Yesterday I attended a class on given by a friend on making crackers out of seeds and nuts. I really enjoyed the class despite the fact that I initially I only signed up to give moral support for her first class. As part of a balanced family, I like to try new recipes and snacks that are healthy. Especially since my kids and husband LOVE junk food. I was excited to try these crackers.
Seeds and nuts are packed full of protein and nutrients. The crackers are super easy to make. After her class I went to the store and bought all of the ingredients for making them and I am hoping that my picky 2 1/2 year-old will like them. They are high in protein and fiber and have lots of nutrients. Here are some of the benefits of the different ingredients:
chia: omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. Be careful not to eat too much of it dry though, I read it can bind up in your intestines.
flax: Vitamin B1 and B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium
almonds: healthy fats, fiber, protein, magesium, vitamin E
sunflower seeds: B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein, vitamin E
coconut: manganese (important for bone health), protein, copper and iron
pumpkin seeds: high in antioxidants and protein. Also good for heart and bladder health.
These crackers are easy to make and there are lots of variations. Basically, the flax seed and chia act as a binding agent once you add hot water to them. They get slimy once you add the hot water and then they stick better to the other ingredients before you flatten them out on a cookie sheet.
Here is the recipe I tried, and just like smoothies, once you get the hang of it you can make endless variations without even measuring.
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons ground flax seed
3 Tablespoons chia seed
9 Tablespoons hot water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dry dill (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the hot water to the chia and flax seed. Coarsely chop the other ingredients in a food processor, or alternatively you can coarsely chop them. You will want them to be small enough that you can flatten them out to cracker-thickness, however, if there are some chunks it is fine. Add the chopped nuts and seeds to the flax and chia in water and mix until thoroughly combined. If the mixture is too crumbly add another tablespoon of hot water.
Flatten the ingredients on a cookie sheet. You can either use a silicone non-stick cooking mat to put on the cookies sheet, or parchment paper. Or, since I don´t have a silicone mat and I was out of parchment paper, I put about a teaspoon of coconut oil (any oil will do) on the pan and spread it around with my fingers to ensure the pan was coated. Then, I flattened out the mixture on the cookie sheet with a spatula and switched to pressing it down with my hands that I had wet with water first so that they didn´t stick to my cracker mixture. Make sure to flatten it evenly to the thickness of a cracker. Using the spatula, cut the crackers to the size you want before baking.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes. I live in a humid environment, and that is why I have to bake them so long. Try 20 minutes first, they will look lightly brown when done.
Mine came out of the pan easily, as you can see in the pictures.
I´d love to say the my family loved these crackers, but they didn´t. I thought they were great, and I ended up eating all of them that day. I am sold on eating more nuts and seeds and getting my family to eat more of them too. This morning I added some sunflower seed, flax, and pecans to a whole wheat pancake, and this time my toddler was game for eating it. I have some other ideas as well, that I will add as I try them. Let me know if you have any questions about making these crackers!