, follow your dehydrator's instructions.

Enjoy!

2 comments:

Zoe said...

Love this cracker recipe. Will bookmark this for a Christmas picnic!

chacha said...

Zoe, thanks for both comments. I really appreciate them and have been enjoying your baking for kids blog. I love the idea of being able to picnic on Christmas - very jealous!