Fighting cancer and diabetes one seed cracker at a time
There are many links between a typical high carbohydrate diet and the high rates of diabetes and cancer (especially in the U.S.A.) This seed cracker recipe is a low-carb and low-cost substitute for bread and wheat crackers.
An increasing number of people are trying to limit their intake of carbs.
One of the biggest complaints about eating a low-carb diet is not being able to routinely eat bread, rolls and crackers. Over time, you may come to miss sandwiches, and all the other ways that we fill our bellies with grain products.
For me, this wasn’t much of a problem until a European-style bakery appeared in my neighborhood. Then, suddenly, everyone else was enjoying croissants, brioches, German-style Vollkornbrot, foccacias, boules and bâtards. (Oh, the lucky bâtards who get to eat them!)
To avoid backsliding I decided to eat low-carb seed crackers instead. There are many low-carb crackers on the market now. These include Flackers, Doctor in the Kitchen. Mary’s Gone Crackers, Crunchmaster’s Multiseed, and Doctor Cracker Crispbread. But none of them appealed to me.
Just because they say seed cracker doesn’t mean it’s low-carb
Although they call themselves “low carb,” this is not always the case. Take Mary’s Gone Crackers. Two ounces of the original Mary’s Gone contain 40 grams of carbs (including six grams of fiber). So the net carbs are 34, which is quite high, especially if you are dealing with diabetes.
Plus, these commercial seed crackers average about $1 per ounce. And frankly, my own are better tasting, cheaper and healthier than the commercial lot. So that is why I call them “Ralph’s Superior Seed Crackers.”
They are healthy, inexpensive and delicious. What’s not to like?
Make Your Own Seed Crackers
No, I am not abandoning my cancer information business to open a mail-order bake shop. In other words, these seed crackers are not for sale.
Read on to learn how to make these seed crackers yourself, or watch me make them on our YouTube video below.
Almost all the ingredients come from my local food co-op or supermarket. If you run out of one or more ingredients you can double up on another one of the seeds. Be flexible. It’s hard to go wrong.
Seed Cracker Recipe
To begin, you will need an oven, preferably with a built-in cook timer. You will also need:
- 2 standard cookie sheets (each has 10″ x 15″ surface area)
- Parchment paper
- A large mixing bowl
- A mixing spoon or small rolling pin
- A small, clean coffee grinder
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A pair of kitchen scissors
I use raw, unsalted, organic ingredients from my local food coop, whenever possible. Otherwise, I shop at a local supermarket that carries various natural products.
Six Basic DRY Ingredients
Measure out 1 cup each of the following into a large mixing bowl. This will give you what you need for the first session and for several subsequent sessions. Store the remainder in a clean container. I use a 1-gallon Hefty Slider Bag. You can store this in the refrigerator or in the pantry.
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds (either hulled or unhulled)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Ground flaxseeds (either brown or golden).
- Chia seeds
- Almond flour. Finely sifted.
Additions to the seed crackers
I sometimes add the follow for health or taste reasons:
- Salt to taste (I add about 3 teaspoons of sea salt to the mixture.)
- Psyllium husks. This excellent source of fiber aids digestion and elimination.
- Wheat bran, another good source of fiber.
- Nigella sativa, also known as black seed. This is very tasty and said to be very healthful as well. Use sparingly.
- Dried herbs, such as parsley, chives, oregano or thyme.
- Parsley flakes, dehydrated (An outstanding source of apigenin, which is very healthful.)
- Paprika (regular or smoked)
- Red pepper flakes or in a hot sauce. Use sparingly.
- Onion flakes
Mixing It Up
Once you’ve assembled your dry ingredients, mix them together in a bag. (I like 1-gallon Hefty Slider® bags.) Shake them up. Then transfer 2 cups of this dried mixture to the now empty mixing bowl. (I like the Pyrex® 2.5 quart mixing bowl.) This amount of dry seeds provide enough to cover 2 cookie sheets worth of the final product.
Put away the dried ingredient bag in the pantry or refrigerator it for your next baking session.
Now Add LIQUID Ingredients
Now add enough water to make a slurry. This will take about two cups of water. I start with one cup and then keep adding more until it has the consistency of apple sauce. You may need to add more water as you proceed. This may take some fine tuning. The goal is to make the mixture easily spreadable, without being too wet.
Now add one-third of a cup of oil. Choose your oil with great care. I use California Olive Ranch Arbequina. Any high quality olive, nut or avocado oil will do.
It is important to then let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. As it stands, the chia in particular dissolves and absorbs 12 times its weight in water. This creates a jelly-like substance, which will glue the finished seed crackers together.
The oil also plays an important role in the production process. Without it, the crackers may stick to the parchment and/or the tray. The oil allows the finished product to come off the paper very easily, sometimes in one piece.
Cut a 10″ x 15″ piece of parchment paper to fit each cookie sheet. Spread the mixture to all the corners of the paper so that you have a fairly even mixture—thick enough to cover the parchment but thin enough to bake evenly. You can spread the mixture evenly with the back of a mixing spoon, a small rolling pin, or just with your fingers. Taste a bit of the mixture to make sure it is sufficiently salty or spicy. Adjust the spices accordingly.
Put it in The Oven
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Set the cook timer to 1/2 hour. The slurry should not be too wet or drippy at this point. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven and assess the situation. You may need to give them another 5 or 10 minutes at this point. When they appear mostly done (not getting burnt along the edges) remove the sheet of seed cracker from the parchment paper and the cookie tray. Usually, I can lift it up by an edge of the parchment paper and with my other hand, separate the seed cracker sheet from the parchment. You can then either discard the parchment or save it for future use.
Turn the sheet of seed crackers over. This will expose the damper side. Break it up into pieces around the size of a 3×5 index card. Place these back on the cookie tray. Then return these to the oven (which is still at 350º F).
This final round of baking is the most critical phase in the process. You need to keep a very close eye on the crackers at this point. it You need them to be cooked through and crispy. But you must not let them get burnt.
After about 5 to 10 minutes, remove the cookie sheets and let the seed crackers cool down on a plate, platter or cooling rack. Don’t put them in a tin or Hefty bag too soon, or they will get soggy. Give them a few hours to cool off and lose moisture exposed to the normal air of the kitchen. Finally, take an ordinary paper lunch bag, and write the date on the outside. Then place the crackers gently inside the bag. You can then close the bag and leave it in a convenient place for meals or snacks.
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