You’d think that for someone who moves around so much my biggest struggle would be with missing people, but mostly, I just miss food. When I am in Denmark I always long for year-round kale; when I am in Canada, I miss Danish rye bread. I settle in a place, get used to what’s available, and then have to leave it all behind. I suppose this is a luxury problem. I’m not feeling much sympathy from you right now.
One thing I surely long for in Denmark is an over-the-top health food Mecca, such as Whole Foods. We got nothin’ of the sort here. Nope, only really cute cottage-like mini shops carrying pretty much the same stuff as the equally adorable place in the neighborhood over. I am still not feeling anything sympathy from you, but it istough! There are things you just can’t find over here. We’re definitely missing out on the superfoods, a long list of supplements, exotic nuts, powdered stuff, …and brown rice crackers, specifically, Mary’s Gone Crackers brand. Even though I am anything but a packaged-food kind of girl, when I get back to Canada it’s one of the few indulgences I buy. They are so crunchy, flaky, toasty, and nutty, all organic and gluten-free without any crazy ingredients, and they are an insanely addictive.
I think there is some expression out there about necessity? You get where this is going. I made my own crackers.
I began by visiting the Mary’s Gone Crackers site and re-familiarizing myself with their virtuous ingredient list. Of course I have no idea what ratios they use in their recipe, but I combined the same foods they use, and in one try, I nailed it. Bam.
Why are these crackers, happy crackers? Because they are made exclusively with whole foods. They are gluten-free and vegan. They are loaded with protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fats. In fact, how about I break down the awesome nutritional power of these little guys, because they are certainly more than stupifyingly delicious.
Brown rice Brown rice is the least processed and therefore most nutritious type of rice – the only kind that contains precious vitamin E.Just one cup of brown rice will provide you with 88.0% of the daily value for manganese. This trace mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system, and in the production of cholesterol, which is used by the body to produce sex hormones. Rawr.
Quinoa Quinoa is an energy-rich food that delivers heaps of fibre and protein with very little fat and no gluten. The protein quinoa supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids in a balanced ratio, making it a good choice for vegetarian and vegans concerned about adequate protein intake. And because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous, this grain may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Flax Flax seeds are a miracle food for yourdigestive tract. Flax seeds have a very high fiber content, including the unique “mucilaginous” fiber which we take advantage of in this recipe. When flax is soaked in water the seeds create a magical goopy gel that acts a binder, but also helps to delay gastric emptying and can improve intestinal absorption of nutrients. Flaxseed fibers help to steady the passage of food through our intestines. Finally, the lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduce risk of colon cancer.
Sesame The sesame seed is a mineral-rich powerhouse. Copper for thyroid support, maintaining bone health, iron utilization, and free radical elimination. Magnesium for relaxing your nerves and muscles, build and strengthening bones, and keep blood circulating smoothly. And lastly, sesame seeds provide us with high amounts of calcium for building a strong bone matrix, helping clot the blood and supporting muscle function.
The most brilliant part about this recipe is the customizability. You like black olives? Throw ‘em in there! Garlic? Delicious. Smoked paprika? Excellent idea! Once you make the dough up, there are endless flavour possibilities and combinations to explore. Within one batch of dough you can make as many flavours as you like too – one round of crackers could yield 10 different types if you fancy. Imagine! And because there aren’t any funky ingredients, you can taste the dough before baking to make sure it is seasoned just right. You can even refrigerate or freeze the dough for later use if you don’t want to make it all up in one day. How sweet is that?
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup unhulled sesame seeds
½ cup flax seeds
2 Tbsp. tamari
1 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Place flax seeds in a bowl and cover with ½ cup water. Let soak for at least 20 minutes. At this time you can prepare everything else.
2. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Blend cooled rice, quinoa, soaked flax, salt, tamari and olive oil in a food processor until a dough is created – it should form a ball in the food processor (add water if too dry, one tablespoon at a time). Then add the toasted sesame seeds and pusle to incorporate. The dough will be very sticky.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
5. Take out the amount of dough you want to work with and place it on top of parchment paper. Add the desired nuts/spices/herbs/vegetables and knead to incorporate. Season to taste. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a very thin, even slab. Remove the top layer of parchment and using a knife or biscuit cutter, score the top of the dough into desired shapes. Slide the parchment on to a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes until crispy and golden (cooking time will depend on thickness of dough).
6. When the crackers are done, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Break crackers along score lines, let cool completely and store in an airtight container. If the crackers have baked unevenly (some are crispy and others are not) place the uncooked ones back on the baking sheet and in the oven until entirely dry. Crackers keep for one week.
Things to Add:
Nuts & Seeds
Spices & Herbs
Garlic powder (incorporates easier than fresh)
Cracked black pepper
Coconut palm sugar
Well friends, if you haven’t tried a My New Roots recipe before, I’d say this would be a great place to begin. In fact these little crackers may even turn you into a whole food fanatic! Who knew you could blend a bunch of cooked grains and seeds up to make the tastiest snacks ever? I am still in blissful shock and delight. Join me! Eat a happy cracker.