Za’atar Middle Eastern Crispy Flatbread (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
Add to favorites
What exactly is za’atar? Besides a spice blend, a wild herb, a dip, a condiment, it also takes us on a culinary journey, granting us insight into the foodways of the Middle East; Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel, and others… each one taking pride in their guarded secret of how za’atar is made. It lends a deep nutty, woodsy and bright accent to foods and is quite versatile enough to use as an everyday spice blend.
You can buy Za’atar in Middle Eastern markets, and some mainstream grocery stores, but it can also be blended at home in your very own kitchen. I have provided a recipe blend that I made, which may differ from others but after researching what went into it, I think I did pretty well considering what ingredients I had in my pantry. :)
From what I have learned, Za’atar is most frequently used as a table condiment, dusted on food on its own, or stirred into some olive oil as a dip for flatbreads. In this case, rather than putting on flatbreads, I put it in my flatbread recipe. In Lebanon, Za’atar is most associated with breakfast, so try sprinkling some on oatmeal or yogurt. If you are a popcorn lover, melt a little coconut oil over it and try sprinkling some Za’atar on it. Who knew!
I no longer tremble in fear of spices, I now tremble in excitement of spices!
yields 41 flatbreads (2 Tbsp per cracker)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup black or white sesame seeds
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Za’atar spice
- 3 Tbsp raw coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 cup chia seeds, soaked 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Hand mix in:
- Soak the chia seeds in 2 cups of water for 15+ minutes. It should be very thick.
- In the food processor fitted with the “S” blade, place the almond flour, sesame seeds, Za’atar seasoning, coconut flour, caraway, cumin and salt. Pulse together until combined.
- Add the soaked chia seeds, water, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, agave, and lemon juice. Process till everything is well incorporated. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the almond pulp and with your hands, mix everything together really well. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. This will give the chia seeds to bond everything together.
- To create the flatbreads, use about 2 Tbsp worth of dough. Roll into a oval shape on the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator or on parchment paper. I do two at a time. Cover with another sheet and with a rolling pin, use even pressure to press them out to a flatbread shape. They should be fairly thin, no more that 1/4″ thick.
- Transfer the flatbread from the teflex to your hand, then to the mesh sheet. Creating the “bubbles” or creases is optional. You can spread this batter flat onto the dehydrator tray and score into cracker shapes if desired. Whatever makes you smile. :)
- Sprinkle extra sesame seeds and coarse sea salt on top before dehydrating.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 (F) degrees for 6-10 hours or until dry.
- These should last several weeks in an airtight container. If they start to moisten a bit, return them to the dehydrator and dry until they firm back up.
To make your own Za’atar Spice: yields 1/2 cup
- 3 Tbsp dried thyme
- 2 Tbps dried lemon peel
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- In a spice grinder, pulse the spices together a few times just enough to mix and break up some of the seeds — there should still be many whole seeds visible.
- Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
- Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.