Friday, November 1, 2013

Gluten Free/Paleo Friday ~ Crackers!


I've definitely cheated a few times, because crackers and chips are some of the things I miss most in following this high protein, high fruit and veggie diet. Some days, before switching to a no-grains-no-legumes diet, I was subsisting on rice crackers and hummus. Crunchy and savory in the same food item is hard to come by in the paleo lifestyle, but is one of my favorite food combos.  I found this very simple recipe on the "Caveman Food" blog, but doubled it and added a couple of other ingredients ~ sesame seeds and poppy seeds.  I suppose you could add any seed-like thing ~ flax, chia, etc.  I added coconut oil as well, because it's so yummy and good for you, and also adds a bit of "liquid" to the mixture when you add extra seeds and such.
This is the extent of the counter space in my kitchen. Amazing what can be accomplished with
only about two square feet! (maybe not even that much!?!)
The only semi-difficult part of the recipe is rolling out the dough.  It should be very, very thin, and parchment paper is a necessity. The dough holds together pretty well, though ~ much better than say, a regular gluten free pie crust or cookie dough.

See the almost empty jar of apple butter?  I served the freshly baked crackers to the family with a side of apple butter for spreading one Friday evening.  Both were gobbled up immediately.  Good sign.
If the edges brown quickly, then remove those and continue baking the rest, because a chewy cracker is just not going to solve the hankering for something crunchy!

Paleo Crackers

2 cups almond meal/flour
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 egg whites, room temp is helpful
2 tsp coconut oil

Stir dry ingredients together. Add egg whites and coconut oil and mix thoroughly.  Divide dough in half and pat out one batch on parchment paper in a rectangle shape and then use a rolling pin to get the dough as thin as possible striving for the size of a standard-sized cookie sheet. (14"x17" for example) I precut my parchment paper to match the size of my cookie sheet, so that when I was rolling it out on my counter I would know how far to go.  I also covered the top of the dough with parchment paper to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.  After rolling out, remove the top piece of parchment, and then transfer the rolled out dough to the cookie sheet, leaving the bottom piece of parchment. Run a knife through the dough to cut even squares or rectangles BEFORE baking. I went for the "Wheat Thin" size. :-)  Bake at 325 degrees for 10-20 minutes checking for browned edges. Remove crackers as they brown slightly. Cool and serve with apple butter!  Or alongside a soup, salad, or your favorite gluten-free-paleo dip. (Repeat with second half of the batter!)

P.S.  You can also skip the seeds and add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices and a bit of honey for a sweet version of these.  They can even be made into a breakfast cereal that way! I would cut them even smaller for the cereal version.

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