So I'm pretty excited about this one.
A few weeks ago, if you'd told me I'd be happily crafting my own crackers right here at home, I'd likely have dismissed such a statement as well, pretty silly. I mean, crackers - those snacks we all crave that you buy in a box at the store? Boxes and boxes and rows and rows of them. Mary, Leslie, Ms. Christie. They all seem to have it going on in the cracker department already, no? And really, who has the time to fuss about cooking, mixing, rolling, scoring, etc., when the plentiful (tasty) options and convenience wipe out the need completely? Turns out I do. And what fun these are to make and eat! So take my word for it on this one: you'll make these and you will want to right away make them again. They are easy, they don't make a mess, and they make you feel great - 100% vegan, free of gluten for those with sensitivities, and chock full of fibre and protein. Plus, they taste utterly delicious!
Now to start, I use GRAIN Golden Quinoa, since it's kind of easy for me to get now (seeing as it is my company - in the spirit of full disclosure). I'm sure you could use just about any quinoa here but the extra depth of flavour and nuttiness of the Canadian stuff really shines in this recipe.
If you can find Golden flax, the results (and visual difference) are worth it, but regular old brown flax will do the trick just as well - included in this post are pictures of both. It's all good here.
You don't need a long time to try this, just a little forethought if you want to soak the quinoa first. Giving it a little soak softens it and helps to pre-digest. I think it makes a big difference in the final product, but if you are short on time you can certainly skip that step. Enjoy these crispy crackers with your favourite dips or on their own. And certainly let your creative juices flow - there are so may options here for flavours to add (think of tomato powder, basil, black pepper, sesame, minced olives, garlic powder). Just nail the technique first and see where it takes you...
As for me? I'm just glad to be back in the kitchen. I hope you are all in your happy places too! I can feel it, I am back for real this time. Yup, and it feels good :) xox
The Essential Cracker: Quinoa, Flax + Poppyseed:
- 1 cup quinoa (I use this one)
- 3 cups fresh cold water for soaking
- 1 cup whole golden or brown flax, (divided)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chopped Rosemary
- 3 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup olive oil
If you are soaking the quinoa, combine quinoa and cold water (enough to cover, about 3 cups) in a clean bowl. Leave on the counter and soak for anywhere from 4-24 hours. When ready to make crackers, drain the quinoa and rinse well with cold water. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and gather all of your ingredients. Lay the drained quinoa on a flat baking tray (no need for oil) and spread out as evenly as you can. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, stirring here and there to distribute (careful to bring in the quinoa on the edges as it will brown first). When the quinoa is dry and smelling 'toasted' remove from the oven and let cool.*
*If you are not soaking the quinoa you can skip this entire step and head straight to the next step.
While the quinoa toasts, combine 1/2 cup flax seeds with 1 cup of cold water in a medium-large mixing bowl. Allow to sit for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Prep the rosemary and set aside.
When the quinoa has cooled enough to handle, transfer the dry toasted quinoa to your blender (a Blendtec or Vitamix will work best), and add the other 1/2 cup of flax. Blend to a fine powder.
Next, stir the flax and water together - it will have formed a gel. Add all the remaining ingredients to the soaked flax, stirring well with your hands until it forms an evenly mixed ball. To make the crackers, split the dough in two and place the first half between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll the cracker dough out to be 1/6 of an inch thick, gathering any dough that creeps out the dyes and putting in back in the bowl for the next round. When the dough is rolled out thinly and evenly, place the entire piece of parchment onto a flat baking tray (removing the top piece for re-use). Use a butter knife to lightly score the crackers into your desired shapes (triangles or squares are nice). Repeat until all the dough is used (you should get two large trays from this recipe).
Place the crackers in the 350-degree oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the crackers are browning on the bottom. Remove, cool, and break into pieces. Enjoy with your favourite dip, cheese, or on their own. These babies will keep very well for up to a week in a sealed container. There, homemade crackers. It's actually a tonne of fun! Enjoy! I'd love to know how you guys make out with this one :)