Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recipe: Yam Crackers

This recipe is from the “Blissful Raw Food Recipes” cookbook from the Cafe Bliss in Victoria.
They wanted to create something similar to a corn chip but were discouraged from using corn due to the poor quality of product and the lack of year-round availability.  Organic yams, on the other hand, are easy to find year round and, because yams are sweet, delicious and starchy, they make a beautiful orange cracker.

We made these for our recent “Love Yourself” event and they were definitely a hit!  Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe.  Tastes good + good for you = win / win!
So, here’s the recipe.

7 cups         Chopped/cubed raw yam
1                 Medium onion, chopped
2 cups         Raw sunflower seeds, soaked
1 cup           Almond pulp (see below)
1 cup           Ground flax seeds (see below)
2 tbsp          Olive oil
2 tbsp          Lime juice
2 tsp            Sea salt
1 tsp            Ground cumin
2 tsp            Mexican chili powder (see comment below)

Place yam, onion, olive oil, lime juice and spices in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add soaked sunflower seeds and continue to process until smooth.  Depending on the size of food processor, this may have to be done in batches.  (I had to do 2 batches).

I wasn’t sure what “Mexican chili powder” was so I used “normal” chili powder and I also cut a half a jalapeno pepper into very small pieces and added that with the spices in the food processor.  Actually, you can use any kind of spice in this recipe.  If you want more heat, add a whole jalapeno pepper or curry.  For a smoky flavour, add smoked paprika to your recipe.  The possibilities are endless.  Experiment until you find your favourite flavour.

Place the above mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in almond pulp  and ground flax seed until well combined.

Using a rubber spatula, scoop some of the dough onto a dehydrator tray and spread mix to edges.  Spread thinly so that the crackers get good and crisp.  Repeat until all the mixture is used.
Score the sheets of spread mix to form individual crackers in desired size.  Place trays in dehydrator (NOTE:  If you don’t own a dehydrator, you can use your oven – simply set the temperature to the lowest setting).  Using a dehydrator set the temperature at 115 degrees for 12 hours.  Flip the crackers and dehydrate for another 12 – 24 hours.  If doing this recipe in the oven at your lowest temperature (my oven’s lowest is 170 degrees) the crackers may get crisp much sooner.  So, check them after 8 to 10 hours when in the oven. The longer you can wait, the crunchier the cracker should be.
Allow the dried mixture to cool and then break, along the scored lines, into crackers.  Place the cooled crackers in an airtight container and store at room temperature.  They should keep up to 1 month, but may lose some crunch after time.

Making Almond Mylk / Pulp
Place 4 cups of water, 1 cup of soaked RAW almonds, (almonds need to soak in water overnight), 2 pitted dates, a pinch of sea salt, and a dash of vanilla extract (or use vanilla powder) in a blender and blend on high until smooth.  Line mixing bowl with double layer of cheesecloth and pour in mix.  Gather edges of cheesecloth together and twist to gently squeeze until all the mylk is in the bowl and only pulp remains in the cheesecloth.  Store the mylk in the fridge, in an airtight glass container, and it will keep up to 2 days.  The pulp can keep for a week in the fridge but can also be kept in the freezer longer to use in other recipes.  The almond pulp is a “binder and filler” that will create thickness to your doughs.  After making this Almond Mylk, my husband even commented that it was tastier than the “store bought” Almond Milk.

Grinding Flax
Flax seeds are more nutritious when ground as they otherwise pass through our digestive systems whole, leaving the nutrients inside unavailable to us.  Ground flax is the equivalent to flour in raw food preparation.  It soaks up liquids and will easily thicken and bind any substance.
Most people use a coffee grinder for grinding flax. I have always found this frustrating as the ground flax sticks and clumps.  I use a hand held immersion blender (Cuisinart) and narrow, tall shaped bowl.  Be sure to cover the top (I use a towel). Only add 1 or 2 cups of flax seeds to the blender at a time.  Flax seeds increase in volume when ground.  For example, 3/4 cup of seeds will become 1 cup.

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