Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coconut Flour Chia Crackers (grain free/gluten free, egg free, soy free, vegan)

As I mentioned in my Easy Grain-Free Flatbread recipe post, I was attempting to make crackers when I "accidentally" made bread instead. Good accident. But- it didn't solve my cracker problem. So back to work again. Now I've become obsessed! I've made these crackers 3 times in the past week and my flatbread everyday as well with various modifications. Why? Because it's really easy. Especially when you leave your jelly roll pan, silpat, and rolling pin out :)

So for the crackers I decided to use Chia Seed meal along with the coconut flour and I made these herb crackers by throwing in some garlic powder and Italian Seasoning blend. You can leave them out or add other flavors you might like- nutritional yeast (for a "cheesy" flavor), rosemary, cinnamon, etc... If you're wondering about the wonderful nutritional benefits of chia, click HERE.

Coconut Chia Crackers
(grain free/gluten free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, nut free, paleo)

¼ cup Organic Chia seedmeal**
¾ cup Boiled Water
1/8 tsp Sea salt
1/8 tsp Granulated garlic
**For the Chia seed meal I grind whole Chia seeds in my blender or coffee grinder into a powder and just store it in the fridge in a jar.

Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF

Using a whisk or fork, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated.

Add the coconut oil into the bowl.

Add the hot water a little at a time, stirring as you add it in. (This will melt the coconut oil.)

Mix well with a spoon, stirring and mashing out any lumps that might still exist. Once you have a uniform dough in a ball, place it on your silpat or unbleached parchment-paper lined tray and roll out. Keep rolling your dough until it is as thin as you can get it without seeing through or tearing it. Feel free to move pieces of dough around and press it in- the dough is forgiving and easy to "cut and paste."

Mine rolled to be approximately 14.5” x 10” in measurement. Slice into squares with a pizza cutter.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes depending on your oven. 15 minutes got me a soft bread-like cracker, 20 firm but crisp, and 25 minutes extra crispy and darker.

Makes approximately 49 crackers (at 7 rows x 7 rows)

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Easy Grain-Free Flat Bread

I posted the other day on my Facebook page about an "accidental" recipe I had made and have been really excited about... so here it finally is! I wanted to test out a few more things with it, so I've been working on that.

What I was aiming to make was some simple grain free crackers and ended up with a great flatbread instead! I was sent some Psyllium Fiber by Konsyl to test out for gluten free baking, so I was also eager to incorporate it into my baking to see how that went. Turns out the Psyllium powder is great- especially as an egg replacer and binder so it works well to keep the bread together.

I have really enjoyed this bread because (other than the few ingredients) it's so easy to roll and flexible- it doesn't crumble or break like a lot of gluten-free tortillas and breads do and is reminiscent of Persian Lavash bread.
I've given two variations- one is the basic recipe, and then you can add on whatever you like to adjust the taste or make something a little different.

Easy Grain Free Flat Bread
(gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, nut free)

1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1/8 cup (2 TBSP) Konsyl Psyllium Fiber Powder
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
1 cup boiling water 

1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning herb blend

Whisk the coconut flour and psyllium together in a bowl along with the salt and herbs if using. Add the coconut oil. Add the hot water a little at a time, stirring as you add it (will melt the coconut oil).  Mix well making sure all the dry bits are incorporated.

Roll (with rolling pin) or pat (with moistened spatula) the bread out on a Silpat/Silicone Liner or unbleached parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan until thin and even. The dough is forgiving, so feel free to move pieces around and repair patches as you go along. I tried baking as two separate pieces (picture below) and as one large bread and both worked out well.

Bake at 375º for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven and how thin you've rolled the bread. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing/eating. The taste will mellow out the longer it cools and sits out.

(ps- if you haven't been eating a lot of fiber recently, don't eat the whole pan at once!!)


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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Equal Exchange Coffee Review

I recently had the opportunity to sample a new product that I thought would be important to share with others- The Equal Exchange Congo Coffee Project coffee blend.

If you're not a coffee drinker, you might enjoy hearing about the project anyways or buy some for someone who is- I'm an occasional coffee drinker myself, but I really feel that if you are going to drink any, this is definitely one of the more important products to support.

First about the project:
A portion of the sales from this coffee is donated to the Panzi Foundation which supports the medical programs of the Panzi Hospital in the D.R. Congo which provides life-saving treatments, counseling and aftercare programs to more than 2,000 survivors of sexual violence each year. You can find more information on this project on their site if you are interested –

From the site: "The challenge for the survivors of sexual violence and women with gynecological conditions to access primary as well as secondary health care remains significant. This is due to factors such as displacement, political insecurity and lack of capacity within the local health structures.  More than 5,000 women were raped in South Kivu alone during 2009, according to the UN."

For every bag of coffee sold, Equal Exchange will donate $2 to the Panzi Foundation.  All of Equal Exchange's products are fairly traded from small farmers, making this a great company to support.
So now the what is the coffee all about??! 
I really loved this coffee.  It is a blend of East African Coffees that is smooth and balanced, with rich chocolate, sweet vanilla, brown spices and a hint of fresh berry.  One of the things that bothers me about a lot of coffees is that either they are too weak or too bitter if they're strong. This blend was able to  remain bold without that bitter taste- it was smooth and rich and was able to hold its own without any cream or sugar added. My husband was a big fan of it as well and said that it was definitely one of the best coffees he has had!

To prepare it we ground the whole beans and brewed it in the french press. One day we even made mochas with it using a little So Delicious Chocolate Coconut Milk drink!

Thank you to Mambo Sprouts for providing me with the opportunity to learn more about this great company and its efforts! 

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