Super Seedy Crackers (Vegan, Gluten-free)

April 08, 2015

I'm back! My laptop had water damage, so I've been computer-less for the past two weeks. I thought I kind of fixed it after disassembling it, but it was charging sporadically and then finally stopped taking a charge. I took it in to a local computer repair place and they said it was unfixable. So now I have a shiny (very large) new computer! I went with a desktop this time because they're cheaper and less easy to damage. Extra storage is a big bonus, too. I had been planning a big site overhaul for last week, but unfortunately wasn't able to do it without a computer. It might still happen this week. Any suggestions? I'm really not a fan of how my website looks right now, and if anyone has ideas in terms of labeling/indexing or anything like that, let me know!

I wrote and shot this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and it rocked my socks. Graham said they were easily the best crackers I've ever made (move over, buckwheat) and my mom asked me to make some for our Easter dinner. They're crunchy, savoury, salty little gems, and great energy boosters to boot. I've been eating them with hummus, nut butter, veggies, and just plain whenever I need something to nibble on. The recipe is pretty flexible, and I've included two variations below, so don't worry if you don't have all the seeds on hand. You can easily substitute whatever's in your pantry.

These aren't called super seedy crackers for no reason, folks. I'm talking super-food seeds that'll make you feel oh so fabulous. Pretty much any seeds you can get your hands on are little tiny nutritional powerhouses, and I've used some of my favourites here, including the much talked about hemp and chia. Both are best if eaten raw, but it's not as though they become unhealthy when baked. Hemp, for example, is packed with omega-6 and omega-3, 10 grams of protein, 30% of your daily iron and thiamine, and 70% of your daily recommended magnesium intake per three tablespoons. Three tablespoons! Seeds, baby. Both hemp and chia can be pretty pricey, though, so I always combine them with less expensive seeds when baking. It's funny, though, because I live in Manitoba and buy Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts, but they're way cheaper in the US. Go figure.

Makes ~40 crackers

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds*
1/2 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flax
1 cup oat flour*
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 325F/160C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. I've found that shitty, single walled baking sheets work a lot better than the fancy double walled ones do for this recipe.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Make a shallow well in the centre and add the water and oil and mix well. It'll be pretty runny, but don't despair.

Pour equal amounts onto your two prepared baking sheets and spread thinly and as evenly as possible. An offset spatula is perfect for this, but if you don't have on, just wet your hands and kind of pat it down until it's about half a centimetre thick. Try not to leave any holes.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove sprinkle with an additional half teaspoon salt for each pan. Cut into desired shapes with a knife or pizza wheel, and then pop them back into the oven for an additional 25-30 minutes. If you use a non-stick mat instead of parchment paper, bake for an extra ten minutes or so. They should be golden and crispy. Cool completely on a rack before packaging. They keep well for at least a week in a sealed container on the counter.

I did another, less expensive, variation of these crackers with 1/3 cup flax seeds, 1/3 cup sunflower, and 1/3 cup hemp. You could use sesame seeds, or pretty much any smaller seeds, to replace some of what I've suggested. I don't really recommend pepitas because it's harder to get a nice shape when you're cutting the crackers. Otherwise, use what you have on hand.

1. Using toasted seeds will result in a rather overwhelming flavour.
2. To make oat flour, blend a scant cup of rolled oats in a food processor until a fine flour forms.

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