Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways …and the best homemade crackers!

This post is dedicated to the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop.  Check out the link for amazing resources on everything DIY and sustainable, from inspirational writers in the blogosphere.

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I have a 2 year-old who could live off crackers.

Since we try to keep it healthy in our household, I don’t buy the refined flour type, I try to keep it gluten free and organic.  Brown.

Well, if you’re into organic crackers, you know you can go through boxes and bags of them easily and the cost adds up!  (Especially if you have little munchkins who like to much them)

So rather than wasting plastic and cardboard, why not make your own big batch.  It’s a win-win-win in my eyes – save on money, packaging, and gain on flavour and freshness.

I’ve been meaning to make my own crackers for a long time, fresh homemade crackers with seeds and whole grains …mmm so wholesome.  The last gluten-free cracker recipe I tried was too complicated, so I decided to create my own, something a little more simple – and I was inspired…

We love Mary’s Organic Crackers, also Mary’s “sticks and twigs”.  It’s a great but slightly pricy brand.  If you haven’t had them, they’re great because they’ve got lots of texture, just the right amount of salt and a super-satisfying crunch.  Looking at the back of the box, the ingredients were simple – surely I could whip them up myself!  Quinoa, brown rice, sesame seeds, flax, chia and tamari (don’t quote me exactly) sounds simple enough.

The result – chunky, crunchy, whole grain and seed crackers are born.  They are perfect in their imperfection.  It may not look beautiful – but don’t judge it until you try it!!  Prepare to be impressed.  It was my first time making them, so they look less than perfect – but were a very happy and tasty experiment!

Combined with a fresh organic veggie plate, dip, or avocado, it’s a simple item to take to a potluck or for kids to pick at lunch.  I hope this easy recipe inspires you to play around and perfect your own.

Use different combinations of grains (whatever you have on hand), use different shapes, textures, etc.  By the way, the recipe makes a big batch (3-4 baking sheets, if you bake it all at once), so store the uneaten ones in a re-used bag, box or bottle.  Or you can store the unbaked dough in an airtight container in the fridge (wouldn’t leave it more than a week).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup grain of choice (optional, I used kamut)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • Sea salt or rock salt to taste, or use about 1/4 cup organic tamari or Bragg’s soy seasoning (taste test until you get the right level of salt)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (use sesame oil, avocado oil or coconut oil if you prefer, olive oil is not good to cook with at high temperatures)

Procedure

  • Cook the quinoa, brown rice and grains in 5-6 cups of water, according to package directions.
  • While it is cooking, soak the flax and chia seeds in 1 cup of water.  Add more water, as needed (at least 20 minutes of soaking time).  I used a lot more flax and chia in this picture, but the mixture can also be used for cereals and in baking.
  • Take 1/2 or 3/4 of the cooked grains, and blend them with water until they are a smooth mushy consistency.   This leaves a bit of whole grain in the texture of the cracker.
  • In a large bowl, combine this blended mixture with the rest of the grains, the soaked chia and flax seeds, the sesame seeds, the salt/tamari, and the oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F  (also experiment with lower temperatures, it will take longer to bake)
  • Take a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and scoop out about 2 1/2 cups of the mixture onto it.  Spread it out as well as you can with a spatula.  Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll it out, using a rolling pin or bottle to create a smooth surface.
  • Now score the crackers to your desired size, but gently cutting with a knife.  This way they break apart into even shapes when they are cooked.  You can even score the edges so that they are perfectly even.  However I like mine rough around the edges…it’s artistic right?
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until one side is golden brown and crispy.  Take them out, flip over and take the parchment sheet off to bake the other side through (about 5 more minutes).  If you bake them on a lower temperature for longer, you might be able to skip this step.

Break them off when cooled, and enjoy!  Let me know how your experiments go, love your feedback in the comments section.  🙂

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