Let’s talk about snacks. I’ve found that while it’s pretty easy for me to eat healthy meals, snacks are where I tend to make bad decisions. Convenience almost always wins out over nutrition, so instead of sitting down to a snack of veggies and hummus, I’m more likely to grab some cookies or chips from the pantry that I can eat on-the-go. The best way I’ve found to overcome this snacktime laziness is to make healthy snacks just as convenient as the unhealthy ones—I make big batches of energy balls, dehydrated fruit, and crackers to keep on hand.
These super-seed crackers are from Angela Liddon’s new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day. They’re perfect for making over the weekend and snacking on during the week—they last for a week at room temperature, or they can be frozen for up to a month. A variety of seeds—hemp, chia, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower—add fiber, plant-based protein and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied. Oh, and did I mention that they taste like pizza? Because they do!
Angela’s first cookbook has been one of my favorites since it came out, so I had high expectations for Oh She Glows Every Day and it doesn’t disappoint. Every recipe in the book is vegan and many are gluten-free as well; with over 100 recipes, it’s perfect for anyone looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Super-Seed Crackers
Reprinted from Oh She Glows Every Day by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Glo Bakery Corporation
- 1/3 cup 75 mL sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not oil-packed)
- 1 1/2 cups 375 mL boiling water
- 1 cup 250 mL raw hulled sunflower seeds
- 1 cup 250 mL gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/4 cup 60 mL hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup 60 mL raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup 60 mL white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons 30 mL black sesame seeds or more white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons 30 mL whole chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons 45 mL ground chia seeds
- 1 1/4 teaspoons 6 mL garlic powder
- 1 large clove garlic grated on a Microplane
- 2 teaspoons 10 mL dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon 5 mL coconut sugar or natural cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5 mL dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon 4 mL fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon 0.5 mL cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line two standard baking sheets (13 × 18 inches/32 × 40 cm) or one extra-large baking sheet (15 × 21 inches/38 × 53 cm) with parchment paper.
Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Set aside to soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.
With a slotted spoon, scoop the softened sun-dried tomatoes out of the soaking water and transfer to a mini food processor, reserving the soaking water. Process the tomatoes until minced. Alternatively, you can chop the tomatoes by hand—just be sure to chop them very fine so the crackers are easy to slice. Scoop the tomatoes into the bowl with the seed mixture.
Add the tomato soaking water to the bowl with the seed mixture. Stir for about a minute, until the water has been mostly absorbed by the seed mixture and is no longer pooling on the bottom of the bowl.
Transfer half the seed mixture to each baking sheet (or if using one extra-large baking sheet, spoon all of it onto the sheet). With your hands, spread the mixture starting in the center and pushing outward, until you form a large, misshapen rectangle, no more than 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. The mixture will be very wet, but this is normal. Be sure that the dough is uniform in thickness and the corners aren’t too thick.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet(s) and using a pizza slicer, carefully slice the dough into large crackers. Carefully flip each cracker using a spatula or your hands. Don’t worry if a couple break here and there! If for some reason the crackers are sticking to the parchment paper, just leave them as is and remove them after the second bake.
Return the baking sheet(s) to the oven and bake for 23 to 25 minutes more, until the crackers are golden. Watch closely during the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet(s) for 5 minutes. Transfer the crackers to a couple of cooling racks and let cool completely. Store the cooled crackers in a paper bag on the counter for up to 1 week. You can also store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in a
freezer-safe zip-top bag in the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks. If the crackers soften while storing (this can happen in humid environments), toast in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 5 to 7 minutes, then let cool completely. This is usually enough to return their former crispness!
To make ground chia seed, in a high-speed blender, grind 1/2 cup (125 mL) chia seeds on high until a fine powder forms. Store any unused ground chia seed in the fridge in an airtight container.