Raw Crackers: The New Unleavened Bread

Maybe it's because I'm on a tight budget or maybe I’m just wired this way because it's in my genes, but I can’t bear to throw away food.  I can still hear my Grandmother’s voice, in her real southern accent, when working in my kitchen.  “Waste not, want not, Mandy.”  My mother also was known as the “Queen of Leftovers”, but I think I have her trumped.  Little bits of veggies and peels and leftover bones from a roast I throw in the freezer till I can make a pot of stock.  Then when the bones are soo soft they disinegrate I even blend them up into soups (hey, it's a cheap mineral supplement...just don’t tell my kids).  The ends of bread that nobody wants I grind into crumbs and stick in the freezer for future use.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I use something that most people would throw away and turn it into something healthy and delicious.  

This is one reason I like to make crackers, because I can put things that I wouldn’t eat alone in them and they still taste great.  The other reason is that most store-bought crackers are made with high gluten modern wheat, refined sugars and genetically modified oils.  The ones that don't contain any of those things taste like cardboard and cost twice as much.  So here are a few of my favorite raw cracker recipes that use pulp from juicing and making nut milk.  You’ll be surprised how good they are.  They are a wonderful healthy high-fiber snack that my kids are as excited about as they are chips.  And most of these recipes are good for a variety of nutritional healing programs like the Body Ecology, GAPS, Gluten Free/Dairy Free, Paleo and Candida/Yeast Free diets.

Almond Crackers
1 cup firmly packed fresh raw almond pulp
2 tablespoons freshly ground golden flaxseed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil or palm oil)
2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped or 1 T dried
½ teaspoon sea salt (I prefer celtic or pink himalyan)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until ¼ inch thick. Remove top piece of parchment paper and score with a pizza cutter to make 2 inch sqaure crackers. Transfer by sliding parchment paper with rolled dough onto baking sheet or dehydrator tray. Dry on the living foods setting of a dehydrator (110-115 degrees) or lowest oven setting until crisp (usually about 24 hours). Makes about 20 crackers.  Let crackers come to room temperature on baking sheet, then serve or store in an air tight container in the fridge.  They will last a couple weeks in there.

Pumpkin Seed Italian Crackers
1 cup pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight and drained)
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds (soaked overnight and drained)
2 cups vegetable pulp from juicing cucumbers and fennel
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 handful of fresh parsley chopped
1 T dried italian seasoning
2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth (a few little chunks left makes for nice texture).  Roll and dry according to the same instructions in the above recipe.  Makes about 40 crackers.

Sprouted Buckwheat Curry Crackers
6 cups sprouted buckwheat (start with 2 1/2 to 3 cups hulled buckwheat groats and then sprout for three days)
4 cups soaked sunflower seeds (start these the night before you make them on the last day of buckwheat sprouting or else they’ll turn brown)
2 carrots or 1 cup carrot pulp from juicing
2 zuchini
1 red pepper
1 1/2 T sea salt
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 T onion powder
2 T curry powder
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup coconut oil

Blend the carrot, zuchini, red pepper and spices in a blender till smooth.  Then blend in the sprouts and seeds until smooth. (A little chunkiness adds some nice texture if you like.) Roll and dry according to the same instructions in the above recipe.  Makes about 100 crackers.

These crackers differ from traditional lavash or unleavened bread (made without yeast) in that they are grain free.  For those who are not sensitive to gluten, grain flours can be substituted for nuts in these recipes, but it is recommended that they be cooked in an oven at 350 degrees till crisp.  Alternatively, whole grains (wheat, kamut, spelt, barley or rye) can be sprouted, ground to a paste and then dehydrated like Essene bread (the bread made by the sect that many believe is responsible for preserving the Dead Sea Scrolls).  For more information about bread in the Bible you can read the chapter on bread in my ebook  "Food in the Bible".  Here's a good video on making sprouted crackers if you want a little more instruction on soaking and sprouting nuts and grains: Making Sprouted Crackers.  I find the parchment paper technique to be the easiest and cleanest method.  It is inexpensive and you can get it at most grocery stores next to the plastic wrap.  I made a little video to show you how it works.