Category Archives: Appitizers

Crackers – Gluten-free, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly and Healthy!

Finally…..Crackers! Gluten free, healthy, easy, delicious CRACKERS!   I’ve been working on this post for a while, (going a little cracker crazy as of late) I always make my own crackers by throwing what I know works together but not always so good at writing down what I’ve done.  Below is a few different versions and variations I have managed to keep track of, they have been tried, re-tried, tested and are now ready to share as I’d say some of my fav’s! These recipes are for almond flour and pulp crackers, juice pulp crackers, nut and oat crackers. Check back for more recipes to follow later as new versions get tried and please, get creative, I’d love to hear of your versions!

Almond Pulp Crackers

These crackers made with almond flour or almond milk pulp (more on that in a minute) are highly nutritious, gluten and flour free and very tasty.  They’re addicting so you might want to double your batches.

The first recipe is made with Almond Pulp after making Almond Milk.  You can find that recipe HERE.  These are actually my personal favourite of all the crackers I’ve made below, I love that the pulp isn’t being wasted and the texture of the cracker is perfect!  They are dehydrated in the over.  Of course, if you have a dehydrator please use it but if you oven goes as low as 130 degrees you can use it just the same.

Savoury Herbed Almond Pulp Crackers

Oven to 130 degrees
Baking Sheet lined with parchment paper
Large Mixing bowl
3               cup almond pulp (packed full)
¼             cup Chia Seed, ground (or flax seed meal or both)
¼             cup Oil – Olive, Grapeseed, Sunflower or Coconut
1                teaspoon Sea Salt
¼              cup Nutritional Yeast (or more to taste)
3                tablespoons Mixed Herbs: Thyme, Basil, Parsley, Marjoram, Oregano, Savory

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Roll into a ball and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet then use your hands to flatten into ¼ inch thickness.  Score desired cracker shape lines.

Dehydrate at 130 degrees for approximately 12 hours or till desired consistency is reached (Softer or crunchier cracker).

Grain-Free Cheesy Herb Cracker Recipe

Oven to 350 degrees
Baking Sheet lined with parchment paper
Large Mixing bowl

2              cups Almond Flour (or pulp from making Almond Milk)
1              teaspoon Baking Soda
1              teaspoon Roasted Garlic, minced
1              teaspoon of Dried Onion, minced
2              teaspoons Italian Herbs: Basil, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Savory, Oregano
1/2         teaspoon Turmeric or Paprika (flavour, health and colour)
1              teaspoon of fine Mineral Salt
1              teaspoon Coconut Sugar
1              cup 12 Month Manchego Sheep Cheese, very finely grated (I used a microplane grater)
2              tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4              tablespoons Water
1               Egg White, beaten

Combine the ingredients in bowl and stir until a moist, sticky dough forms. Use water and/or oil as needed.

Taste test to adjust your seasonings, I always do!

Roll out dough between parchment paper to desired thickness or ¼ inch thick.

Transfer to baking sheet and make cut lines with a knife or pizza cutter for your crackers shapes.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough is set and golden.

Remove and cool. When the dough has cooled, finish the cutting or break apart if possible.

The crackers will be tender and breakable while they are warm. Allow them to cool completely before handling.

These crackers are not super crisp, kind of like a flat bread almost, if you want a drier cracker, use the oven as a dehydrator for 4-6 hours.

Toasted Onion and Garlic Sesame Crackers

Large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Large bowl
Medium bowl
1 ½        cups Almond Flour
1              teaspoons  Sea Salt
1              tablespoon Onion Powder
1              tablespoon Garlic Powder
½            cup Sesame Seeds
1              tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
Few dashes of Toasted Sesame Oil
1              Egg, whisked until frothy

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir.

In a small bowl whisk together oil and egg then add to dry, mix well.

Press and roll dough to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick between parchment paper.

Using a knife or pizza cutter, shape your crackers and transfer to lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.  If a crisper cracker is desired follow with drying in the oven at low temp of 130 until crisper, approximately 4-6 hours.

Rosemary Fig Crackers

1 ½         cups Almond Flour
½            teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
1               tablespoon Rosemary, minced
4              dried Black Figs, chopped
1               Egg
1               tablespoon Olive Oil

In a large bowl stir together almond flour, salt, rosemary and figs.

In a small bowl mix egg and olive oil until well combined then add to medium bowl.  Mix well.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.

Cut dough with a knife or pizza cutter into desired crack shape and size.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. If a crisper cracker is desired follow with drying in the oven at low temp of 130 until crisper, approximately 4-6 hours

Cranberry Orange Pecan Crackers

1 ½         cups Almond Flour
¼             cup Pecans, chopped
¼             cup dried Juice Sweetened Cranberries
1               Orange, zested
½             teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
1               teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
1               Egg
1               tablespoon Olive Oil

In a large bowl stir together everything except the egg and oil.

In a small bowl mix egg and olive oil until well combined then add to medium bowl.  Mix well.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.

Cut dough with a knife or pizza cutter into desired crack shape and size.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. If a crisper cracker is desired follow with drying in the oven at low temp of 130 until crisper, approximately 4-6 hours

Juicer Pulp Crackers

These crackers are made from the pulp left over from juicing.  It’s nice to use some of that fibrous cast off rather than throwing it to the worms all the time.

3              cups Juice Pulp from juicing (carrot, beet, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, parsley ect)
½             cup ground Flaxseed and Chia seeds (either or both)
¼             cup Nutritional Yeast
¼             cup fresh chopped herb like Cilantro, Parsley or Basil
1               teaspoon Sea Salt
½             teaspoon Paprika
½             teaspoon Onion Powder
½             teaspoon Garlic Powder
*Optional Chilli Pepper spice to taste

Mix all ingredients well in a food processor.  You can do this by hand instead. Add water if needed; I usually find that I don’t need any especially with cucumber and celery pulp, which is moist but if the mixture isn’t sticking together at add water.

Spread mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet about a 1/4 inch thickness. Score into cracker-sized squares, and dehydrate at 130 degrees for a couple hours.  Check and break apart, flip and return to finish. Probably another two hours or so but keep flipped every so often to get even drying.

Oat Crackers

These are my take on the old Scotch Oat Cakes, they are nice with jam or a nut butter and honey on top and go great with a tea!

Oven to 350
Food Processor
Medium Bowl
Small Pot
2              cup GF Oats, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground (or use quick oats)
1/2         cup Steel Cut Oats, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground
1/2         cup Oat Flour
1/4         teaspoon Baking soda
1/4         teaspoon Sea Salt
3/4         cup Water
1               tablespoon Butter
1               tablespoon Maple Syrup or Honey

Combine oatmeal, baking soda, and salt in bowl.

Heat water and butter until butter melts, remove from heat and add maple.

Pour into the center of the oatmeal mix and mix well.

Drop dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll out to about ¼ – 1/8 inch thick.  You can do this between two pieces of parchment paper or with a dusting of oat flour.

Now cut or use a cutter to make desired cracker shape and size.  I used a small jar.

Place crackers on parchment paper lined baking sheet (I just used the same sheet I had for rolling).

Dust with Sea Salt.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping them over every five minutes or so to ensure even baking.

When done, they’ll be crisp and just barely turning golden.   Note: They will continue to firm up as they cool.

Multi- Nut and Seed Crackers

½             cup Almond Flour
½             cup Macadamia Nuts
¼             cup Pumpkin Seeds
2               tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
2               tablespoons Sesame Seeds
2               tablespoons Hemp Seeds
1               tablespoon Golden Flaxmeal
1               tablespoon Chia, ground
½             teaspoon Mineral Salt
1               tablespoon Oil
¼             cup Water

In a food processor, pulse almond flour and macadamias until ground then add in

seeds, flax meal, ground chia and salt until almost fully ground but not to a fine flour.

Add oil and then water gradually until dough ball forms in the food processor.

Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ¼ inch (or desired) thickness then score into desired cracker shapes.

Bake at 275° for 25 to 30 minutes or dehydrate at 130 degrees for 6-8 hours (until crisp).

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Chia Buckwheat Seed Flat Bread

Hello!

Well I’ve just been too busy to create or post any recipes,  I moved from an apartment into a house with a huge yard and besides that being a ton of work in itself I planted a huge vegetable garden, very exciting and having my own organic fresh veg, fruit and herbs to work with is awesome. I am off today to my family cabin for most of August so I was up late last night blending my green smoothies for freezing and making breads and crackers.  The recipe below is one I created from gluten-free bread and cracker recipes, it’s kind of a cross between a cracker and a bread. Very filling and nutritious, loaded with protein, healthy fats and fibre.  I used my fresh herbs but you can use dried if that’s what you’ve got and feel free to experiment with different herbs or flavours.   You can top these gems with most anything, I love them plain or avocado spread on top. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Chia-flatbread-2Chia Buckwheat Seed Flat Bread

 

Oven 350 degrees
Coconut Oiled Baking Sheet
Food Processor

1        cup Gluten-free Oats
1/2  cup Raw Buckwheat Groats
1       cup Chia Seeds
1       cup Pumpkin Seeds
1       cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2  cup Hemp Seeds
2       teaspoon Coconut Sugar
2       teaspoons Oregano, chopped
1       teaspoon Thyme, chopped
1       teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2  teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2   teaspoon Onion Powder
2       cups Water

Grind your oats and buckwheat in a high powered blender or food processor until you get a flour.  Move to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and  mix well.

Transfer to a coconut oil greased baking sheet and use a spatula to spread and flatten.  Sprinkle with some more sea salt and bake for approximately 25 minutes or till firm to the touch.

All to cool for a 5-10 minutes then cut and transfer to cooling rack.

Store in the fridge for a few days or freeze.

Home Made Almond Milk

*Addendum :  You can make quick nut milks (no soaking required)  with just a Nut-Milk-Bag_1024x1024nut bag and a good blender.  Creamy nuts like Cashews and Macadamias make great milk for coffee, tea, granola or smoothies.  Don’t be afraid to experiment either, I like  Cashew Almond or Macadamia and Toasted Coconut,  simply toss 1/2 – a full cup of nuts with  equal parts water (less or DIY-Coconut-Milk-All-Sorts-of-Pretty6more depending on the thickness you desire), a pinch of sea salt, flavour if you like: vanilla or cinnamon and/or sweetener like honey or stevia and blend until smooth.  Sheeze through the nut milk bag and you’re done!

 

I’ve been meaning to post these simple instructions on how to make your own nut milk for years, if you Google almond milk recipes you’ll find pretty much the same instructions, its super easy and much healthier and tastes fresh. You can make any sort of nut milk you like, Hazelnut is awesome, Walnut for an another example, Pecan, Brazil Nut, Macadamia, Cashew, the list goes on, or, mix more than one nut together like Almond Hazelnut! Yum! Beware this is raw, natural food so it will only keep for 3-4 days (as real food should). I used to make my nut milks with layered cheese cloth, its super cheap, you can buy it at a hardware store but eventually I bucked up and bought a re-usable nut bag, and honestly it’s well worth it. Look for future posts on using the left over nut pulp!

Makes 32 oz.
High powdered blender
Nut bag or Layers of Cheese Cloth
Pitcher or large bowl
2     cups Raw Almonds
4     cups Fresh, Spring or Filtered Water
Pinch of Sea Salt
Optional:
1    teaspoon Vanilla
Healthy Sweetener of your choice: stevia, coconut sugar, honey, maple or add dates to the soaking nuts and blend too.

Soak the almond in the filtered water over night or for 8-12 hours. Rinsing and replacing the water at least once is a good idea.

Drain and rinse your soaked almonds then blend with 4 cups of fresh water and sea salt on high for 2 minutes. If using a regular blender (not heavy duty, like a VitaMix) you may need to do two batches, blending 1/2 at a time.

Strain the milk from the pulp using your nut milk bag by squeezing as much of the milk out as possible. Add vanilla and sweeten to taste if you desire.

Reserve and store the pulp in the freezer to make other delicious recipes like crackers, cookies or bread.

Variations:

Chocolate Milk
32 oz    Almond Milk
1             tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4       cup Honey or Dark Agave
1            teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Blend.

Chai Milk

32 oz     Almond Milk
1/4        cup Honey, Maple Syrup or Dark Agave
1             teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1             teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2       teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4       teaspoon Nutmeg
Blend.

Oven Dried Salmon Jerky

Cleaning out my freezer making room for soups and stews last night I found the last of my Summer Cabin Time salmon, so I whip up a marinade and dried it in the oven. This method is actually quite simple and you get a very tasty, preservative free jerky! The recipe below is my tried and tested marinade but feel free to adjust or improvise on it, if you don’t like any sweetness you can take out the maple, if you like spice and pepper add more or add some fresh cracked pepper to the flesh of the salmon before drying, if you don’t have smoked paprika you could use liquid smoke to keep the smokey flavour. You could use soy sauce in place of Braggs too. 6-8 hours of oven drying time should do it, but watch for desired doneness. I like my jerky less done so 6 hours at my ovens lowest temp with the door cracked open ever so slightly is just right for me. This is one of those recipes you’ll HAVE to try along the way – Oh darn. 😉

2    full Salmon Filets, approximately 3 lbs, cut into 1 inch strips (I use sockeye so this was maybe a 9lb fish)
Medium bowl
2/3     cup Braggs Liquid Amino
2/3     cup Worcestershire Sauce
2/3     cup Agave, Maple or Brown Sugar
2    teaspoons Smoked Paprika
2    teaspoons Tabasco
2    tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1    teaspoon Garlic Powder
2    teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
1    teaspoon Onion Powder
1    teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Arrange Salmon strips in a shallow glass dish or place in a ziplock bag and pour in marinade sauce. Allow to marinade for 6-8 hours, turning or shaking every so often.

Drain marinade and shake off excess drippings.

Line the bottom rack of your oven with foil to catch drippings and turn onto the lowest setting, usually ovens set as low at 170 degrees, if 160 degrees is available go with that or if you’ve got a fancy oven with a dehydrating setting definitely use it! My oven only goes to 170 but I crack the door, just a little bit with a small metal spatula to allow the moist air to escape similar to a dehydrator.

Arrange salmon strips skin side down, spaced out on a rack place mid oven.

Bake for approximately 6-8 hours or until desired dryness.

Salmon jerky will last a couple months in the fridge or freeze it for longer term.

Eat it as is, take it hiking, serve with goat cheese or cream cheese, capers and crackers…endless delicious possibilities.

Enjoy!

Miso Mustard Cabbage and Fennel Salad

Had a couple of ½ heads of cabbage and a fennel bulb to use in my fridge so I put this cole slaw like salad together tonight, it’s quite tasty now, looking forward to having some fully marinated for lunch tomorrow.  The fennel in this salad is key, fennel is crunchy, slightly sweet and refreshing and, it is a powerful antioxidant, has anti inflammatory properties and aids in digestion.  Fennel is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Folate,  Potassium and high in fiber too.

Large bowl
1     tablespoon Miso Paste
2     tablespoons Grainy Dijon Mustard
1     tablespoon Honey
2        tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3        tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2        teaspoons Sesame Oil
1/2    teaspoon Crushed Red Chilies
1/2    teaspoon Sea Salt
6        cups Red and Green Cabbage, thinly sliced
1         small Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced
3        Carrots, grated
4        Green Onions, sliced
1/3    cup Toasted Sunflower Seeds
1/4   cup Sesame Seeds
Pepper to taste

Whisk sauce ingredients in a large bowl then add cabbage, fennel, carrot, green onion and toss to coat. Sprinkle with seeds, toss again then season with pepper to taste. Allow to marinade for at least a couple hours before serving.

Pan Fried Eggplant with Garlic Saffron Mayonnaise

This is a great little eggplant appetizer served with a garlic saffron mayo dip.  It is gluten-free too!

I used Japanese Eggplant to get a nice two-bite sized cut, you could also make this as a side to a meal and use a large eggplant.  If a little wheat is not a bother to you, using ½ flour and ½ panko bread crumbs works really well too.

Garlic Saffron Dip
Small and medium bowl
1              small pinch Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water
1/2         cup Vegan Mayonnaise (or whatever type you like)
1              teaspoon Garlic, minced

Pan Fried Eggplant
Large fry pan
Flipper
3              Japanese Eggplants, sliced ¼ inch thick, rinsed and blotted dry
2              medium Eggs, beaten in a small bowl
¼ – ½   cup Safflower Oil
1/2         cup Sorghum flour
1              tablespoon Tapioca Flour
1/2         teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2              teaspoons Garlic Powder
1              teaspoon Sea Salt
Chopped fresh Parsley, for garnish

Let saffron infuse in hot water for 10 minutes then add mayonnaise, garlic to the bowl and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until use.

Whisk together flour, tapioca, cayenne, garlic powder, and sea salt.

Heat at medium/high enough oil to cover your pan. If you need to work in batches add oil each time.

Dip the eggplant slices into beaten eggs, then, press both sides into flour mixture. Shake off excess and place onto hot fry pan.

Fry until golden brown on each side, this doesn’t take more than a minute or two each side.  Be careful not to burn.

Garnish with parsley and serve with saffron mayonnaise.

Quinoa Veggie Cakes

Tonight I am going to my sister and her new fiancés engagement party and have been enlisted to bring some appy’s.  Quinoa Cakes, Roasted Beet Dip and Edamame Hummus all ready to go. Maybe I’ll get some comments from the guests!

I have typed this recipe out as a double batch because I find myself, almost always, making a double batch! These savory little cakes are very popular, they are best served warm straight out of the oven but still work well refrigerated (up to 4 days) and then reheated in the oven or even served cold.  Yields around 15 4-5 Inch cakes.  When I’m making them as an appetizer, rather than hand form the patties I press the cake mix into a lightly oiled muffin pan and  then just flip them onto the baking sheet. A little press down with your palm for perfectly shaped three bit cakes!

Oven 400 degrees
Vegetable grater with small and large holes
Large baking pan
6-12 cup muffin pan (optional)
Medium pot
3          cups Water
1          cup Organic White Quinoa, rinsed
1          cup Organic Red Quinoa, rinsed
3          tablespoons Red Onion, finely chopped
1          teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped
1 1/3  cup Carrot, grated
1 1/3  cup Zucchini, grated
1         10 ounce package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dried
2         large lemons, zested
1/2     cup Rice Flour (I have also used Quinoa Flour)
2         teaspoons Baking Powder
2         large Organic Free Range Eggs
1-2     teaspoons Sea Salt
1         teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
High heat oil like Grape Seed

Bring rinsed and drained Quinoa and the 3 cups of water to a boil in the medium pot then reduce heat to medium/low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.

While Quinoa is cooking you can grate and zest.

Once Quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork  and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl combine cooked Quinoa (doesn’t matter if it’s still hot just make sure it’s cool enough to handle) onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, spinach, zest, flour, baking powder, eggs, salt and pepper.

Form mixture into patties and arrange on well oiled baking sheet.   Bake, flipping halfway through, until lightly browned and just crisp, about 25 minutes.

If you are storing for later, allow to cool on drying racks then store in tupperware.

Dip ideas:

Dill Yogurt: 1 ½ cups of plain goat yogurt, 1 ½ Tbs fresh chopped dill,  2 tsp Lemon juice
Lime Chili Mayo: 1 cup  Vegan Mayo, Zest and Juice from one lime, Sea Salt, Chili Spice and Cayenne to taste.