Paleo Cranberry and Seed Crackers
Have you been looking for a good grain free cracker that is crispy and crunchy like a cracker should be? Me too. I like my previous crackers very much. They were almond and flax based and very tasty. These crackers however are completely different. No almonds in sight. They are very crispy and crunchy and will stand up to being heavily smeared with goat cheese. I served these at a dinner party last weekend to a bunch of non paleo, gluten eaters and there wasn’t a crumb left over. I think that speaks volumes. I got the idea for this after making Carol’s Gluten Free Seed and Nut Bread. I made it exactly as written which is a rare thing for me and it was amazing. I got thinking that it reminded me of a GF cracker I had this summer in Whistler, BC. These crackers are the best GF cracker I’ve ever had but they are not grain free and the only variety that is GF is impossible to find in stores which I personally think is a mistake on their part. So with Carols bread recipe and that cracker in my head I came up with this amazing little cracker. This is 100% exactly what I wanted it to be.
1 cup sunbutter (as in peanut butter made out of sunflower seeds instead of peanuts. Trader Joes carries it.)
2 T coconut oil
2 T honey
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 T chia seeds
1/2 cup dried whole cranberries**
12 unsulfured dried apricots diced to about the size of the cranberries
1 cup whole roasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a standard sized loaf pan with coconut oil then line the pan with wax paper. Cut off the paper that hangs over the sides of the pan. This doesn’t have to be pretty. It just helps the loaf pop out easily. With a hand mixer combine the sunbutter, eggs, oil, honey and salt. Mix in the tapioca and chia seeds. When that is well mixed hand stir in the apricots, cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Put the batter in the pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 45 minutes and cool. Slice the loaf as thinly as you can. I cut each slice in half so that they are smaller. Line a cookie sheet with parchement paper. Lay the crackers out on the pan. Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until they are lightly browned, dry and crispy. Let them cool completely. They become more crunchy when they are cooled.
**I have used dried cherries in here too.
Coconut Flour Pancakes
I was looking back through my old recipes the other day. Boy, have I come a long way in the last few years. My first pancake recipes that I posted, here and here were very different from the ones that I have been making for the last several months. Now, I’m not saying that those other two recipes aren’t good, they are. They’re really good. Last week my daughter asked me to make the “old pancakes”. So I pulled up the “GFCF recipe” (although both recipes are GFCF, this one has no whole grains at all). I made them and the kids woofed them down like it was their last meal. But I have got to tell you, it KILLED me to watch them eat that. I horribly regret refreshing their memories. I felt as though I had served them up plates of sugar topped with more sugar and called it breakfast. Mommy guilt, there’s nothing quite like it. On the other hand when I serve these coconut flour pancakes I can feel like they ate a real breakfast. These can be made dairy free by subbing the type of milk used. These are gluten, grain, soy, and refined sugar-free. They are much higher in fiber and are quite filling. I almost want to say that they are low carb. No, they aren’t exactly like the all starch/sugar ones. They have a courser texture but are still moist and very satisfying. A big key to the cooking of these is making sure they are small. It will help with turning and consistency.
Coconut Flour Pancakes
1/3 cup sifted coconut flour
1 T ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 T honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup raw goat milk (or milk of your choice)
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. In a separate bowl combine remaining wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry and stir until there are no lumps. I use a non-stick griddle pan (go ahead, flame me!) set at 325 degrees. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of batter on to hot griddle. When the edges are set and there are small bubbles that are beginning to break open in the middle and the bottom is browned, flip and brown the other side. Personally I love these with LOTS of butter and fresh or frozen blueberries – no syrup. The kids however have to have their syrup. Oh well at least the pancakes are good for them.
I just whipped this up for lunch. Had my camera been working I still wouldn’t have been able to pry it away from my girls to take a picture. Sorry. This was fast and easy to make and very satisfying. I was stunned when both of my girls devoured it. Yes, even the three year old who hates all vegetables.
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 cup raw cauliflower chopped into tiny florets
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 large clove garlic
small pinch of cumin
few drops of agave or honey (maybe 1/4 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste
Bring water to boil add salt and then add lentils. Cook until they are tender but not mushy. While those are cooking prepare the cauliflower and put into medium sized salad bowl. For the dressing: Using a blender or small food processor add garlic, vinegar salt and pepper, blend until smooth. Add cumin and olive oil. Blend until you have a creamy emulsion. Taste for salt and pepper and add a tiny bit of honey or agave. This is just to cut the tang of the vinegar, not to make it sweet. I like to use rice vinegar for salad dressings since it is a bit milder than white vinegar. When lentils are done to your liking drain and give a quick rinse. Add lentils to cauliflower and toss with desired amount of dressing. Serve immediately. I make this salad fairly often. I use this same dressing and lentils and sub veggies. I love this with finely sliced green cabbage or lots of fresh coarsely chopped parsley, celery or broccoli.
We have been gf for 3 years next month. In that time only once have I purchased an all purpose flour. I tried Bob’s Red Mill and I greatly disliked it. It had bean flour in it and I just don’t like the flavor of bean flour. Everyone and their dog sells their own special blend of “All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.” It costs a small fortune. I found that when I was browsing the internet for recipes and someone listed an all purpose flour mix, I would just click on by because I will not buy that stuff because of the ridiculous price. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to create my own. No, I have no plans on trying to sell it. Most of them are roughly the same anyway. But I have to say, I was really, really pleased with the way it worked. I have used it as a 1:1 substitution for wheat flour in some of my favorite Christmas treats (recipe to follow) and it turned out EXACTLY like as if I had used wheat flour. That said, I have yet to try this in anything fried and I have not tried it in bread but it did work great in everything I have tried it for. So here is what I did for a very, very small fraction of the cost of buying a prepackaged “All Purpose Mix.”
Kim’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
I used the inexpensive flours I get from the Asian market. They are very fine and powdery. I just mix it all up in a Ziploc and store it in there. I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.
A while back we discovered teff. Not familiar with teff? You’re not alone. When doing a spell check the word isn’t even in the spell check dictionary. Here is some info on teff. We read about it’s nutritional benefits and we were sold. Without discussing it with me, Ron ordered 25 pounds of the ivory teff flour and 25 pounds of teff seed. He has such faith in me that I would be able to figure out what the heck to do with it all. I just finished my 25 pounds of flour last week. It lasted about 7 or 8 months. I use it in place of brown rice flour in many cases and it is the base of my bread recipe. The seed, well that is another story. We use it in our 9 grain cereal and I have used it to make cornless cornbread (which was awesome and I will post soon) but beyond that I am not sure what to do with it. For lunch today I was craving something light and yet hearty. I was determined to use some of that teff seed. I whipped up something that reminded me of corn polenta but only much, much better. Have you ever had one of those meals that just makes you feel happy? One that makes you feel satisfied, not guilty, not craving, not bloated and just plain…well… happy? Well that is how this dish made me feel. I was able to get Sage (5) to try it and she liked it and came back for more. I couldn’t get Rori (3) or Justus (18 months) to even try it. Oh well at least one of them tried and liked it. I loved it. I served it with grilled veggies. I sliced the veggies and grilled them outside, dry, with nothing on them. Once they were done to my liking I drizzled olive oil and a bit of kosher salt on them. They too were fantastic!
1-2 T olive oil
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup teff seed
3 T minced fresh basil
1 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Warm olive oil in medium skillet. Add minced garlic. Cook on medium heat for a minute. Add tomatoes, teff seed, basil, water, salt and pepper. Stir and cook covered for about 15 minutes on medium low. Remove lid, turn off heat and stir. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and as it does it will thicken more. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
I’ll admit it, I don’t like kale. Kale is that stuff that sometimes comes on your plate as a garnish that you quickly remove. Kale is that stuff that you see in salad bars that the salad is sitting on. It is a green, leafy veggie that is a bit tough and I think it is a bit bitter. So when I kept seeing other people blogging about kale chips I quickly clicked on by. But I kept seeing it and everyone raves about it. So, trying to be open minded I decided to give it a whirl. I made Kale “Chips”. I am not going to bother to post a picture because to be honest, they are not very pretty and this has been blogged about so much by so many others, what is the point, right? I am adding it here so that I don’t forget about it. Do you ever do that? Just completely forget about something that you love??? Anyway, stunningly, these are amazing. Seriously, they are fantastic. The first time I made them my mom and I ate an entire bunch to ourselves. I should point out here that she had the same kale aversion that I had. Then I served them as an appetizer to about 15 people. I made 3 bunches (or are they heads?) and it was all eaten. Now for the most unbelievable thing… all 3 of my very picky kids and my husband all like them (although my husband won’t admit that he likes them, he did eat a lot of the plate)!! That is what I should have done: taken a picture of my kids devouring them. Now here is the best part; it’s nutritional benefits. This is now a regular in our house. Making it is so easy that it isn’t really even a “recipe” but here is what I did.
1 bunch of kale (washed and dried)
Preheat oven to 350. Tear kale up in bite sized pieces. Toss the tough, woody stem. Lay the pieces out on a cookie sheet and do not let them overlap. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil. It would be good to have a sprayer for this but I don’t so I just drizzled it. Then, very lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy. (If they are not crispy and are still a bit pliable, they will be tough~ and then you just have kale) Serve immediately as a substitute for potato chips or the like.
I am on several Celiac message boards where people exchange all sorts of information about CD. A subject that has come up several times is fiber. Apparently a common complaint among people with CD is that they just can’t seem to get enough fiber in their diet. I can’t say that I understand that. I think others must eat a lot of processed prepackaged premade food. Of course the complaint that always accompanies the fiber complaint is that GF foods cost more. I don’t get that either. Ron and I were talking the other day and we were trying to figure out if there are any items that cost us more now that we eat GF. We could only come up with one thing that costs more. Pasta. We like one particular brand – Tinkinyada and it is the most expensive (but it is worth it). Other than that we couldn’t come up with a single thing that costs us more. We kill these two “birds” with one stone by buying almost no processed foods. We buy a bunch of different flours/whole grains (and then grind into flour) and we buy them in bulk. Yes they are more expensive than wheat but because I make all our bread, muffins, pizza crusts, cookies, cakes etc etc that more than evens out. And thanks to CD we now eat so much better than we ever did before. We routinely eat grains that I had previously had never heard of but are real powerhouses of nutrition. Along with better nutrition comes more fiber. Lack of fiber is NEVER an issue in my house. In this past week I made two different baked items that were grain free, gluten free and sugar free and oh ya super high in fiber. Yesterday I made these “Doughnut – Muffins.” They were so good. We ate 12 in less than a day. Even 2 of the 3 kids liked them. Here is the original recipe. I didn’t make many changes but I will post what I did change.
Doughnut – Muffins
1 cup flax meal
1 cup almond meal (I processed 1 cup raw almonds in my coffee grinder)
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/4 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup palm sugar
1 t cinnamon
2 T melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin.
Mix dry ingredients well (exclude those used for topping). Add beaten eggs, melted butter, water, and honey to the dry mixture. Mix well. Divide batter into 12 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Then (for the kids of course) melt butter in a small bowl. Dip a muffin top into the butter then dip it into the cinnamon sugar bowl. Tastes just like a cinnamon sugar cake doughnut.