It seems like there are so many healthy options out there for dips, spreads and stuff that tastes good on chips or crackers, but not as many healthy chips, cracker or ‘vessels’ in general. If you buy crackers that contain nuts and seeds, who knows how long they have been sitting on the shelf for and how rancid their fats might be, but if you buy gluten-free or whole-grain crackers, they can be full of refined carbs that cancer cells gobble up. My usual answer to this is to have plenty of fresh, chopped up veggies -carrots, cucumber, broccoli etc, in your fridge, ready to dip into your guacamole/green hummus/sprouted lentil dip, whenever you are feeling hungry. I appreciate that this is not always realistic, as it requires planning ahead, and feeling well and energetic enough to prep veggies on a regular basis (having a personal chef helps, too).
Enter the seed cracker. These crackers were created out of a need for something plain-tasting that contained lots of fiber and healthy fats, lasted longer than a couple of days and could handle being dipped. They are the perfect snack to have around to keep your hand out of the cracker box and to help keep you on top of your nutrition game. If it seems ridiculous to you that I just recommended that you make your own crackers if you don’t feel well enough to chop up some veggies, send this recipe to a friend or family member who keeps offering their help. Trust me, they want to help you, they just don’t know what to do. Making you some crackers will make them feel SO GOOD! Everybody wins. And if you feel well enough to make them yourself, make some extra ones for someone who doesn’t. It’s called cracker love, pass it on.
A coffee grinder ($20) reserved just for flax-grinding is a great way to ensure that you are getting the freshest flax fats possible. Store the flax seeds whole in your freezer and grind as much as you need, right out of the freezer when you need it. Notice how rough the grind is for this recipe -just let it go for about 5-10 seconds.
These crackers are made up of seeds that have been soaked overnight, releasing the enzyme inhibitor, and bound together by lots of ground flax, chia seeds and water. If you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate them, keeping them totally raw. If not, bake them in a low oven (mine only goes as low as 175*F, and they turned out very well, and not too toasty) until they dry out completely. I made them without nuts, mostly because my husband has nut allergies and a habit of not asking before he eats something. Nuts (walnuts! hazelnuts! almonds!) would be great in these crackers too though, just soak them overnight, and then chop them up small-ish before adding them in place of the pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
These crackers obviously won’t taste just like the crackers you reach for when your stomach feels upset. However, despite their seedy/flax-y texture, they are neutral in flavour, so you can add whatever you want on top, or just eat them plain when you just feel like strong flavours are the devil, and take comfort in the fact that they are happily supporting your health.
If you make these on a regular basis, change up the nuts and seeds that you use (just keep the flax and chia proportions the same) to help keep the nutrients rotating and avoid getting sick of them. When you are feeling feisty, add some extra spices and flavours ie -rosemary/lemon zest, chili powder/sun dried tomatoes, parsley/lemon/zahtar. And then of course, there are always the invisible hero options to add -turmeric, ground/chopped sea vegetables, spirilina.
I find that crackers are one of the most consumed refined carb by people going through cancer treatment (also pregnant women). Although I doubt that these seed crackers can fill that void all of the time, it is nice to have an alternative that is filled with enough vitamins, minerals, enzymes, healthy fats, protein and fiber, that they can make up for the few days when the other crackers win.
- 2 c Flax seeds, freshly ground - not too fine
- ½ c Chia seeds
- 1 c Pumpkin Seeds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 1 c Sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- ½ c Black Sesame seeds
- ½ c Hemp Hearts
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 2½ c Water
- Add all of the ingredients except for the water into a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the water and mix well.
- Spread the mixture out onto 4 teflex sheets (if using a dehydrator) or 3-4 parchment-lined cookie sheets. I find that an off-set spatula works best to spread the mixture out evenly. Another option is to put another piece of parchment on top and roll it flat using a rolling pin.
- Using a butter knife or dull pizza wheel (so that you don't cut through the parchment/ teflex sheets) cut into squares, rectangles, Eiffel Towers, or whatever shapes make the most sense to you.
- Dry at 110*F for about 4 hours on the teflex sheets and then flip them straight onto the mesh and dry for another 5-6 hours until completely dry.
- Bake at a low heat (under 200*F preferably) with convection on for 1-2 hours or until they are dried out. Check them at halfway, and flip them over on the parchment (if they are dry enough to do this without causing yourself too much stress).
- Leave them in the oven after you turn the heat off, until the oven cools down -this will give them extra drying time with a less intense heat.
- Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or the freezer for a couple of months.