I’m writing this post while munching a cracker with one hand and tryng to type with the pther….. crunch crunch.
These addictive seedy crackers are almost too easy to make and are the best I have ever made. I love the toasted pumpkin seed taste and the idea that I can add in any extra flavours that suit my mood each time I make them. Today I will share a combination that has worked great in the last couple of batches: sun dried tomato & oregano.
As you might have already read in my almond milk recipe, soaking nuts and seeds is important for proper digestion and maximum nutrient absorption. I like the fact that this cracker dough spends the night slowly activating and is ready to bake in the oven as soon as you wake up. They also last for more than a month in an airtight container and make a wonderful companion to warming soup as well as being the best snack to take away anywhere you want (or munch on them in front of your computer while writing a recipe).
What is Psyllium husk?
The magic ingredient in this recipe is Psyllium husk, its what binds the ingredients together into a crispy cracker. Its actually the outer covering of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata which is native to Western and Southern Asia even though most production and export nowadays comes from India.
I discovered this interesting little weed some months ago when I joined a “Foraging in the city workshop” led by a very inspiring and weed expert called Diego Bonetto. Once I saw it I remembered I was actually familiar with it as I used to play with it as a child and pop its furry head off. Now I’m proud to know it has an interesting culinary use!
Plantago genus has more than 250 species which are all edible, or for safe consumption even if not always tasty. This mighty little plant is known for having followed white man’s footsteps around the world due to its resilient ability to thrive in most parts of the world and thus earning common names such as Englishman’s foot or white man’s footsteps.
Another little fact that I love about this humble plant is that its also known as a fairy bandaid or bush bandaid as its wonderful for bites, burns and stings! The natural properties of its leaves extract impurities from small wounds and helps the growth of new skin. I have tried this magic band aid myself many times after being bitten by a nasty green ants while digging up soil on the farm and has really helped to soothe the soreness of the bite : )
Here is a picture of the Plantago plant taken by Diego on one of his tours:
Here is another picture of Plantago I found on the farm, this one hasn’t flowered yet.
And this is what it looks like when you buy the Psyllium husk:
Psyllium husk is most commonly known for being a colon cleanser as it’s made up of both soluble and insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre expands in water creating a mucilaginous gel which helps to soothe and clear the intestinal tract. Apart from this cleaning power, it happens to be great in baking as it helps to bind ingredients together without the use of flour.
Sun dried tomatoes offer an intense flavour addition and when combined with oregano it gives out an addictive pizza scent which I really love. I prefer to use loose-packed sun-dried tomatoes over oil-packed, since the quality of the oil can vary and they loose their real tomato aroma. I also love the fact they have grown in the peak summer sun and the same sunny season heat has preserved them for us to enjoy any time of the year : )
On to the recipe then. I hope you enjoy them and give it a go at experimenting with any other flavours you wish.
½ Cup pumpkin seeds
½ Cup sesame seeds ( I used both black and white sesame)
¼ Cup flax seeds
½ Cup rolled oats
¼ Cup buckwheat groats
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp Psyllium husks
1 Tbsp Oregano
¼ Cup Sun dried tomatoes
½ tsp Salt & touch of cracked pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Filtered Water
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Add oil and water and stir to combine creating a thick paste.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the mixture flattening it out a bit. (The paste won’t look very sticky at this stage but thats Ok). Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin (or your hands) to make it as thin and even as possible. Remove the top paper and using a sharp knife make square or diamond shaped marks. This will help you break the huge cracker into small sized pieces once cooked. If not, just leave it as a huge cracker. Leave to activate overnight.
The next day, heat your oven to 170ºC and place cracker in for 20 mins. Take out the oven, flip sides or huge cracker and pop it back in the oven to bake the other side for 10-15 more mins. Watch them regularly at this point being careful not to burn the sides or the sun dried tomato as the taste will be very different if it burns. Take out of the oven and make sure the crackers look dry and hard. Once cooled keep in an airtight container for up to a month.
Enjoy with avocado slices and chili flakes or soft goats cheese with extra oregano!
– If you don’t have any sun dried tomatoes, you can use an “Italian herb mix” which works great or any other herbs or even nuts of your choice.
– This recipe will mostly likely cover 1 large baking sheet, but feel free to double the recipe and have crackers ready for the next couple of months or weeks if you have a big family.
This cracker recipe is adapted from My New Roots life changing crackers. If you haven’t checked Sarah’s site out, do it now, she is a fabulous food blogger and cookbook writer that will make you want to get cooking right away!