Monday, August 5, 2013

Grain Free Crackers (raw, gluten free, candida friendly)

A big focus for me with H's restricted diet is making sure we always have food he can eat immediately--no cooking or prep work needed.  He's not much of a cook (and now doesn't seem like the right time to throw him in the deep end in that learning process) and I know him well enough to know planning for hunger isn't his strong suit (exhibit a: going on a 12 mile July hike with no food and no water wearing Chuck Taylors). Lucky for him, his wife is an obsessive over-planner and over-preparer; we balance each other out.  He does fun stuff.  I make crackers.

While we've come up with a handful of snack ideas, they're mostly unadulterated plant foods (raw vegetables, nuts).  I wanted to add a little variety, so I came up with these.  They're not as addictive as packaged, grain-based crackers, but they are tasty and easy to transport, so I call win.

Notes

Though this recipe doesn't require a lot of hands-on time, it takes at least 24 hours to make, double that if you choose to soak your almonds.  I'm giving you the recipe for a single batch, but the recipe doubles beautifully.  It takes as long to make a double batch as a single batch, so after our first batch, I've been automatically doubling this.

I soak the almonds for this because (reportedly) doing so makes them easier to digest and the lemon juice helps kill any fungus present in the nuts.  I've also done these with nuts that have been pre-soaked and dehydrated, grinding them dry and adding enough water to make a dough.  The latter tells me you can do these with unsoaked nuts, just adding as  much water as you need to get a cohesive dough.

I haven't played with making these in the oven.  If you don't own a dehydrator, I imagine you can make them in the oven on the lowest heat setting, but you'll want to watch them carefully to determine when they're done.  They may take only a couple of hours or they may take longer--let me know if you have any tips on doing them this way!






Grain Free Crackers

3 c. raw almonds


  • Place these in a bowl, cover them with water, squeeze in the juice of one lemon and let them sit for 12-24 hours, changing the water one time.
1/2 c. ground flax seed

  • Soak the flax in 1 cup of water for at least 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes thickened.
  • Drain your almonds and rinse them very well, then place them into a food processor and process until the nuts turn into (wet) meal.  Transfer the almonds to a large mixing bowl.  Add
1.5 t. salt (preferably sea salt for flavor)

For "everything bagel" variation, add
 2 t. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. caraway seeds

For southwest variation, add
2 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. coriander
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
2 t. dried cilantro


  • Mix the seasonings into the ground almonds until well mixed.
  • Add the flax/water mixture and mix well.
  • Turn 1/2 cup dough onto a nonstick dehydrator sheet and place another dehydrator sheet face-down on top of the dough.  Roll the dough out (I prefer a rolling pin but you can also press with your hands) until it's about 1/8 inch thick.  Don't worry too much about getting it perfectly square; you'll clean up the edges later.  Remove the top dehydrator sheet.
  • Repeat the rolling out process with the remainder of the dough.
  • Dehydrate for about 2 hours at 115°
  • Remove the sheets from the dehydrator and cut into desired-size squares.  A rolling pizza cutter or pastry cutter works great for this.  
  • Separate the crackers, leaving 1/4 inch of so of space between each, return to the dehydrator and dehydrate at 115° until crackers are dry and crisp--12-18 hours, depending on size.  It's difficult to over-dehydrate these, so it's okay if you need to leave them in longer.
  • Yum.
xo

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