CHIA ROSEMARY CRACKERS
One of my most improvised, made-up-on-the-spot recipes, yet thankfully one of the most successful. Home in Bath my ingredients are limited so i made this recipe up completely from scratch, using whatever i could find and trying to figure out which nuts i could grind into a flour and which seeds i could use as a sort of gum alternative (to make the dough stick together). With a baking cupboard full of nuts and seeds and a spice rack to die for (nice work, mum) i ended up with some incredible crackers to accompany our lunch; full of flavour (i got carried away with the herbs) and extremely light and crispy. I never miss crisps that much but when i see them or think about the sheer delight that they used to bring me when i got home from a night out, i suddenly feel desperate to recreate them, healthily. These are in no way similar to thin, oily potato crisps but aren’t too far from being mistaken for a Dorito (minus their suspicious powdery coating). However, mix some nutritional yeast with some paprika and, voila: the ultimate natural, gluten-free tortilla chip! For a popadom alternative (yes i know, possibly the most versatile cracker on earth but seriously you can alter them to go with anything) just add ground cumin, garam masala and onion seeds and use to scoop up your curry.
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Ground Almonds
1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
2 Tablespoons Ground Sunflower Seeds
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
1 Egg, whisked to a froth
1 Teaspoon Celery Salt
Pinch of Himalayan or Sea Salt (optional)
2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Dried Sage
2 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary or Ground Fresh Rosemary
4 Tablespoons Water
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Pumpkin Seeds (any seeds or chopped nuts really) To Top
Preheat the oven to 175c.
Grind the chia seeds in a spice blender or if you dont have one of these just leave them whole. Place the chia seeds, ground almonds and ground sunflower seeds into a bowl and mix until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix again. The chia seeds will soak up the water immediately so you may need to add a little more than anticipated. Add the quinoa flour, salts, herbs and baking powder and mix again with a whisk or a wooden spoon if it becomes too thick. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water and mix again. Add the egg and mix thoroughly before stirring in the coconut oil. If the mixture looks too wet, add a little extra flour. If you want a smoother cracker, add this mixture to a blender and blend for 2 minutes until the dough becomes a smooth paste. Transfer back into a bowl and you’ll probably need to add a little more flour. I left mine unblended and the whole seeds gave it a brilliant texture.
Grease a baking tray with coconut or olive oil. People tend to use baking paper but i find, especially with things like dough, if it sticks to the paper there’s absolutely no separating them. Spread the mixture onto the greased baking tray (you may need two baking trays). Evenly spread the mixture and flatted with the back of a spoon or a spatula until it is between 2-4mm thick. The thinner you manage to get it, the more crispy they will be and perfect for dips. If you leave it thicker they’ll make perfect crispbreads or flatbreads for sandwich toppings (like an open sandwich) or even as a pizza base alternative. Anyway, spread the mixture so that it forms one large cracker that you can cut after the cooking process. Top with nuts or seeds of choice and another little sprinkling of salt and place in the preheated oven.
Bake for 10-20 minutes but check regularly. The sides will brown first so be careful not to burn any of it. If the middle doesn’t seem quite done, take it out anyway as it will continue to cook slightly and will crisp as it cools. For a pizza, the middle would be perfect still a little doughy, but for a crispy snack you can always double bake the middle portion of the mixture once it has cooled and you have separated the sides and set aside.
Perfect for brunch or lunch topped with mashed avocado, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, bacon or ham, chicken and spinach leaves or houmous. Alternatively, spread with a little coconut oil and dip into soup or use to mop up your curry.