Happy July 4th Birthday and Nutty Crackers

Infinite Possibilites

My sweet daughter was born on the 4th of July.  She has lived up to the spirit of that day in her energy and expression of pure unadulterated joy. 

In Kindergarten her teachers noted that she often led the other little girls around the playground, acting like a General! She is, after all, born in the Year of the Tiger.  She is a creative, positive, caring, talented and sunshine-filled woman. What more could a Mom desire for her child? So blessed that both my children are gems, with hearts that extend to others.

One of the things I wanted to make for our Birthday guests, was flour-less crackers. I found a recipe online that I liked, so I and decided to create my own blend based on the ingredients in the recipe.

I'm happy to say the experiment was a success!

Hoda's Nutty Crackers - Gluten Free

This recipe will make about 35 - 50 crackers depending on how large you cut them.  I got about 50 cut into 1-1/2" diamonds.

nutty crackers baked
nutty crackers baked
  • 1/2 c. dry roasted Almonds, salted
  • 1/2 c. Pecans
  • 1/4 c. Walnuts
  • 2 Tbs. Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. golden Flax Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. black or regular Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. Macadamia nut pieces
  • 2 Tbs. Sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs. red Quinoa
  • 1 tsp. Anise seeds, crushed (opt.)
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • anise seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds or black pepper for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C).

nutty cracker batter
nutty cracker batter

Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place all ingredients (except toppings) in a food processor.  Process until mixture has even grains, about 2 minutes.

Divine the dough into two, and place on parchment paper in the pans. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper to prevent rolling-pin from sticking.

nutty cracker batter1
nutty cracker batter1

Roll each ball out into a rectangle, turning the parchment paper in the pan to accommodate the rolling-pin. Roll quite thin (2 - 3 mm).

Use a sharp knife to cut into desired shape. I made a tray with diamond-shaped crackers and sesame seeds topping, and another that I hand pressed into rounds with anise seeds.

nutty cracker batter3
nutty cracker batter3

Mist with a little water to help your topping stick. Push the topping into the crackers lightly.

Bake for about 9-10 minutes, watching carefully after 8 minutes so they don't burn. Store in airtight container.  Will keep for 3-4 days.

~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

Chia Chocolate Cupcakes - GF & Vegan

Ok, so how in the world can these cupcakes be ok with our anti-cancer diet? Well, we've upped the fiber by adding chia and flax seeds, and used cocoa powder with antioxidants, replaced the sugar with Xylitol, and used olive oil for the friendly fat.

I'm not saying you can sit down and eat 3 of these...but 1 cupcake is super ok!

For an extra smudge of goodness: Melt 10 oz. 75% dark chocolate in a double boiler, add 1 Tbs. almond or soy milk and 1 packet Stevia. Stir well and smear on the cupcakes as they reach room temperature.

Recipe

  • 3/4 rounded c. Sorghum flour
  • 3/4 rounded c. Potato starch or tapioca starch
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened raw Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 c. Chia seeds
  • 1 Tbs. ground Flax seeds
  • 3/4 c. Xylitol (or 3 packets Stevia)
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Omega-3 Egg (use 1 Tbs. Egg substitute of 2 Tbs. freshly ground Flaxseed for Vegan)
  • 3 Tbs. virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. distilled Vinegar
  • 1 c. warm Water or Green Tea or Decaf Coffee

Line a 12-c. cupcake pan with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350º F.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add in the warm water (or tea or coffee), egg, chia seeds, oil, vanilla, and vinegar and beat until smooth. Beat for 2-3 minutes.

Scoop the batter into the 12 lined muffin tin cups.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.

~To Your Health!

Chia n Chocolate, Cha Cha Cha

I wanted to make a non-dairy pudding using Chia seeds, since they are just like tapioca once add to liquid.  I found a couple of recipes and tried one, but was not happy with the results. (Read about Chia Seeds here.) After an experiment or two I came up with an acceptable version!

Let me know how you find it!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

choco chia pudding2
choco chia pudding2
  • 1/4 cup Chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. organic Almond Milk
  • 3/4 c. Coconut Milk (canned)
  • 2 packets Stevia or 1 Tbs. Xylitol (to taste)
  • 1 small ripe Banana, mashed
  • 3 ounces 75% or more Dark Chocolate, melted
  • 2 Tbs. Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk Chia and almond milk, and let sit while you mix the rest of the ingredients.

Whip Coconut milk until thickened. Add sweetener and banana and mix well. Add melted chocolate, cocoa and vanilla and whisk to mix.  Add Chia mixture and whisk again to combine.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

choco-chia-pudding
choco-chia-pudding

Stir pudding, ladle into glasses and garnish.

~ Chia cheers! ♥

This Chia Seed Walked into a Muffin..

 What's It All About...?

Chia seeds have been a staple food source for the American Native people for centuries. Aztec warriors would eat Chia during hunting trips, and the Indians of the Southwest would eat only Chia seed mixed with water as they ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean to trade products.

A list of the health benefits this tiny seed offers us:

  1. Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are the best plant source of omega-3's known. They contain over 60% essential fatty acids. They contain more omega-3's than flax-seed. Omega fatty acids are important for concentration and brain health as well as other metabolic processes.
  2. Easy access - As we've discussed here, Flax seeds provide us with fantastic health benefits. Chia seeds are even better than flax in terms of ease of access to the nutrition. Chia seeds do not need to be ground for their nutrients to be available to the body.
  3. Antioxidant protection -They are loaded with antioxidants
  4. Vitamins and minerals - Chia seeds provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, zinc, and even boron (which helps the absorbing of calcium by the body).
  5. Gluten Free - Chia is a gluten-free source of fiber and nutrition: (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
  6. High source of protein - Chia is composed of over 20% protein, which is about 2 to 3 times higher than other seeds and grains. If you are a vegetarian looking for protein sources, check out Chia!  The protein source in Chia is readily digestible and available to the body.
  7. Low glycemic index - Chia has an extremely low glycemic index of 1, and actually helps to lower the rate at which other carbohydrates are converted to sugars.

Unlike flax, Chia seeds won't go rancid and they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.

When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, Chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.

Chia has a nutty flavor. You can mix seeds in water and add your favorite juice for a refreshing drink.  Sprinkle ground or whole Chia seeds on cereal, in yogurt or salads, eat them as a snack, or grind them and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods.

Some Tips...

  1. Blend chia seeds into your smoothie
  2. Make a “lassie” by blending chia seeds, yogurt and fruit juice
  3.  Add ground chia seeds to flour when making bread
  4. Add whole chia seeds to cake batter to make a poppy seed like cake
  5. Add seeds to stews to thicken
  6. Throw some seeds into stir fry
  7. Sprinkle seeds over salad
  8. Pureed fruit, chia seeds and a little fruit juice is a good topping for ice cream
  9. Stir whole seeds into cooked lentil dish
  10. Soak seeds in the beaten eggs and veggies to make a frittata
  11. Cook brown rice in vegetable stock and stir chia seeds through when rice is cooked
  12. Add whole or ground seeds to cookie mix
  13. Mix ground seeds with ground organic, free-range ground chicken and spices to make meatballs

Can you think of more ways to use them? Write and let me know...

Be Well!