Miss Best’s Crackers

Miss Best's Crackers
Image: Johanna Best

Well, you can take the title of this blog anyway you like (hee hee!), but today the intended meaning is that I would love to share with you my new recipe for raw crackers. But if crackers don’t interest you today because you are in the mood for something sweeter, scroll down this page to find a tasty discount for my e-book ‘Loving Life-Loving Desserts.

I am very fortunate in that I have a dehydrator (a special oven that dries food at a low temperature so that the food maintains most of its nutrients and enzymes, which are usually lost when heated over 40 C / 118 F), but I don’t actually use it every week. Part of the reason is that I want to develop recipes that are accessible to as many people a possible, and since not many people have a dehydrator, I try and not use it too much.

However, last week, I really felt that I needed to make some nice things for myself to support my food choices, and provide me with an alternative to bread. For me, having access to raw alternatives to bread, wraps and crackers means that I can add some more interest to my food. Not only are sandwiches and wraps convenient – just top with some yummy avocado and veggies and you have a satisfying lunch – but they are also great when you want something a little heavier than a salad. This is particularly useful in the colder months, especially here in Sweden! And for me, having a cup of tea and a sandwich is just so comforting. This probably stems back to my upbringing, but I find tea and toast, or tea and cake just so very cozy, which means that these crackers fulfill me on an emotional level, without having to eat regular cooked, gluten-filled bread.

So I came up with these crackers, and I just love them. They are free from nuts and flax seeds, which can leave me feeling a little heavy, and are really flavoursome without being overpowering, like some crackers I have tried. I usually top the crackers with avocado, a sprinkling of lemon juice, a little herb salt, and plenty of salad leaves and veggie slices. Delicious!

In addition to finding my dehydrator invaluable for making crackers, it is also great for making buckwheaties (sprouted and dried buckwheat) – a great addition to breakfast time, and even raw cakes – and for drying soaked nuts and seeds so that they are ready to eat. When you soak nuts and seeds, they are more easily digested and more nutritious. I certainly can feel the difference when I eat unsoaked nuts. They can leave me feeling pretty heavy and a little sleepy as my tummy is working harder to digest them. I dry them after I have soaked them overnight, so that I can snack on them without having to think about soaking them first. I do, however, still think that unsoaked nuts and seeds are a far more nutritious alternative to snacks or cakes made from refined flour, for example, so please don’t let the soaking issue put you off. And if you do soak them, you don’t have to dry them if you will be using them within the next couple of days. Just store them in the fridge.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can try making these crackers in your oven using the lowest setting, keeping the door open a little. Alternatively, you could always bake them, which would mean that they are not raw, but may still make a yummy gluten-free alternative to bread and regular crackers. (I haven’t tried this, so do let me know how it works!)

If you fancy investing in a dehydrator, you can find them online here at The Fresh Network.

As I said, I rarely post recipes that are limited to folks with a dehydrator and I made sure that my e-book Loving Life-Loving Desserts did not contain any recipes that require a dehydrator. In fact, since it’s coming up to Easter – a time when family and friends often get together and share sweet treats – I have decided to offer a 15% discount on my e-book, to help you and your loved ones choose healthier, yummier goodies. To get your discount scoot on over to this page, select your preferred currency, and add the discount code ‘eat15‘ at the check out. Discount valid until, and including, Friday 9th April 2010. Enjoy!

Miss Best’s Crackers

Makes about 8 crackers measuring 10 cm x 12 cm (4 ” x 4.5 ” )

1 large onion
2 1/2 cups sprouted (or soaked) buckwheat (see instructions below)
4 tomatoes
1 tablespoon herbsalt (or 1.5 teaspoons sea salt)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons crushed coriander seeds
2 teaspoons psyllium powder
2 cloves garlic
½ cup pumpkin seeds, preferably soaked for 2-8 hours, and rinsed
½ cup sunflower seeds preferably soaked for 2-8 hours, and rinsed

Mix everything except the seeds together in a food processor. Stir in the seeds by hand and spread on Teflex sheets so that they are about 1 cm (0.4 inch) thick. Dehydrate for about 6 hours, flip over and dry for another 12 hours or until crispy. You can also eat them before they get crispy, and they will be more flexible and bread-like.

How to sprout buckwheat
Buckwheat is not actually a grain (or anything to do with wheat, as the name suggests), but is in fact a seed. It is gluten free, contains all of the 8 essential amino acids, and is a good source of manganese (needed for many important metabolic processes such as calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, immune function, and bone formation) as well as magnesium and fiber.

To get 2 1/2 cups of sprouted buckwheat, soak 1 1/2 cups of raw buckwheat in water for at least 1 hour (raw buckwheat should be white/green in colour and not brown as this will mean they are the toasted ones, known as Kashi) . Rinse really well to get rid of the starchy liquid that they produce. You can either use them as they are, but to make them even more nutritious let them sprout for 1- 2 days. You can just leave them sprout in a bowl, and then rinse and drain a couple of times a day until they grow a cute little tail.

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Feel free to share this article with others. Please just remember to include the following credit: © 2010 Johanna Best www.miss-best.com

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