Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Crackers (Vegan)


I wanted to take a moment away from the Elimination Diet frenzy and post a gluten-free cracker recipe. I have been very excited to share this awesome recipe and now is my chance. Before I move on to phase 2 recipes I thought I would offer this to those of you not following the Elimination Diet.

This is a crispy cracker made from cooked quinoa, sorghum flour, extra virgin olive oil, seeds, and NO xanthan gum! It is very easy to make if you own a food processor. Plus, there are so many ways to tweak it.

Say, Cracked Black Pepper and Coarse Sea Salt?

Or, Olive-Rosemary Quinoa Crackers?

I imagine that the variations are endless, so please dig in and get creative!

These gluten-free crackers are super kid-friendly! I mean, hey, what's not to love in a slightly salty, crunchy snack served with Hummus and apple slices? My children are smitten for sure!

This recipe has a little story behind it. Over Christmas we were visiting Tom's family. My sister-in-law made a variation of these using brown rice flour and cooked brown rice, no seeds, for a birthday party to celebrate all of the January birthdays. (Hint hint - both Tom and I have birthdays in January, in fact, today is Tom's birthday!) She got the recipe from a friend who had adapted a recipe from vegweb.com. I tweaked the brown rice version into a quinoa-sorghum version because I am a curious cook. I like to see what happens with different ingredients. Kitchen alchemy never gets boring!

Quinoa-Seed Crackers

The trick to making crispy crackers is to roll the dough extra thin, as thin as you can get it. If need be, divide the dough into two balls to work with. Use two cookie sheets instead of one large one. To make the whole process easy, roll out the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and then slide the one holding the crackers onto a cookie sheet. Once cooled, store crackers in an airtight container at room temp. I don't yet know how long these keep as they don't last more than a day here!

Crackers:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
6 to 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup water

Topping:
1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 to 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Give it a whirl or two then add the quinoa and olive oil. Process until combined. Slowly add the water, while processing, just until the dough forms a ball. Stop at this point and don't add anymore water.

Place the dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper. Place another piece on top, flatten the dough with your hands and then begin rolling into a large, thin circle. To make it easier, divide the dough into two and roll separately. Just be sure to keep rolling to get the dough ultra-thin.

Remove the top layer of parchment and sprinkle with seeds. Gently roll them into the dough (gently).

Slide the rolled-out dough onto a large cookie sheet. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into small squares.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Watch baking time carefully as it will totally depend on the thickness of your crackers! Crackers will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight jar. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

I am reading a book right now called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Anyone heard of it? It is a new book that I came across on amazon.com while buying some reading workbooks for my daughter. Getting through all the day to day stuff with four young children can sometimes feel like drudgery. But I don't want it too.

Don't get me wrong we have many, many joyous moments each day, but I would like to broaden my view of life and enjoy the unpleasant things more...like the poo diapers that need changing just when you are ready walk out the door. This book is witty and fun. It offers perspective on the little things in life and reminds us to live in the present. I quickly became absorbed in this book and think it may bring joy to those who read it. It is written by a mom with two young daughters which is probably why I resonate so much with her writing and stories. Currently it is one of Amazon's bestsellers!

Happy Cooking! Ali :)

37 comments:

  1. Ali,

    I can relate to this post on so many levels. I had 3 kids very close together, then adopted a child from an orphanage in Korea (she was older, spoke no English, no education, etc.). I look back on that time and it's almost a blur. A good blur, but a blur. :-) I know what you're in the midst of. Enjoy the chaotic magic as they grow up way too fast!

    Now, these crackers – they look wonderful and thank you for the detailed recipe. I make my own crackers on occasion, but I've never made them like this. Love the idea of a "launching pad" cracker recipe. I'll keep you posted as to what I tried. I'm already thinking red chile flakes or caraway. Hmmm, you're right, the options are endless.

    Thanks and happy birthday to both of you!
    Melissa

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  2. Those look so wonderful, Ali! I have heard of The Happiness Project, but will need to check out the book now. It is hard to just enjoy when there is so much to get done during the day. Even when we are the kind of folks who like to live life to the fullest, there's a tendancy to want to get all the items on "the list" checked off and be satisfied when they are done vs enjoying them as we go more.

    Great post as usual, my dear! Happy birthday to you and Tom! I'm so excited Tom will be speaking to my support group on Tuesday. I've gotten more excited responses than ever it seems. You guys have so many fans in our group! One member has talked about making a recipe each day from YOUR book just like the Julie and Julia project. How cool is that?

    Hugs,
    Shirley

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  3. I'm always looking for new cracker recipes. This is going on my list to try.
    I'll check out the book.
    Thank you! Happy birthday to both you and Tom. :-)

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  4. These look great! Where do you get sorghum flour? Is there an on-line source that you use? I can't find it in any of the stores here (like WholeFoods).
    Thanks!
    Kelly

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  5. Happy Birthday to you both! I want to convey a thought to you about your comments on parenthood without giving you a "should", which I dislike, or guilt-tripping you. Would it help to gloat over each act that feels like drudgery? Maybe try a mindset of devilish glee every now and then when changing a diaper - a "wow, I can't believe my husband and I got away with having these beautiful children and this is the price I pay!"

    On the recipe front, thank you so much for what you do. I love the results!

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  6. I can't tell you how excited I was reading your opening to this recipe. I'm sensitive to rice which makes pretty much all GF crackers in the stores off-limits. Then my spirits sank as I read the recipe & saw that there was, in fact, rice flour in the list of ingredients. There isn't very much of it though. Do you think I could get away with just using more sorghum flour? Or would you recommend something else?

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  7. I really haven't found any healthy gluten free crackers that I love, so the idea of making my own is very appealing! And you're right, there are so many ways we could tweak this recipe!

    Happy birthday to you both!

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  8. I can’t wait to try this cracker recipe. I haven’t had much success with homemade crackers, but am always looking for a new recipe to turn my luck around.

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  9. Happy January birthdays, you two!!

    I have been wanting to make my own crackers due to not being able to find many store crackers that DON'T use wheat and/or sugar of some kind. These look excellent. I may try the original recipe with cooked brown rice because I don't currently have sorghum flour. Maybe I just need to open my pantry to some new ideas!

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  10. I'm looking forward to making these soon. This weekend is the first one in a while where I don't have something going on, so I'm looking forward to cooking my way through it and enjoying the fruits of my labor! Thanks for posting.

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  11. Happy Birthday Tom! (and Ali - you didn't tell us the date in January for your's....). Really appreciate the great recipes, I can think of one little girl who will love these crackers, so often we are looking for a snack around here, something to nibble on, and these will fill the bill nicely! Wendy

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  12. I've made crackers a couple of times, and these ones sound amazing! Happy birthday to You and Tom!

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  13. Oh these look so good! I have a silly question...do you think it is possible to use a Vita Mix instead of a food processor?

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  14. Happy Birthday Tom and Ali!

    These are the best crackers I've ever tasted. And they were super easy to make, just like you said. We can't eat seeds, so we made half of ours plain and the other half with rosemary and kosher salt. Both were fabulous! My toddler thinks this is the best thing he's ever baked (he contributed by pressing the buttons on the food processor). Thank you so much for another winning recipe!

    I have a picture of the rosemary ones on my blog: Eagle Loft Kitchen

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  15. Thank you so much for the vegan G.F. cracker recipe. Every time I have attempted a cracker recipe I have failed. Am making the "healing quinoa soup" again tonight, so these crackers will be perfect to go with it. My huasand rates this soup at "10" on the scale of 1/10. Rarely does anything make a 10. Thank you for that recipe also. I'm not sure how you have the time to be so creative.

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  16. I just made these crackers. I added flax seeds, coarse sea salt, black pepper, and garlic/herb powder and it was excellent! I'm new to vegan eating and these are by far the best cracker recipe I've tried. Thanks so much!

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  17. I forgot to mention, I used amaranth flour because I didn't have sorghum flour. We live in Hong Kong and either I can't find the ingredients or it's outrageously expensive. So if you have any recommendations for various flour substitutions, please share. (Remember that I'm new to vegan, gluten-free.)

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  18. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments. :)

    Now on to the specific questions....

    Kelly - I use Bob's Red Mill sorghum flour. Our local co-op and health food store both sell it. I am surprised that Whole Foods doesn't carry it. Do you have any other health food stores in your town? Amazon.com sells it in 4-packs, I believe, otherwise you can purchase it straight from Bob's. :)

    Ella's Mom - I am sure this recipe would work sans rice flour. My thought is to try 1 1/4 cups sorghum flour + 6 tbls arrowroot powder. This would be the total amount of flour/arrowroot to use in the recipe. Also, G & C left a comment about using amaranth flour in place of the sorghum. I bet there are many ways that this recipe could work. Let me know how it turns out. :)

    Wendy -my b-day is January 24th ~ I'll be 32. :)

    Denise - Well you actually wouldn't be able to make the entire recipe in the vita-mix but you might be able to make part in there. Try blending the quinoa, olive oil, and half of the water in the vita-mix; not so it is completely pureed, just slightly. Have your dry ingredients in a bowl already whisked together. Pour the quinoa mixture in and stir/knead the dough adding the rest of the water as needed. I think this should work. :)

    Sunvegan - Thanks. RE being creative: I have spent the last 8 1/2 years lactating AND gestating which has triggered my brain to be very right-dominant. Never mind that I can't add anymore! The recipes just come to me, though I am not quite sure what will happen when I get full use of both sides of my brain back. :)

    Thanks all for the great feedback, I sure loved reading your comments! So happy to see some of you have made these already, wow! :)

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  19. Wow, these were really easy to make and they are so tasty. A toddler friend of ours thinks they are pretty yummy too. I was worried for a bit that we needed to slide the dough off the parchment and onto the cookie sheet, but the bottom parchment and the dough slide right on together (hooray!).

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  20. yay! I've been desperately looking for a crunchy cracker recipe like this for the past couple of days! I think since I'm allergic to sesame seeds, I'll replace them with Chia seeds. That should work. Thanks so much!

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  21. Ali,
    The crackers look great! A question (not related to crackers): when it comes time for me to challenge the wheat free tamari, is Braggs' Liquid Aminos a good substitute? We always have a huge bottle of that around, and rarely have tamari. :-)
    Barb

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  22. These crackers look wonderful! Thanks for sharing them, you are so creative, I can't wait to try these! That's funny, my husband and I are both January birthdays, me on the 13th and my husband on the 25th. Happy birthday to you both!

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  23. I made the brown rice crackers (from the vegan site your sister-in-law used) and they were great ! I rolled them out on foil or parchment and sprinkled them with sea salt before baking. They taste just like Wheat Thins to me !!! Yum. I used a combo of flax and poppy seeds and they were great. Thank you so much !

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  24. Hello, Ali. I finally made these crackers tonight, and I wanted to thank you for the recipe. They are cooling on top of the stove right now--I keep sneaking into the kitchen to grab a few. :) Unfortunately I under-cooked them a bit, but they were so fun and easy to make, that I will happily make another batch.

    I was thinking of making an onion & chive variety. Any idea how much of the onion powder and dried chives I should use? I'm very new to this whole thing!

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  25. A super easy tip for making the perfect cracker!

    Use a pasta roller/machine! I run my cracker dough through and then lay out and whiz over the strips with a pizza cutter. This helps with uniformity.

    It'll take some practice, but have a tiny sifter with your GF (gluten free vegan) flour of choice to dust the pieces you run through the pasta machine. Dial to your perfect thickness. Sometimes one or two passes changing the dial can help.

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  26. I am such a fan of crackers and quinoa. This recipe is perfect for me. I like making my own crackers - no preservatives an I control the ingredients. Wonderful recipe.

    Kristi

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  27. Thank you so much for this recipe. My 5yo son has recently been diagnosed with a slew of food allergies, and I really wanted to be able to make some crackers for him to broaded his diet back out a bit. These were really easy to make and he gave them a thumbs-up!

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  28. Yummy. I made these recipes without rice flour, with the suggestions you made in the comments section on how to do so. I should have checked mine at 20 minutes (got a little burned), but will make adjustments and will definitely make them again!

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  29. I been making a variation of this recipe with great results! I use almond pulp left over from making almond milk, which gives the crackers a sweetness that is quite tasty! If you ever have almond pulp that you can't decide what to do with, try these crackers! I just replace the quinoa and water with the almond pulp and add millet and teff flour, and olive oil until the consistency is right, as well as the baking soda and salt. Yum!

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  30. This look great! But... I reached this page because I wanted to check out the quinoa salmon burgers. Looks like the hyperlink's set up incorrectly. Just a heads-up!

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  31. Ardith, can you tell me where the link was that brought you here, this recipe is linked so many places. I just checked the recipe index and did't see a problem there. Thanks so much!

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  32. Hey Ali,

    Go to "Recipe Index"-->"Whole Grains"

    It looks like the link is intended to be for the crackers, but it's titled as the salmon burgers.

    Hope that helps!

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  33. Got it, thanks, I was looking under "main dishes!" :)

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  34. Hello There,

    I featured your wonderful cracker recipe on my January recipe round-up. The theme this month is homemade crackers. Thank you for your snackable inspiration. :-)

    Be Well,
    --Amber

    http://www.thetastyalternative.com/2012/01/monthly-round-up-january-2012.html

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  35. These were absolutely delicious. My non-GF boyfriend LOVED them (I almost had to hide them from him). Not sure why it took me so long to make my own crackers but I'm delighted it was such a success and that this recipe was the first I tried. Thanks so much for posting this!

    Nancy

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  36. I heard quinoa is in such demand now that the impoverished people in the country that exports it can't afford to eat it anymore :( makes it hard to enjoy your delicious snack knowing the main ingredient is hurting people.

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  37. Hi Ali and Tom, I stumbled across your blog when googling quinoa crackers. You see I am gluten intolerant and also unfortunate enough to have allergies to rice and oat grains as well...different symptoms from one another. I do love crackers and this is the hardest thing to have to give up. I am new to this diet and have been relying upon manufactured products from the Whole Foods. I would like to do some cooking on my own but am unsure as to the substitutions that can be made. Your cracker recipe calls for rice flour, not an option for me, what can it be replaced with?

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom