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The other night as I was tossing and turning in bed I got to thinking about flax crackers. Why at that particular time and hour, who knows. I am sure many great creations were thought of in twilight hours of the day.
So back to the flax. The golden rule in dealing with flax-seeds is to first soak them in water. This creates a gel around the seeds making them more digestible and also acts as a thickening agent when making raw breads, crackers, cereals, and many other recipe items.
Once this gel is created you can’t rinse it away. It is there to stay! Personally, I love to wash my hands and then run my fingers through the flax mixture. I just love the feeling as it slips and slides around my fingers. This is also a great way to break up any clumps that may have formed.
Anyway, back to my thoughts. As I mentioned all the recipes we read when dealing with whole flax seeds say to soak in water….I got to thinking, “Why does it have to be water? Why can’t I use a fruit or vegetable juice?” When I make flax crackers I use all sorts of veggies. I take making crackers as the prime opportunity to clean my fridge out and use up left over veggies. So why couldn’t I juice some of these veggies, soak the seeds in the veggie juice and heck, I can even throw the veggie pulp into the cracker batter and nothing is wasted!
Last week my husband and I processed 18 young Thai coconuts. I froze a large portion of the coconut water but left a jar in my fridge to play with. So last night I soaked 1 cup of flax seeds in coconut water. This morning I created the cracker batter. With a coconut base all I could think of was the tropics so I ran with it. I added a minimum amount of ingredients though. I didn’t want to mask the coconut too much because I wanted to see if it would come through in flavor. In the future I might get more creative and add other items such as coconut flakes, chocolate chips, etc. But for now, I want to see if the coconut water is enough to give flavor to the base of the recipe.
End result: My husband and I both love the flavor of this cracker. What I learned was the way that the coconut water effected this complete recipe… the cracker never dehydrated to “dry, crispy” cracker. It is firm and chewy but delicious. Nothing wrong with, huh?! The taste of coconut water didn’t come through strong in flavor, which is what I was aiming to test for. But I know that the extra nutrients of that coconut water is there . Over all, I would continue to make this cracker but now I would add shredded or flaked coconut and whatever ingredients stuck my fancy at the time. The cracker leans more on the sweet side, but not so sweet that it over powers your sweet tooth.
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.
Out of context I realize this picture isn’t the most attractive thing, but none the less I wanted to show you what it looked like spread out on the teflex dehydrator sheet.
End result…I love the chunks of the pineapple and craisins. You could use any dried fruit of your liking!
What’s the big deal about flax?
Flax seed is one-third oil, the remainder consisting of fiber, protein and mucilage. Flax seed oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids – it contains alpha linolenic acid, omega 3 essential fatty acid, and omega 6 essential fatty acid, and flax-seed oil contains these 3 EFA’s in just the right proportions. Flax seeds are also a great source of lignans, vitamins, and minerals.
The high content of omega-3 fatty acids in flax-seed oil is but one of its positive attributes. The essential fatty acids combined here have proven to impart a regulatory function on the body’s fatty acid metabolism. The essential fatty acids common to flax-seed oil are ultimately converted to hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins, and are important for the regulation of a host of bodily functions.
The fiber in flax acts as a broom sweeping the colon of toxic material, metabolic waste and dried mucus. Flax fiber is an excellent food for friendly bacteria in the intestine which keeps disease-causing organisms in check. Flax seeds take up water, they are able to absorb 10 times their volume in water. Therefore, make sure when you eat them you are getting some liquids too, too dry through your system could cause trouble.