Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Raw Herbed Almond Crackers

Blogging has been hard these days... Working 8-10 hours in a kitchen only to come home and spend another hour in the kitchen preparing dinner leaves me little time to take pictures, write recipes and then sit down and type it all out.  Plus it's been HOT!!!  I'm not really complaining.  I thrive in the heat. I love walking around in my underware and a tee-shirt. I love swimming and eating popcicles and sweating out all of the alcohol I consumed the night before.. DETOX! What I don't love is cooking in the heat. I do it enough at work so when I come home I crave cold noodle dishes, salads, summer rolls.. basically anything that doesn't require using the oven too much. 

One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my food deydrator.  Much like a crockpot you can put food in, turn it on while you're gone all day and when you come home you have some delicious, nutrient dense raw food waiting for you.  I've been on a serious kale chip kick for the past couple of weeks and I'm now adding these herbed raw crackers to my weekly rotation.

I first discovered these crackers when I worked at the infamous raw food restaurant, Cafe Gratitude.  These crackers served as crostini, topped with bruschetta, olive tapenade or sliced avocado. They were also crumbled up and tossed in a raw ceasar salad taking the place of croutons.

I bought the Cafe Gratitude cookbook when I moved away so I could replicate some of my favorites from the restaurant.  These crackers were at the top of my list but it wasn't until a couple of months ago that I decided to give them a try... and like most crackers, they can be adapted to your liking.  After you create your cracker dough base you can add: sundried tomatoes, rosemary, herbs de Provence, dried dill or whatever else floats your boat!

Raw Herbed Almond Crackers (makes 15 slices)
From: "I am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude"

1/2 c. soaked almonds*
2 c. almond flour
1/3 flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1 c. vegetable pulp
1 t. chopped garlic
1 t. sea salt
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. herbs de Provence
1/2-1 c. carrot juice (the recipe called for this but I didn't end up using any)

Rinse and drain your almonds. Chop coarsely, and mix well with all ingredients except the carrot juice.
Your dough should resemble the consistency of bread dough. You’ll want it dry enough to shape into a log (not soupy or runny at all) but wet enough to stick together. If the dough is not wet enough, add carrot juice 2 tablesponns at a time until you reach the right consistency.
Have 1-2 dehydrator trays ready with the grid sheet.
Now that your dough is ready, shape it into a log. Make your log 3” wide and 2” high. It is best to make your log on a cutting board. Just turn out the dough onto your cutting board to begin to shape using the palms of your hands until you have a log in the shape you desire. Now make slices in the log about a 1/2” wide. Place the slices onto the trays.
Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour, and then turn down the temp to 115 degrees until crisp and no moisture remains.

*To soak almonds, place almonds in a small bowl and cover with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Let almonds soak for 12 hours, then proceed with recipe.